The UK’s gig economy is booming, with more people than ever before choosing to work for themselves. According to statistics released last year, one in seven UK workers which equates to a record-high of 4.8 million people are now enjoying the freedom of being self-employed. Research has also suggested that just 6 per cent of workers do the traditional hours of 9am to 5pm.
So are the days of a ‘job for life’ long gone? Today there certainly seem to be more opportunities than ever for people looking to pick and choose where they work and how long for. The economic crisis ten years ago spurred many people who lost their jobs to rethink their future career prospects, while others have chosen a different approach to earning a living to reduce stress levels and improve their work-life balance.
According to a recent research study by the Myers Briggs company on type and the gig economy – the key reasons why people become gig workers include:
1. Freedom and flexibility
2 To work in an area he/she is passionate about
3. To be his/her own boss
4. Freelancing or gig work is the career he/she wants to have.
Those who become a gig worker for positive reasons will tend to enjoy their job more. When compared with regular workers, those with a gig job saw their work as more enjoyable, more flexible, and more financially rewarding, but as less empowered and with less additional benefits.
Some top tips if you are thinking about joining the flex side are:
Broaden your skillsets
As the contractor landscape becomes more competitive, it’s important to consider what you have to offer a prospective client. The more relevant skills you have, the likelihood of you being able to pick and choose work becomes greater. And, with competition for assignments on the rise, it’s important to consider broadening your capabilities to enhance your prospects of winning work.
Working for yourself means making your own PAYE and tax arrangements. Sounds complicated, and it can be! Most of the contractors we surveyed, recommended seeking professional advice on sorting out your financial arrangements or even working with an umbrella company to ensure you get paid on time, every time and your tax arrangements are dealt with correctly.
Get to grips with legislation
All contractors need to have a good understanding of any existing and proposed legislation and its implications for them. An example of this is IR35. This legislation was designed to stop contractors working as ‘disguised employees.’ It’s important that contractors understand the ramifications of any legislation that may have an impact on them and what it would mean if they fall foul of HRMC rules.
Life in the gig sector comes with its highs and lows and this approach to work is likely to become more and more commonplace as the world of work moves on from the 9 to 5.
Thinking about joining the world of gig workers? Understanding your own personality preferences can help you to appreciate why you may enjoy certain aspects of gig work and dislike others.