The Gig Economy is Changing the Way People Work

The rules of the labor game used to be straightforward. You either found a traditional job, plied your trade as a freelancer, or you started your own business.

The rules of the labor game used to be straightforward. You either found a traditional job, plied your trade as a freelancer, or you started your own business. All three required a significant amount of effort, both to establish and maintain.

With the advent of the gig economy, a novel option appeared that is redefining how a significant portion of the workplace earns a living. This new work paradigm created the on-demand freelancer, a worker with the ability to pick up small jobs when they want them, without the need to network, develop a client base, or do any of the other time-consuming chores traditionally associated with freelancing.

The gig economy lets people work when they want to, as much as they want to. People that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be their own bosses are now in control of their schedules. It’s an employment revolution that puts the power of self-determination back in the hands of the labor force.

The Gig Economy Explained

Uber. Fiverr. Upwork. Taskrabbit. These are all major players in the gig economy. They use technology to decentralize the assignment of work. The “gig” in “gig economy” refers to a short-term work assignment. When people talk about having a side gig, this is what they’re referring to.

Uber uses a mobile app to connect people looking for a ride with drivers willing to take them. Uber drivers can pick up fares whenever they like and get paid directly through the app.

Do you need an Ikea dresser assembled? Help moving something heavy out of your house? Maybe you have a flatscreen TV you want to have mounted to your wall. TaskRabbit allows people in your local area to offer their services for these sorts of everyday tasks.

Fiverr and Upwork offer online marketplaces where skilled professionals like graphic designers, writers, web developers, and more can pick up projects, find clients, and ply their trade on their own terms.

These are just a few examples. The gig economy is growing every year to include nearly any sort of work you can imagine.

Technology Is the Enabling Factor

This sort of side work isn’t new, of course. People have been doing it since the advent of labor. What’s novel about the gig economy is the way that technology is enabling it in unprecedented ways.

As an example, before TaskRabbit, if you needed someone to fix a leaky faucet you’d have to hire an expensive, over-qualified plumber or find a friend or neighbor with the required skills. And if you were a handyman with a variety of skills, it would have been difficult to find consistent work without starting your own business and spending a lot of money on advertising. TaskRabbit makes it easy for both parties.

And before Uber, it was impossible to drive people for money without a taxicab, specialized equipment, and a central dispatch system. This is the strength of the gig economy, and it’s how we power our service here at Protranslate, too.

The gig economy allows us to maintain a huge pool of skilled translators — much larger than a traditional company. We can match your translation project with talented people perfectly suited to your needs, no matter what languages you’re working with. It’s the power of the gig economy applied to translation services. Check out what we can do for you today.

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