Recent research shows that the independent workforce is much larger and diverse than many official statistics suggest.
20 to 30 % of the working age population in developed countries is now part of the independent workforce. Contrary to government’s concerns and many publications on this topic, surveys now show that the vast majority of these workers enjoy the autonomy, flexibility and task-based payment arrangements on which their working relationships are built. Another myth appears to be that those who work in the gig economy are predominantly millennial workers. The gig economy is permeating every industry and the group so active in it, spans all age groups and demographics.
The increased diversity and growing numbers of independent workers as well as the technology available to them to take on assignments in larger geographical areas, imply that this is more than a temporary trend. Government policies that are based “one-size-fits-all” with the intention of enforcing reforms to protect workers, may in fact have adverse consequences. A different kind of leadership is required; both within organisations and in the public sector to ensure the independent workforce can thrive and businesses acquire the talent they need for accelerated growth.
Written by Janet Poot