The pandemic gave a boost to the gig economy with people realizing that you can work remotely. Gigs on the side can top up your income, give you an opportunity to work with new people and develop new skills. However, not all is rosy in the gig economy.
The most challenging aspect of the gig economy is the lack of job security and benefits like health care benefits, paid vacations, and mentoring. Unless you are an experienced person who has learnt all the tricks of the trade and can be an asset to projects, doing gigs cannot be seen as a long-term career path. You have to be on the lookout constantly for gigs and there is no safety net. There are no salary hikes or a guaranteed salary; rather you could be bidding at lower prices just to land a coveted project. All this can end up taking a huge personal toll.
On the other end of the spectrum, the companies employing gig workers have to face challenges like how to manage and regulate globally dispersed gig workers. We can now get the best talent from across the globe, but how do you manage and regulate them and keep them motivated enough to work for you for a longer time? How do you ensure that they are focusing on your project and giving it the attention it deserves so the quality of the project doesn’t suffer?
Software development just doesn’t end with the creation of a program or solution. You have to constantly enrich and update to keep up with new problems or competition. You have to make sure that the creator of the program works on the project long enough or is committed enough to pass on the skills required to maintain or update it.
So far, the gig economy hasn’t resolved these challenges. There is no platform out there that takes care of the personal development, regulatory, accounting, and income tax challenges. Unless these challenges are addressed, I don’t see the gig economy going mainstream for highly skilled projects.