The Gig Economy in the Philippines

The continuous digital transformation in the Philippines paved the way to the technological advancement of the Filipinos participating in the trending gig economy. The gig economy is a free -market system which operates as a general workforce environment where short-term employment, contractual jobs and independent workers are very much common. The exchange of labor and resources are done through digital platforms. Gig economy is also commonly known as the “freelance economy”, “sharing economy” or the “agile workforce”. The word “gig” is a slang word which means a job that only lasts for a period of time.

Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Philippines has already ranked as the world’s 6th fastest growing market for the gig economy where growth was seen to have been over 200%. Interestingly, majority of the workers in the gig economy are the millennials or those in the younger demographic.

Advantages of Operating in the Gig Economy for Businesses

The continuous growth and popularity of the gig economy has borne benefits to both the businesses and the workers. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. Cost reduction – Businesses who engage workers in the gig economy save money. They do not need to pay the traditional employees’ benefits, paid leaves and retirement plans. Also, the business does not need to maintain workspaces and offices to house the workers.
  2. Labor Force – Businesses can look for workers across the globe where they can utilize the diversity of talents and backgrounds even for special projects over a period of time.
  3. Scaling up – companies especially startups can scale up their business as they engage in the services of gig workers who are can work on a project base or part time basis only.
  4. Flexibility – individuals have the options to work anytime and anywhere as long as they meet the end dates of the tasks assigned and upon their own strategies.
  5. Income – given the flexibility, the individuals can earn additional income by engaging in other gigs or tasks from another company.

Albeit, the variety of advantages, there are also downsides for both business and the individual workers:

  1. Commitment – businesses cannot expect their freelancers to be as invested in their organization as those hired as full-timers. Also, issues such as loyalty, confidentiality and ethical standards may arise.
  2. No benefits – individual workers does not enjoy any company perks or benefits as they are not considered as employees of the business.
  3. Remoteness – for some gig workers, it can create an isolation which might negatively affect the menta health and eventually the productivity.
  4. Stress – Stress can be a very big disadvantage for freelancers who needs to find their next gig or project.

Post pandemic, the number of gig economy workers in the country continue to increase with the continuous advancement of technology.

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