The question before the gig economy in 2020 is whether it will grow, but how much it will grow.
Already, 36% of American adults engage in some sort of gig work. And the labor trends of venture companies suggest that there is plenty of room for the gig economy to expand: two-thirds of major companies as a whole are using freelance contracts to reduce their labor costs.
Given that the largest companies are already in the best position to afford talent, small and medium-sized companies are sure to follow all.
What is expected as a gig economy
The development is only the beginning of the story of how the gig economy will change in 2020. As the gig economy matures:
- Automation will work as a fork in the road. The gig economy, at least in the 21st-century iteration, exists because of technology. Without the Internet, companies would have to struggle to find, let alone communicate with, their off-site workers.
Comprehensive automation will significantly change the work of representatives of companies as well as contractors to complete that work. The question will be whether companies use workers in support of automation, or workers in support of automation.
For one, Uber has publicly stated that it plans to replace its drivers with self-driving cars. But others, such as the opportunity platform Nu Skin, want to use automation to empower people working in the gig economy. “We believe the gig economy should create new opportunities for people, not take them away,” says Nu Skin president Ryan Napierski. To succeed in the new economy, he suggests, companies should prioritize their human experience.
- The executive will be found in the game. When do you think of gig workers, who do you photograph? Chances are, it’s an Uber driver and freelance writer.
While low-ranking roles will continue to be a major part of the gig economy, those at the top will also turn to gig work. WFH has proven that even complex management assignments can be executed by a director who never sees the team face to face. Markets, including the labor market, are driven by demand. If leaders want to switch to contract work, they will certainly have a chance to do so in 2020.
- Stigma will go away. Unfortunately and unfairly, gig activists are still subject to a lot of partisanship and misunderstanding. As more workers – and more types of workers – join the gig economy, hoping that many of them will turn away.
For example, some critics of the gig economy maintain that no one really wants the gig to work. But studies show that gig workers are every bit, if not a little more satisfied with their line of work than traditional employees.
In the future, gig workers may have to wear multiple lines of work as bills of honor. Members of the gig economy can be seen as self-starters to an extent, not their traditionally employed peers.
- Regulations will take hold. Because the gig economy is still emerging, labor regulations are centered around traditional employment models. But when the U.S. If half or more of the activists are engaged in pegs, it is expected that the law gigs will be rewritten around the economy.
For example, most of the laws around the benefits that companies must provide are based on the number of hours an employee works. But even for full-timers, the Labor Department’s guidelines for classifying someone as an independent contractor (not an employee who is entitled to benefits) are complex. In the future, there may be an extension of the prescribed limit for using benefit regulations, in which workers should be given benefits.
An area where changing labor regulations is almost certain? Retirement. Because most gig workers receive no pension or 401 (k) benefits, they are largely left to plan for retirement. Although gig workers contribute to Social Security through mandatory self-employment taxes, retirement structures will have to be expanded to cover gig workers. The fact that gig workers can qualify for unemployment benefits in 2020 reflects a change in rules that acknowledge the importance of this growing segment of the workforce.
- Worker unions will grow To secure benefits such as healthcare and retirement, gig workers will turn to a model that traditional workers used to interact with 40-hour workweek and weekend off unions. Although gig workers have no right to unionize because they are not employees, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s 2019 decision, some political voices are asking for change.
According to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Batigi notes, there are people in the gig economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents. “That’s why I propose that we allow gig workers to unionize because the gig is work and labor is labor.”
- Professional services will cater to gig workers. Every year, accountants send seasonal mailers advertising their tax-prep services for local businesses. Marketing agencies, consultants, and software services are also heavily catered to traditional business clients.
As more workers go into business for themselves, they will need the same services. B2B companies are expected to broaden their marketing strategies, shifting their spending to highly targeted Facebook campaigns and local media such as radio.
Growth changes and the gig economy is about to pass through more than the traditional labor market in decades. And for both workers and corporations, it can be a boon.