The gig economy, as an alternative to the classical employment system, has been a lifesaver for many, especially during the pandemic. It provides flexibility, diversity and the opportunity of setting your own hours and financial goals. Millions of people across the UK are part of this chain, whether as customers, workers, or investors.

According to askwonder.com, the gig economy workforce currently accounts for 4.4% of the UK’s working population and it’s expected to reach 75% in the next five years.

If you’re considering doing something different than the regular 9-5 workday, like becoming an Uber driver, delivering food or parcels, or just putting those landscaping skills up for sale, becoming a gig worker may be for you. Here are the most important things you need to know about the gig economy.

What is the gig economy?

Simply put, it’s a free market system where, instead of having a full-time job, people work as contractors or freelancers for various projects or tasks called “gigs”.

They are individual workers who perform different tasks based on a contract, for a set period of time. The jobs can be literally anything that fits a demand – from on-demand driving, food delivery, dog walking to house painting, fitness training or tutoring.

In the UK alone, the market size generated by gig workers in terms of value was £20 billion in 2019. It’s an increasingly popular way or working, no matter if it’s full-time or to supplement another income.

How does the gig economy work?

The gig economy is based on convenience – timewise, as well as financial convenience. It uses mobile apps and platforms to connect those offering a service to those demanding it and manage both communication and payment. There are tens of active platforms in the UK used for various services, like Uber, Uber Eats, Amazon Flex, Airbnb, and eBay, to name a few.

As you’d expect, one of the most popular gigs is on-demand driving. Even if you don’t have a car, you can subscribe to drive one and maximize your earnings on any of the several rideshare platforms available.

What are the pros and cons of the gig economy?

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to being a gig worker. The success of working in this alternative system depends on different factors that you need to consider.

Pros:

  • Flexibility: you make your own schedule and work whenever it suits you
  • Diversity: you can sign up to do more than one thing, which makes “workdays” more interesting because you get to do what you like
  • Control: you decide what kind of work you take on and you negotiate your pay
  • Potential for high income: since you can work as much as you want, when you want, you can also gain more than you’d normally get paid.

Consumers also get instant gratification, while those providing the services get paid on their own terms and are generally more satisfied than working traditional jobs – it’s a win-win.

Cons:

  • Lack of benefits: some companies don’t offer benefits to freelancers or contractors. This means you may not be entitled to a minimum wage, sick or annual leave, or even medical insurance.
  • Paying taxes: you still have to pay taxes for the money you make, so make sure to factor that into your budgeting. It’s a good idea to get yourself an accountant who can advise you on your particular circumstances. There are numerous accounts that specialise in assisting gig economy workers.
  • Inconsistent income: compared to a traditional full-time job, your pay depends on how much you work. Depending on what your gig is, you may have periods without work because of personal reasons or simply a decrease in demand.

Just like any form of income, if you’re prepared and well-researched, being a gig worker can be very rewarding and provide a better work-life balance than a traditional job.

How can Splend help?

We’re PCO car specialists and we can help you start earning even if you don’t have a car. We have our own PCO car fleet and compared to car finance, we’ll help you get started with a rideshare-ready car on flexible car subscription plans, with dedicated support all the way.

Ridesharing isn’t your thing? We don’t mind. You can use your car for gigs on other platforms, and make the best of your time and skills. Whatever your goals, our plans offer flexible options for those who want to take charge of their careers. We’re not about cars, we’re about people.

The easy way to get kickstart your career

Check out our Flexi or Flexi own plans

 

About Splend

Splend is more than a set of wheels. We’ll help steer your career.

In addition to providing you with the most important tool in your career as a rideshare driver, we also offer ongoing training, support, and data-driven feedback via your personal Member Success Representative. You also enjoy a growing array of member benefits including discounts from our partners.

For more information about Splend, drop by our Member Support Centre at 393 Edgware Road Cricklewood, London,  email us, or say hello on 0333 016 4331