The rise of the gig economy in recent years has significantly changed today’s workforce.
Companies are now more receptive to hiring remote workers and freelancers — paying them for their output, instead of hiring someone in-house for full-time work.
Now that the new year has come, the gig economy will only continue to grow and evolve.
Here are five of the most significant gig economy trends and changes that will happen this year:
1. Increased Competition within the Gig Economy
At the rate the gig economy is currently growing, experts anticipate that half of the workforce in the US alone will become gig workers by the year 2027.
A significant contributor is the influx of seasoned professionals opting to become one because of the freedom of time and the opportunities the industry brings.
One way for the existing freelancers to solidify their advantage over the droves of professionals who will join the freelancing bandwagon in the coming years is to establish their personal brand, while focusing on a specific range of skill sets.
When you’ve established your brand, your offer and proposals become more believable and trustworthy, let alone compelling — an advantage that newbie freelancers don’t have.
At the same time, specializing in a specific niche or industry gives you access to new doors of opportunity.
For example, if you’re a freelance interior designer and you decided that you want to focus on serving real estate brokers, you can pitch your services in Fiverr’s Real Estate Store.
2. Enforcement of California’s AB5
California AB5 law took effect on January 1, 2020.
The crucial part about this law is that it lists a set of guidelines called the ‘ABC Test.’
A company needs to pass this 3-part test so they can continue classifying gig workers as freelancers or independent contractors.
If not, these companies will need to re-classify these gig workers as either full-time or part-time employees and provide them with all the benefits they’re entitled to receive.
Even though you don’t live in California, the law could still apply to you if you’re working for a company based in California.
Consult a lawyer familiar with AB5 to understand how this will affect your working relationship with your clients and your possible options.
3. AI Technology Continues to Pose a Threat to Some Freelancers
The advancements in AI technology continue to bring value to online platforms and tools.
Unfortunately, it’s now posing a threat to many freelancers, particularly those doing data entry and transcription work.
One of the best ways for freelancers to adapt to these changes is to start learning a new skill related to your current line of work.
For example, if you’ve been working as a freelance transcriptionist, you can level up by becoming a content writer or copywriter.
4. Declining Sense of Loyalty Between Clients and Gig Workers
The more gig workers there are, the more options companies have when it comes to choosing who they’d like to work with.
If a company finds someone who can do the work at a lower rate, there’s a good chance they’ll start working with the new freelancer.
To inspire client loyalty, freelancers can put a premium on relationship-building.
Some freelancers are so fixated on getting the work done, which is important, but fail to build meaningful relationships with their clients.
When freelancers take the time to build the relationship, something important happens—
The relationship becomes the reason for the transaction, and not the transaction becoming the reason for the relationship.
When freelancers have this kind of connection with their clients, their working relationship often lasts.
5. Big Data will Make a Significant Impact on the Gig Economy
Companies can now collect a vast amount of data like never before.
But to use the data they’ve collected, it first needs to be organized, processed, and interpreted.
As a result, there is now a massive demand for data scientists and big data analysts.
The thing is, there aren’t enough of them to meet the demand.
This is fertile ground for freelance programmers and software developers looking to expand their services and earn more money.
The good news is, there are many data science-related certification courses that you can take online to help you get the credentials you need to work in this field.
2020 is the Age of the Gig Worker
2020 is the start not just of a new year but also of a new decade. With that comes many changes.
And from the looks of the upcoming trends, the future shines even brighter for gig workers.
The gig economy is continuously growing. And if you want to stay ahead, you’ll need to grow with it.
Sharpen your current skills.
Build your brand and your relationship with your clients.
Establish yourself as an expert.
These are what will help you become a better and more competitive gig worker and have a more fulfilling and successful 2020.
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