Embracing the gig economy could be good for your business

Embracing the gig economy could be good for your business

Office – Workplace November 2017

Space Race

Gone are the days where the workforce of any office-based business was all housed under one roof and everyone was on the employee payroll.

Sure, there was the occasional “temp” when the receptionist was away, but today there are any number of possible worker fulfilment scenarios including outsourcing in a multitude of guises.

The latest buzz word in the employment world is the “gig economy”. Essentially this is contract-based working whereby independent workers take on standalone “gigs” rather than being aligned with any one organisation or company.

The gig economy has become an umbrella term to encompass independent contractors and freelancers although in its truest form, it applies to those who source their business via the sharing economy platform – the Uber model springs to mind.

Globally, human resource companies are now factoring in independent contractors as part of their talent acquisition strategy for the companies they represent.

There are definite benefits to business owners tapping into the gig economy – particularly if a workplace is not large enough to accommodate extra desks and people, or if a business needs to tighten its fiscal belt and only pay for the exact services they need.

Under the gig economy, workers offer their skills to companies and businesses that require them, for as long as they need them.

So, what could be some of the benefits of the gig economy for your business?

• You get a more agile workforce and one which can be moulded to fit your work-flow demands

• Perhaps your lease is due for renewal and finance-wise, it would be better for you to consolidate your business’s physical footprint – the gig economy could allow you to downsize and still remain competitive.

• Your staff costs could be reduced as there may not be holiday pay, KiwiSaver commitments and other costs associated with having people on your payroll

• Lower overheads

• If some of your existing team are considering stepping away from full-time work, maybe you could retain their skills by outsourcing project work to them when needed – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel as they already have an innate understanding of your business’s culture and way of working

• Maybe you’re looking to evolve your service offering but are reluctant to commit to a full-time staff position to help deliver this – a contract-based worker could allow you to test the waters

• The period of employment has a defined start and end date (determined by the parameters of the project) so all parties can work to those deadlines

• Contract workers are often prepared to work outside of office hours which could streamline delivery of a project that has tight deadlines or which requires last-minute tweaking

• Maybe you’ll find the perfect person to eventually phase into your business operation on a more permanent basis

Things to consider:

• Do your due diligence in selecting a contract worker

• Think about how will you monitor and manage the workflow of an off-site worker to ensure that optimal timelines are met

• How will you plan to cover the costs of this off-site resource

• Partner with established agencies/individuals that have track record in your industry sector

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