- More than a third (36%) of U.S. workers take part in the gig economy through a primary or secondary job, according to a new report by Gallup. The report distinguishes two types of gig workers — independent and contingent. Per Gallup’s definitions, independent gig workers function like contractors or online platform workers while contingent gig workers function as temporary or on-call workers.
- Gallup’s report confirmed a distinction between the two types of gig workers; when asked about workplace and professional habits, responses from the two groups varied greatly. Independent gig workers, for example, felt a much greater sense of belonging than their contingent counterparts. Independent gig workers were also more passionate and creative about their work, enjoyed more autonomy and flexibility and received more feedback.
- Gallup also surveyed traditional workers, whose results tended to fall in line with those of contingent workers or somewhere between responses from the two groups of gig workers. A little more than a third of traditional workers felt a sense of belonging in the workplace, with 32% of contingent workers and 52% of independent workers framing their response. Traditional workers reported much less flexibility (27%) than the other two groups, who came in at 38% for contingent and 58% for independent.
Gallup asserts that employers of traditional employees can redesign jobs and adjust their practices to draw out many of the benefits independent gig workers say they enjoy. Traditional workers said they didn’t have much flexibility or autonomy at their jobs, and they didn’t hear regular feedback or feel very respected.
As Gallup suggests, employers can address most of these dissatisfactions, and many of them have been at it for quite some time. Dell, for example, is moving to have half its workers logging hours from their home offices by 2020. Flexibility is a particularly powerful benefit — 42% of workers say they’d leave a job with a rigid schedule and an in-office-only policy — but it should be installed thoughtfully.
Employers have been amping up their game in feedback and performance review for a while now, too. Gone are the annual conversations in stuffy conference rooms. Those formal performance review sessions have faded away as managers seek to provide relaxed feedback on a more routine basis, addressing problems immediately rather than in distant meetings.