Countless talking heads have dedicated novels’ worth of verbiage to the rise of the gig economy, but the statistics definitely show a booming trend: A recent study by Upwork indicates that freelancers make up 35 percent of the total workforce, and some experts believe the gig economy will double again in four years.
So far, the most visible movement has been on the blue-collar side of the equation. Roles that don’t require a specific set of skills – your local repair person or your friendly neighborhood Uber driver, for example – have been quick to adopt the business model. More recently, however, white-collar workers have started to bring their specialized skill sets to the freelance table.
A report by Ernst & Young suggests that technological innovations have buoyed this remarkable shift. With artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things and other disruptions becoming mainstream, occupations in all sectors have been turned on their heads. Combine disruption in every industry under the sun with changing worker preferences – younger generations truly champion independence – and it suddenly becomes clear why white-collar workers are interested in gigging.
While marketplaces are still adjusting to this shift, business decision-makers can take steps to get ahead of the white-collar mass migration.
Michael Burdick is the CEO of Paro, the outsourced finance and accounting department for growing businesses. Paro’s purpose is to empower people to do what they love.