Revealing the Actual Truths About Gigster Economy
Being your boss sounds excellent; however, it has a price. We will often discover that it’s not the ultimate freedom we dreamt of. Many freelancers struggle, combining lousy paid temp jobs and freelance missions. The reality for most freelancers is instability, no guaranteed income, and the pressure to constantly sell their services to keep an everyday living efficiently. If they belong to the best, their freelance missions may end up in long-term contracts with attractive earning potentials and interesting professional challenges. There are many talented individuals out there, and you may need a good network to penetrate the market you want.
The gig economy has disrupted the market in multiple areas, but most of all, the service sector. It has fundamentally opened up new ways of making money, which has changed the financial ecosystem. We all know that Uber was one of the first typical Gig companies to launch Taxi services for lower prices at a fixed rate. These services were excellent for consumers since receiving fixed prices in a few seconds. Awesome; no surprises.
Uber revolutionized the taxi industry. For the good and bad. It was Uber’s digital infrastructure that disrupted the market. I recall media debating whether Uber Taxis were safe or not when they started. The cab drivers were “on their own” not represented by any local Taxi companies, thus anonymous. I cautiously avoided Uber Taxis after viewing horror movies like “Shuttle” from 2008.
With a new concept, and technology, Uber paved the way for a growing gig economy, today represented by diverse businesses. In Stockholm, they leave a distinct footprint in the urban landscape. For a few years, Stockholm city has been littered with electric scooters, randomly parked anywhere in town when not in use. Handful companies fiercely compete in the market with marginal price settings. The user experience is fun and uncomplicated. A bit pricy, but perfect if you are lazy or in a rush.
The recent gig economy has brought a wave of service providers delivering restaurant meals for excellent prices. It’s a popular concept, and everybody seems to order home meals instead of going out. Delivery gigsters are all over Stockholm City and a significant part of the daily traffic. They carry typical square-shaped backpacks in different colors, representing different companies. Foodora is the most common, and visible, with its neon pink colors.
The gigster vehicles reveal individual statuses; beginners use bikes, and when proving themselves efficient, they pass on to scooters, constantly breaking down. Counting pennies, the companies never spend a dime too much, but stranded vehicles are a problem.
Home gigs, domestic services at the lowest prices possible are other examples. Naturally, families take advantage of exceptional offers to wash their windows, clean their homes, or do anything practical. High-incomers have something in common; they don’t want to pay decently for domestic services and don’t care about the amount of input, and physical effort.
The gig economy has spread to many freelance sectors with price-efficient concepts. Offering the best value possible to the lowest prices possible seems more a rule than anything else. Freelancers fiercely compete on platforms such as guru.com, freelancer.com, and Fiverr.com. Overall, I think being a “gigster” is nothing but personal exploitation.
The working-class heroism has dissolved and finally vanished. The worker’s rights vanished. We can notice some of them struggling to maintain a decent living, being at the disposition of clients in the private segment carefully reading user ratings, and comparing prices. I admit to doing the same. I have hired freelancers on Guru for the lowest prices, so for sure, I am an active part of the gigster economy. And I continue.
In Sweden, the gig economy has breaded a new working-class, living on societal fringes. Individuals from ethnic groups discriminated against, bypass the tremendous hardships of breaking into a regulated job market. Instead, they find opportunities in low-paid gigs. I guess most gig-users wouldn’t reflect on whether it’s right or wrong, claiming the gigsters would be empty-handed without this market. It’s heading towards an increasingly unregulated market where people have to learn, making uncertainty a natural part of their lives.
Finally, an observation sheds light on how consumer habits have changed tremendously during Pandemic. A majority of people working and spending more time at home has sky-rocketed the interest in gigster services. Unlike a traditional worker’s identity, the gigster remains anonymous, and unseen to a majority of consumers, representing a way of getting things cheaply, easily, and rapidly done. From this perspective, the gigster is unlikely to establish mutual relations with clients. In many ways, the gigster economy deepens the social class distinctions and breeds a new group; the outsiders, the gigsters.