Updated: Oct 11, 2018
We are in a very exciting time in global mobility history. As millennials move into leadership positions in ever increasing numbers, we are seeing traits from their generational culture applied to the economy. “Gig” no longer simply applies to the vagabond musician. “Sharing” has become a form of capitalism.
“Gig Workers” and the “Gig Economy” are terms that we have been hearing a lot of recently. Seemingly still shell-shocked from the financial crisis of the early 2000’s, many workers are supplementing their income with a side job, other’s making it their full income. These side jobs are increasing begotten from the “Gig Economy”.
The “Gig Economy” can most simply be thought of as project work. This may be driving an Uber, being a freelance journalist, or monetizing a hobby. Corporations are catching on and having workers be in ever rotating roles. This allows them to focus on strengths while hedging weaknesses and puts the employee in continuous state of production.
Many of these gig workers take part in what is known as the “Sharing Economy”. This describes businesses such as Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, and more. Traditional barriers to entry such start-up costs are dramatically decreased when a college student can log into an app and use their Honda Civic to do the job a NYC cab driver previously had to pay hundreds of thousands for. This sharing economy provides new, less regulated, and less expensive services to all.
From a global mobility perspective, this is what we are seeing –
· In places where a traditional relocation was the norm, we now see short term rotations both within the US and globally. This allows the employee to access varied parts of the company for development and insights. The company benefits by leveraging business trip tax deductions (when possible) and focusing on development/launch through experts and allowing the local staff pick up the operational piece.
· With the new tax laws, many companies have moved to lump sums for ease of administration. Thrifty employees enjoy this as they would prefer to stay in an Airbnb for temporary housing and use the remaining funds for something of higher utility to them. Predictable spend, lowered RMC costs, and low maintenance programs are all added bonuses.
Short Term Assignments:
· Temporary versus permanent locations are becoming very common. Industrial pshycologists are finding that employee engagement and productivity increases in “sprints” with clear goals and objectives. As corporations adopt gig workers as gig employees, titles are becoming more general and skill sets are being applied more widely across the business.
Several studies are showing that by 2020, 40% or more of the US working population will function as gig workers, in some capacity. Europe is already trending above the US’ 16% and much of the world is soon to follow.
It will be interesting to see how corporations continue to engage this new generation of “moonlighters” and use those passions into furthering the greater cause.
Published: October 5, 2018
Vendium Global, LLC