The Rise of the Gig Economy

The gig economy has been with us as long as people have tried to find ways to make a living. However, it became part of our daily conversation in the first decade of this century and is usually used to describe part-time freelance work. Many people have come to know the concept of gig-workers through start up businesses like Uber, TaskRabbit, Instacart, and Fiverr. Some of us only look at the gig platforms as tools to make our lives easier, while the rest of us see them as ways to supplement our income or make a living.

Your Tech Support Helper Maybe a Gig Worker
Some people don’t realize that some of the people they depend on every day may also be gig workers. When you call or email for computer support, you may be talking to a remote gig worker at Nerdapp. Even Apple tech support employs gig workers to handle some of their front-line tasks.

Freelance in a Pandemic
The pandemic that hit this year rapidly accelerated the gig economy’s role in how our world works. Many people have lost their jobs due to the economic downturn. Meanwhile, many businesses are looking for alternative ways to operate amid lockdowns. Both of these trends have increased the supply of and demand for gig workers.

Remote Tech Support in the Gig Economy
Few industries are as primed for expansion in the gig economy than IT services. The ability to work remotely is one of the key drivers of the gig economy. This sector was one of the first to adopt the technologies that make remote work possible. In fact, IT support technicians are the ones keeping the gig economy infrastructure running. If you work from home, you may already experience working with freelance computer support professionals to get your home office up and running.
While there are exceptions, most IT support workers have no need to work from a central location. With broadband internet and advanced security solutions, an IT worker can be on the other side of the world. Some businesses find this an ideal solution, especially for 24-hour coverage of help desks and other critical functions. This, plus the number of people working remotely during the pandemic, leads to an increase in remote IT support jobs.

Gig Work is Scalable
The nature of gig work also works well for the technology sector since it is much easier to scale up and down as necessary. A start up may not need or be able to afford full-time tech support but can purchase what they need in the gig marketplace. As a company grows or large projects come along, it is easy to quickly fill the need. It is just as easy to scale down as business conditions change.
An IT Lifeline
From the gig worker’s perspective, the gig economy is throwing a lifeline in the middle of this global disruption. But it is not only filling the need for jobs now. It is also serving the need for more flexibility desired by younger tech workers entering the marketplace. No longer satisfied working 40 hours a week in a cubical, younger workers are looking for new opportunities. Some are interested in flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and even the chance to pair work and travel. A whole segment of workers takes their work with them wherever they go, as long as there is broadband internet.

More Freelance Change Ahead
There is no doubt the gig economy will continue to grow as a part of the way we work even after the pandemic is behind us. For tech support professions, the rise of more remote IT support jobs will mean more opportunities. For those in need of tech support, it may be more available than ever before from tech startups like who launched in the UK earlier this year.

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