Gig economy companies come in all shapes and sizes. From ride hailing and food delivery to one-off professional services from highly skilled freelance talent, the Gig economy continues to flourish, year on year.
Join us as we celebrate 7 examples from 7 different industries that have contributed to the rise of the Gig economy!
This article is part of our guide on Gig economy.
One of the great things about the Gig economy is that businesses can be created out of almost any task, no matter where it falls on the spectrum from low-skilled to niche expertise. Home services is one area where you can find Gig economy workers on both sides of the coin. For example, highly professional services like landscaping and design can be outsourced to Gig workers, who can bid on your project against others with the skills and background to compete.
On the other side of the scale, SudShare is a business invented by a son who didn’t want to help with the laundry! SudShare connects Gig workers to individuals and businesses who need support washing, drying and folding laundry, and can offers pick ups and drop offs in over 400 American cities.
Legal support: Rocket Lawyer
Once upon a time, legal services and the Gig economy would never be declared in the same sentence. But today, professionals at the top of their game are able to work for themselves or supplement their day jobs by taking on Gigs in their area of expertise.
Rocket Lawyer’s Attorney Services are a great example of exactly this process. The company offers the opportunity to get fast legal advice in a wide range of legal areas, including business and contracts, or finance and real-estate law. Customers are connected to lawyers by phone, email or live chat, and can guarantee answers to their queries within just one business day. The benefit for the attorneys is laid out by Rocket Lawyer themselves, who market the process as allowing lawyers to “practice more, and prospect less.”
This is an example of how a freelance marketplace is essential in supporting Gig workers in finding the customers that they need. While the supply of individuals who need legal advice will never dry up, Rocket Lawyer becomes the essential intermediary which helps that supply find its demand.
Ride-sharing apps are nothing new, but over in the United Kingdom, one smart Gig economy business is supporting individuals in making a business out of assets that are sitting unused – their parking spaces and driveways. YourParkingSpace connects drivers with more than 350,000 open parking spots across the UK, including parking lots owned by businesses, and residential or privately owned spaces. Individuals can make money from their unused parking spaces, and businesses can add revenues by leasing out car parking spots that are not in use. This is even more relevant considering remote working norms, where today so many fewer employees need to commute to the office.
Ride-sharing and parking support apps are doubly impressive as they encourage the Gig economy at the same time as boosting positive environmental impact. In the case of YourParkingSpace, the company reduces unnecessary driving around to look for parking, and also goes out of its way to partner with Trees of the Future to plant trees for the number of regular bookings made on the platform.
Caregiving: Urban Sitter
Once upon a time, asking a stranger from the internet to come and watch your child would have been unheard of, but today – the Gig economy is making it standard practice. By connecting those in need of care with caregivers, those in need can quickly find support for looking after children, the elderly, pets and more.
Urban Sitter is a San Francisco based Gig economy platform that includes added services such as tutoring or homework help, and light housework duties, too. The review system means that people can browse through profiles and see what other customer experiences have been with that Gig worker before they decide whether to book their own arrangement. You can even access references from your own friends and contacts. The website also encourages caregivers to upload photos and videos to their profiles for added peace of mind when booking.
Digital Freelance Services: Fiverr
Most commonly thought of when you say “Gig economy”, professional freelancer platforms have created a whole industry of digital nomads. These are workers who are highly trained, and have deep knowledge or expertise in their industry, and have chosen to move to a freelance model for lifestyle reasons or because they recognize the financial and professional potential of the shift.
There are a number of different freelance marketplaces that you can use to find talent, but Fiverr has some of the most diverse listings available anywhere. This means that businesses can easily find more common jobs such as content writers or web designers, but are also only a couple of clicks away from niche programming developers, NFT designers, or consultants for employee education.
Food Delivery: The Food Assembly
One benefit of the Gig economy is the ability to narrow down what you’re looking for by the kind of freelance marketplace you utilize. While there are tons of food delivery services that use Gig workers for pick ups and deliveries – we love how French company, The Food Assembly connects their customers to niche growers, chefs and farmers, providing access to fresh produce and supporting local farms and foodmakers.
Unlike in restaurants and grocery stores, the producer can choose their own price for their food, and buyers know that they are contributing to reducing the time from field to fork. As autonomy over payment structure is one of the top reasons why Gig workers enjoy working for themselves via Gigs instead of full-time or part-time roles in an employer relationship, you can see why The Food Assembly has a good thing going. (Or should that be growing?)
Another one of the top reasons why freelancers choose to leave the traditional 9-5 is flexibility. Gig economy workers want to know that they can be on when they want to, and then take time off according to their own schedule. Some might work better in short bursts, while others prefer to socialize, see family and commit to hobbies during the day and then work into the later hours of the evening and night.
Chegg is a great example of an educational platform where Gig workers can be connected to those in need of tutoring, and work in exactly the way they choose – tutors can even opt for 15 minute sessions! Gig workers can log on and answer real-time questions when they get a free few minutes, or sign up to regular weekly sessions if they prefer more stability and commitment.
There are many more examples where gig economy companies are disturbing industries and it will only continue as the freelance revolution moves forward and freelancers will look for an effective go-to-market channel.