More and more people are choosing how and when they want to work, and avoiding regular shifts or hours: finding ways to work hours that suit them while earning the same or more than a regular job would offer, or fitting their work patterns around personal interests or commitments. They’re choosing gigs, for the independence and self-reliance they offer.
One gig worker might work later evening hours in order to pursue personal interests during the day. Another could work the hours between dropping children to school and collecting them. Traditional jobs often just can’t accommodate the needs of workers today.
A 2016 report from McKinsey Global Institute on the gig economy and independent work estimated that this kind of work was done by 20–30% of the workforce in Europe and America. It predicted a sharp rise in the numbers that would be involved in gig work for their primary income or to earn extra money by 2020, driven mostly by workers’ increasing choice of gig and independent work over traditional jobs. Most are attracted by the flexibility, independence and control it offers.
The majority of gig workers worked that way by choice. McKinsey’s study identified four