In the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen a rise in the adoption of on-demand labor. While this might seem unusual, it’s actually a pattern decades in the making.
Every major economic disruption of the last 20 years has contributed to a widespread shift to on-demand labor. This ecosystem is often referred to as the “gig economy,” and it has quickly become a way to connect companies and consumers with independent workers at scale. About 36% of U.S. workers are currently engaged in some form of gig work, and studies estimate that, if current trends continue, this number will rise to 50% by 2027.
The gig economy helps companies control their fixed labor costs, and it has benefits for workers as well — flexible hours and low barriers to entry, for example. For many, the gig economy is an easy way to make additional income, or to transform their work schedule into something that can accommodate their busy life.
The gig economy model breaks down, however, when it comes to the need for differentiated services, especially those that require a certain degree of skill — like IT field service. A closer look at the different types of on-demand work shows us why.