The gig economy, a dynamic and rapidly growing employment model, has reshaped the way people work and do business. As of the most recent data, the gig economy is already a substantial player in the global job market, with estimates suggesting it’s worth between $443 and $455 billion by 2023, according to a report by McKinsey.

Gross volume of the gig economy
Source: World Economic Forum

So, what can we expect from the gig economy in the next decade? Let’s explore some of the key trends and possibilities that could shape its future.

1. Increased Automation

Increased Automation - Gig Economy
Source: Nassim Sadik

The gig economy of the future will likely see an increased use of artificial intelligence and automation. As technology advances, more tasks that were traditionally performed by humans will be automated. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean fewer opportunities for gig workers. Rather, it’s likely to shift the emphasis toward creative and specialized work that can’t be easily automated. For instance, jobs involving emotional intelligence, complex problem-solving, and creativity will remain in demand.

2. More Regulation

Regulations Conditions Rules Standard Terms Concept
Source: Freepik

As the gig economy continues to expand, there will be mounting pressure on governments to regulate it. This could involve changing the classification of gig workers and mandating specific benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and paid leave. The aim will be to ensure that workers are adequately protected and have access to essential benefits, without stifling the flexibility that makes the gig economy attractive.

3. Greater Emphasis on Flexibility

Gig Economy Freelancers Remote Teams Flexibility
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review

Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of the gig economy, and it’s expected to become even more important. In the coming decade, workers will seek greater control over their schedules and workloads. Companies that offer this flexibility are likely to attract and retain top talent. Technology will play a vital role in enabling remote work and on-demand access to work opportunities.

4. Increased Competition

Gig Economy Increased Competition
Source: iLearn CANA

With the gig economy’s growth, competition for jobs is bound to increase. More people will enter this labor market, potentially leading to downward pressure on wages. Gig workers may need to continually upgrade their skills and adapt to market demands to secure consistent and well-paying work.

5. New Technologies

Businessman using a digital tablet
Source: Freepik

Emerging technologies will significantly impact the gig economy. Blockchain technology, for instance, could revolutionize the way workers and clients connect, eliminating intermediaries and reducing fees. This would result in a more transparent and equitable atmosphere where workers are directly compensated for their services.

6. Greater Diversity

Greater Diversity
Source: Gig India

The gig economy will become more diverse both in terms of the types of jobs available and the people participating. This diversity could create opportunities for individuals who were traditionally excluded from the workforce. It might also promote a more inclusive and equitable job market, as platforms and employers seek to diversify their talent pools.

7. New Business Models

New Business Models
Source: IB2

As the gig economy evolves, new business models will emerge. Furthermore, we can expect innovative platforms that allow workers to pool resources, share risks, and collaborate on projects in unique ways. Consequently, these models could lead to more stable income streams for gig workers and, in turn, foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among participants.

In conclusion, the gig economy is set to undergo significant changes in the next 10 years. While it’s impossible to predict the exact course it will take, it’s evident that the gig economy is not a passing trend – it’s here to stay. With advancements in technology, greater regulation, and shifting worker preferences, it will continue to shape the future of work and offer both opportunities and challenges to workers and employers alike. Adaptability, upskilling, and a commitment to fostering a fair and inclusive job market will be crucial for success in the evolving gig economy.