The gig economy – made up of contractors, consultants, and freelancers – has emerged rapidly over recent years. Driven by the move away from traditional employment models – by both employers and employees – and the rise of digital technologies that create marketplaces for talent to be matched with job opportunities.
The side hustle has quickly become the favourite barbeque conversation as people look for opportunities to learn new skills and try new opportunities.
In this episode of Smoke Signal, I speak to Luke Achterstraat, CEO of Commtract – Australia and New Zealand’s first marketplace for professional communicators.
The Grattan Institute estimates over 80,000 Australians earn some type of income from a peer to peer platform – be that Uber, AirTasker or Commtract – in any given month. By 2020 almost 40 per cent of the ASX 200 workplace will be non permanent, in some form consultants or freelancers.
When founded just over two years ago, Commtract hit on what Luke describes as two mega trends: from an organisational perspective there was an increasing restriction on headcount, movement to an agile workforce and the increased demand for talent immediately. Effectively companies needing to do more with less.
The accompanying employee mega trend saw the rise of people seeking autonomy and greater variety in the work they do – especially among experienced professionals who started looking for a “portfolio career”.
Luke talks to an on-demand economy that will only get bigger, with more platforms that become hyper specialized (check out snappr for photographers as a case in point) and a greater focus of community around these platforms.
His advice – whether starting out as a grad or an experienced professional – don’t fear the way the market is moving as it is by no means a new phenomenon. The key is to embrace the opportunity it presents.
In the news this episode I look at the 2019 Digital News Report – a global study into the issues facing news media that was just released by the Oxford University-aligned Reuters Institute.
The report is based on a survey of over 75,000 people in 38 countries, including 2000 in Australia. Some interesting trends that emerge, include: