The gig economy is continuously on the rise. According to Upwork, 57.3 million people freelance in the United States, and it is estimated that there will be 86.5 million freelancers by 2027. The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the gig economy. First, it has caused more employees to work from home, allowing them to take on freelance jobs. In addition, some full-time employees were put on indefinite leave or retrenched, pushing them to take on as many short-term employment opportunities to earn a living. Also, people who aim for work-life balance opted to join the gig economy. People who are fed up with the 9-5 work and want to gain more flexibility shifted to freelance work rather than a full-time job.
American actor and producer Kevin Spacey said, “Anyone with an internet connection and an idea can develop an audience.” What he said cannot be more accurate. Statistics show that as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. That accounts for 59.5% of the global population.
Because of the power of the internet and how it made everyone connect easily, organizations have leveraged online presence to boost their brand awareness, sales, and marketing. It is a practical yet effective strategy- traditional marketing generates 50% fewer interactions with customers than digital marketing. This is why companies allocate more budget for digital marketing.
Going green is something that has been trending for a long time. It is undoubtedly needed nowadays as we are in a climate crisis. Our current reality is that the earth’s temperature is continuously rising, the ocean and air are getting more polluted, mountains are getting bare, and species are getting extinct. Humans need to do something to save the environment, or we better find a new place we can call home.
Businesses are also joining this bandwagon. It is good because, with their authority and power, they are significantly contributing to saving the environment. Aside from that, going green is a good business move because it benefits them as well.
Flexibility is the way to go nowadays. Many people like to have flexible work for them to be able to manage their own time. With this, you get to be your own boss while earning money and have more time for yourself, your family, and your other interests. These benefits are one of the reasons why the gig economy has flourished.
When the pandemic took us by storm, this also became an avenue for more to join the gig economy. Some people preferred to do freelance work instead of their full-time job, requiring them to be present onsite. Others needed to have more income sources, which is why they explored the world of gig workers.
Last year, the pandemic disrupted our way of working. Organizations were required to shift to a work-from-home setup due to the lockdowns of different areas and strict safety protocols. But as the lockdowns have declined and more people are getting vaccinated, some employees have returned onsite. However, the work-from-home setup will continue to be offered to some, thus the birth of hybrid meetings.
Feeling overwhelmed is normal. Who wouldn’t feel this when life has become one big balancing act? Whether it is our personal or professional life, we want to do everything simultaneously. On top of that, we feel that we have to excel on all hats that we wear in life- we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best spouse, parent, child, employee, friend, and individual.
According to Psychologist Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, being overwhelmed is “feeling completely overcome in mind or emotions.” She also said that we feel overwhelmed when we think that a stressor is too significant for us to manage.
COVID-19 has taken all of us off guard. The shock of the coronavirus pandemic has made planning for the future extremely difficult because of all the uncertainties. This is particularly true especially for major decisions like a career move.
When the economy and job market are stable, it is easy to explore and assume that the grass is greener on the other side. But with the pandemic, you will think that still having a job is a blessing as you see the unemployment rate rising and several companies closing. However, even in this situation, staying put may not be necessarily the best possible strategy. If you work in a sector that has been badly impacted and may take some time to recover, this is a good time to think of making a change. Many companies are hiring right now, so there are good opportunities out there.
Excited. Relieved. Thankful. These are the initial reactions of some after hearing that they will be shifting to a work-from-home setup. Many organizations resorted to a work-from-home set- up last year because of the pandemic. And who would not like this set- up? Work-from-home means no travel time going to the office, no pressure on dressing up to impress, no loud co-worker, and other office distractions. However, after doing this for a long time, the excitement fades away. Staying productive is challenging, you miss the human interaction, long for the old times, and experience mental distress.
“Any kind of crisis is good. It wakes you up.”- Ryan Reynolds
2020 was a great teacher for all of us. It imparted valuable life lessons such as preparing for the future, learning how to adapt as change is inevitable, and simply surviving and staying sane and grounded. In the field of leadership, it taught all of us the value of soft skills and emotional intelligence.