Freelance Gigs: The Future of Work

Updated: Apr 6

For the past few decades, working permanent full-time or part-time jobs has been the traditional type of employment, where most employees typically work for a set number of hours a week, perform the same set of tasks every day, and get paid a monthly fixed salary.

However, in recent years, the workforce is slowly seeing a rise of the gig economy, where people are taking on short-term digital enabled jobs, or what is commonly referred to as “gigs” or contract jobs. As the name suggests, this new wave of freelance work utilises technology such as user-friendly mobile apps or browser-based software, which make it easier than ever for people to engage in such jobs.

Gig jobs span across a wide range and are not just limited to food delivery or ride-hailing services like Grab or Deliveroo. Selling items on e-commerce platforms like Carousell, or freelance work like graphic design or website development also count.

Although it might sound like such gig jobs are reserved more so for tech-savvy millennials, a study showed that baby boomers are actually the most likely to take up contract work (63%), over Gen Y (50%) or Gen X (52%).

Here in Singapore, figures from the Ministry of Manpower show that there were about 200,000 freelancers in 2016 and self-employed persons made up 8 to 10 per cent of the resident workforce.

Unlike your 9-to-5 job, gigs allow you to work flexibly, which is its biggest selling point. They are also a great way to earn extra income on the side during your retirement, whilst getting the chance to develop your skills and meet new people.

However, as you only get paid after each task you complete, this means that the amount of income you earn a month would be varied based on the number of assignments you are able to get.

For example, Upwork allows workers to bid for projects, for instance, while Hubstaff enables companies to find talent across the globe.

Specialised platforms such as 99designs for designers, AsiaWriters for writers and MomoCentral or Toptal for software developers offer jobs for people with specialised skills.

Check out our other article to find out how to get started on your freelance journey!

(Source: Manulife, TODAY, GCFGlobal, The Straits Times, e2i)