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Bye 9-to-5, hi mental health struggles: the effect of the gig economy

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The gig economy offers both freedom and uncertainty (Getty)

The way we work is changing and it’s not only because of the pandemic. There are a lot of options available to us these days. Too many, in fact. One such alternative is the gig economy

 Essentially, the gig economy means that workers are paid for ‘gigs’ which are short-term, temporary jobs, often referred to as freelance work, as opposed to permanent employment.

Gig economy workers could already be in full-time or part-time employment though, taking on gig work to top up their income and make ends meet. Or, they could be self-employed, filling their day-to-day lives with enough freelance hours to make a living. 

Long gone are the days of simply working nine-to-five.

For some, this fundamental shift in the way we work offers flexibility and freedom to carry out work job-to-job. For others, it brings insecurity, no promise of contractual work and lack of holiday and sick pay.

According to research by the University of Hertfordshire, between 2016 and 2019, the UK gig economy workforce doubled with one in 10 working adults using gig economy platforms in 2019.

But whether it’s moonlighting as a YouTuber or Amazon seller as a side hustle or working full-time juggling a variety of jobs like delivering food for Uber Eats or Deliveroo, how do we know the right time to turn off our ‘work mode’ and boot up our ‘life mode’?

And what is this precarious and ever-changing way of working doing to our mental health?

Research findings from a 2016 study commissioned by the charity, Help Musicians UK, looked into the potential links between the gig economy and mental health.

Looking at over 2,200 musicians working in the gig economy in the UK, 68.5% self-reported depression and 71% anxiety.

Some of the key issues which arose in the study pointed at worries about financial stability, job insecurity, and the requirement to have an online presence and network which exposed individuals to relentless opinion and criticism.

Whilst the phrase gig economy originated from the music industry, the rise of the internet and technological innovations has created a whole new world of opportunity for the way we work and seemingly endless opportunities to fill our home life with more and more work.

But is this tech-enabled gig economy causing burnout because we just don’t know when to stop? Or does it allow us to embrace freedom from traditional corporate roles?

Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, has been taking a look at the social, organizational, and policy implications of the shift towards the online gig economy.

Dr Alex Wood, who has been working on the study, says the gig economy can have both positive and negative consequences on our mental health.

‘We find that one of the things workers like most about this work is the sense of being their own boss as they don’t have to deal with a manager on a day-to-day basis.’ Alex tells Metro.co.uk.

Dr. Alex Wood has been studying the effects of the gig economy (Alex Wood)

‘This autonomy from traditional management is a real positive for many workers but that comes with the stress caused by the algorithmic control of their work by platforms; knowing that if they don’t work hard they’ll get a bad rating and lose your ability to make a living.’

‘This algorithmic control comes with its own risks for mental health as workers work hard for long hours without taking many breaks which can cause burnout.’

Michael Daly, associate professor in Psychology/Behavioural Science at Maynooth University, says the research he and his team have carried out on underemployment and psychological distress has shown a notable increase ‘when a discrepancy emerges between the amount of hours they would like to work and the hours offered by their employer.’

‘Workers also want job and income security, benefits such as health insurance, and opportunities for promotion and career development that tend to be underrepresented in gig economy jobs.’

But what do the people who actually exist in this new way of working think about it?

Phillip Smith, a freelance editor, is fully immersed in the gig economy and says finding the right work-life balance is tough. 

‘There was a period at the start where I was building contacts where you would be repeatedly hitting refresh on your emails begging for replies, that was tough.’

As a freelance editor, Phill Smith is immersed in the gig economy (Phill Smith)

Phill says carving out time for exercise has massively counterbalanced the negativity overworking has caused his mental health.

‘I’ve had a few crazy weeks where I’ve landed too much work and realised I had to pull back. I found that I have to rota in downtime during the week. I have a home studio so I can and have worked every hour of the day so forcing myself to go for a run or do yoga is essential.’

Working full time in the gig economy is one thing, buy what about having a ‘side hustle’ alongside a full-time job?

Amy Harris works as a full-time retail manager but launched her own craft store on Etsy during the Covid pandemic.

‘Having been on furlough for so long it was something that definitely worried me if I would be able to keep it up once back,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

Amy says the opportunity to work on something she’s passionate about brought positivity to her life.

‘It really helped me with my mental health when I wasn’t working and gave me a sense of purpose everyday. I’ve always regretted not pursuing what I studied at university and creating this little business has almost lifted a bit of that guilt and given me a creative outlet.’

Amy Harris said the gig economy allowed her to pursue something she’s passionate about (Amy Harris)

So, what is the future like for the gig economy?

Dr Wood says this way of working has seen and will continue to see growth through the pandemic and beyond.

‘I think the gig economy will emerge from the pandemic even bigger than before with local gig work boosted by the growth of food and retail delivery and remote gig economy boosted by companies looking for more remote workers who can be engaged and controlled without needing to bring them on to the companies’ premises.’

‘Companies are also going to be hesitant to invest in permanent employees in these uncertain times.’

What’s clear is that as the gig economy asserts itself in a post-Covid world, the mental health of workers involved shouldn’t fall by the kerbside as a result.



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Economy

Universal Basic Income can provide support for people in gig economy

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Income supports encourage people to not work? Duh, June 4

In an era of self-regulation, it is presumed that all employers will follow all protocols to ensure the safety of their staff during COVID-19, but perhaps this is not the case, and some employees might prefer to stay at home, instead of facing an unprotected workplace.

Who could blame them?

As far as the Universal Basic Income, in the Ontario trial, is concerned, weren’t most of the participants already working at two jobs in the gig economy and these did not generate enough income to provide stable support to them?

Margaret Perrault, North Bay, Ont.



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New regulations to improve safety in the gig economy

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New regulations requiring online platforms to provide food delivery riders with personal protective equipment and induction training have been announced by NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson.

A new penalty system for riders will also be introduced as part of the reforms “to crackdown on repeated unsafe practices”.

The NSW Government intends to finalise the regulations by November 2021. Public consultations on the proposed laws are expected in September 2021.

The reforms follow a safety blitz conducted by SafeWork NSW, which found 9 out of 10 food delivery riders were not wearing safe, high-visibility clothing. Forty percent of the riders observed were also riding in an unsafe manner.

The measures reflect the recommendations of the final report of the Joint Taskforce into Food Delivery Rider Safety (the Taskforce), which was released on 5 June 2021. The Taskforce was setup in November 2020 to investigate the deaths of 4 food delivery riders in 2020, and to identify safety improvements for the industry.

Other recommendations in the Taskforce’s final report include:

  • further compliance monitoring of the food delivery sector by SafeWork NSW
  • ongoing enforcement activities by NSW Police to ensure food delivery riders comply with road rules
  • finalisation of the Guide to Managing WHS in the Food Delivery Industry, as well as the development of supporting factsheets in multiple languages
  • the provision of reported incident data to food delivery platforms to assist continual improvement of compliance within the industry, and
  • development of guidance on delivery bag standards by Transport for NSW.

Explore further on CCH Pinpoint® — Topic Guide: Gig economy.

Sources:

Minister for Better Regulation and Minister for Transport and Roads, New laws to drive safety outcomes in the gig economy, [media release], 5 June 2021, accessed 7 June 2021.

SafeWork NSW and Transport for NSW, Joint Taskforce: Food Delivery and Rider Safety (Final Report), 1 April 2021, 7 June 2021.

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Economy

Gig Economy Market to Grow with Sustainable CAGR During 2021 – 2026

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Gig Economy  Market to Grow with Sustainable CAGR During 2021 – 2026

The business intelligence report of Gig Economy market accurately predicts the industry’s performance for the upcoming years to aid stakeholders in making beneficial decisions. Important data points like the growth catalysts, restraints, and lucrative prospects molding the market dynamics are deeply analyzed in the report.

Moreover, the study identifies the major challenges for businesses and offers insights into the opportunities that will help the industry progress in unexplored territories. Moreover, the report factors in the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic for stronger realization of the growth trajectory of this domain.

Key highlights from the COVID-19 impact analysis:

  • An overview of the pandemic’s effect on the global economy
  • Supply and demand changes in the industry
  • Current and future market trends in relation to the pandemic

Request Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.business-newsupdate.com/request-sample/145141

An overview the regional landscape:

  • As per the report, the geographical landscape of the Gig Economy market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East & Africa, South East Asia.
  • An overview of the growth patterns of each regional industry over the stipulated timeframe is cited.
  • Sales, revenue, and growth rate of each regional contributor is included in the report.

Other highlights from the Gig Economy market report:

  • The product segment of the Gig Economy market is classified into Asset-Sharing Services,Transportation-Based Services,Professional Services,Household & Miscellaneous Services (HGHM) andOthers.
  • The revenue and sales volume predictions of each product type is incorporated in the document.
  • Other important aspects like growth rate, market share, and production patterns of each product type over the analysis period are provided.
  • The application segment of the Gig Economy market is divided into Traffic,Electronic,Accommodation,Food and Beverage,Tourism,Education andOthers.
  • Market share and growth rate of each application segment over the assessment timeframe are enumerated as well.
  • The competitive landscape of the Gig Economy market is defined by key players such as Prosper,Lime,Etsy,BlaBlaCar,VaShare,Envato Studio,Fon,BHU Technology,Didi Global,Snap,Freelancer.com,Zipcar,Uber,Toptal,Stashbee,Eatwith,Lyft,Couchsurfing,PeoplePerHour,Spotahome,Care.como,E-stronger,Silvernest,Upwork,Fiverr,Steam,Hubble,Home Away,Omni,Airbnb,JustPark andAirtasker.
  • The report also consists of information regarding the industry share held by every company, along with their pricing models and gross margins.
  • The report evaluates the competition trends and their business implications.
  • Industry value chain analysis with respect to top manufacturers, vendors, and buyers are incorporated in the document.
  • The Gig Economy market report also provides Porter’s five forces analysis and SWOT assessment to determine the feasibility of new project.

Reasons to access this Report:

  • Get to know opportunities and plan strategies by having a strong understanding of the investment opportunities in the Gig Economy Market
  • Identification of key parameter driving investment opportunities in the Gig Economy Market
  • Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data
  • Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industry’s growth potential
  • Develop strategies based on the latest reports.
  • Identify key partners and business development avenues
  • Respond to your competitors’ business structure, strategy and prospects
  • Identify key strengths and weaknesses of important market participants

The key questions answered in this report:

  • What will be the market size and growth rate in the forecast year?
  • What are the key factors driving the Global Gig Economy Market?
  • What are the risks and challenges in front of the market?
  • Who are the key vendors in the Global Gig Economy Market?
  • What are the trending factors influencing the market shares?
  • What are the key outcomes of Porter’s five forces model?
  • Which are the global opportunities for expanding the Global Gig Economy Market?

Table of Contents for market shares by application, research objectives, market sections by type and forecast years considered:

Gig Economy Market Share by Key Players: Here, capital, revenue, and price analysis by the business are included along with other sections such as development plans, areas served, products offered by key players, alliance and acquisition and headquarters distribution.

Global Growth Trends: Industry trends, the growth rate of major producers, and production analysis are the segments included in this chapter.

Market Size by Application: This segment includes Gig Economy market consumption analysis by application.

Gig Economy market Size by Type: It includes analysis of value, product utility, market percentage, and production market share by type.

Profiles of Manufacturers: Here, commanding players of the global Gig Economy market are studied based on sales area, key products, gross margin, revenue, price, and production.

Gig Economy Market Value Chain and Sales Channel Analysis: It includes customer, distributor, market value chain, and sales channel analysis.

Market Forecast: This section is focused on production and production value forecast, key producers forecast by type, application, and regions

Request Customization on This Report @ https://www.business-newsupdate.com/request-for-customization/145141

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