The gig economy and you

Part Two

AS mentioned in Part One, the gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

Today, let’s check whether there is a gig economy in the Philippines. The questions is:

Are there gigs in the Philippines?

OF course! This is a major group already and will continue to grow fast.

The young and digitally adept Philippine freelance market encompasses around 2 percent of the population and is expected to grow further, according to a new study by PayPal—and that could translate into 1.5 million to 2 million Filipinos in freelancing.

The Philippines, with its large number of creatives (web and graphic designers, game developers, animation artists, etc.), information technology and tech people, would seem like an ideal setting for the gig economy to flourish. And flourishing it is, according to the recently released Global Freelancer Insights Report by United States-based payment firm PayPal.

PayPal also noted that the Philippines has one of the highest freelancers per capita of the 22 countries surveyed, at around 2 percent of the population. The country’s young demographics also plays a part in this, with around 75 percent of freelancers 24 to 39 years old, according to the report.

Flexible working hours and the ability to be their own boss are the main draws, according to the report.

Facilitating the trend is the growing number of digital tools freelancers need to bill and receive money for their work.

Remember that success was once defined as being able to stay at a company for a long time and move up the corporate ladder. The goal was to reach the top, accumulate wealth and retire to a life of ease.

Today, consulting or freelancing for five businesses at the same time is a badge of honor. It shows how valuable an individual is. Working at home or in cafés, starting businesses with teams of consultants and freelancers you’ve met only online, and even launching business ventures that eventually may fail, all indicate “initiative,” “creativity,” and “adaptability,” which are very desirable traits in today’s workplace.

Who are these people? They are artists and designers; writers, editors and translators, animators, videographers, and sound professionals; programmers, and Q&A experts; providers of office services and career advice. These people are our friends, and our kids. And in 10 years it is going to be everyone.

What’s needed and used are marketplaces—platforms specifically designed to bring freelancers and clients together. These online platforms must embrace the gig economy as a primary engine of business activity and growth. The platforms are a place to feature the most experienced, professional and creative talent. This is where they conduct business, where a sense of community reinforces the culture and values of the gig economy, and where success is rewarded with good reviews that encourage more business.

Slowly but surely, these platforms create a bridge between traditional enterprises and this emerging economy. Perhaps more important, as the global economy continues to be disrupted by technology and other massive change, the gig  economy will itself become an engine of economic and social transformation, here and in the rest of the world.

Comments are more than welcome —contact me at [email protected]

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