The gig economy has emerged after the development of information and communication technologies. The digitalization and proliferation of smartphones have contributed to the development of platforms for hiring temporary contractors. This gig work trend has also created a new format for the employee-employer relationship, primarily based on cooperation on short-term contracts. Therefore, it is essential to consider the negative impact and changes in the concept of loyalty between worker and employer.
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The gig economy has several potential adverse effects on society. First, after the wave of layoffs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, it has raised competition in the market. These days, workers have to compete not just with colleagues from one city or country but also from worldwide (Keith et al. 11). Second, gig contractors are only paid when they complete a task. The number of duties per week may differ and not affect the salary at the end of the month. A permanent employee has benefits, which the gig one does not have (Keith et al. 9). Third, burnout syndrome has become common for most populations and threatens gig workers for performing tasks in free hours (Keith et al. 16). Despite the schedule flexibility, this type of work becomes stressful and tedious over time.
Concerning the concept of loyalty between worker and employer, the result is primarily negative. Even though an independent contractor can work for several employers at once, the gig economy’s growth may entail eliminating benefits, vacations, guarantees, and other options (Keith et al. 9). For employers, such a situation is beneficial as workers should be as productive and loyal as permanent employees with long-term contracts, without demanding anything from the company in return. It is disadvantageous for workers as staying competitive in the market; an employee may be forced to overwork without social benefits.
Overall, the gig economy is based on flexible, temporary or freelance work of professionals who often connect with clients through online platforms. Despite the fact that the growth of such an economy has economic reasons, there are several negative outcomes, including increased competition, which leads to burnout syndrome. Employers tend to hire employees for part-time or temporary work, while the latter should complete specific tasks or work on particular projects.
Keith, Melissa G. et al. “Worker health and well-being in the gig economy: A proposed framework and research agenda.” Entrepreneurial and Small Business Stressors, Experienced Stress, and Well-Being, vol. 18, 2020, pp. 1-33