The gig economy has changed the world of work extensively.
Fewer people these days work full-time for one employer, going into the same office every day, doing the same job with the same colleagues and drawing the same salary every month.
Freelancers – the old-fashioned name for gig workers – have chosen this approach to work for one of several reasons; whether it's a need to live out their passions for payment so they can take photos, and design websites and bake beautiful birthday cakes all in a day's work, or they don't like corporate culture or want a work-life balance that's hard to find through permanent employment, or economics dictate that they either can't find full-time work, or need more income than just one job offers, or simply they want to be their own boss.
In South Africa, it is estimated that 50% of full-time workers are, in fact, freelancers. A 2019 report by the Southern African Freelancers' Association (SAFREA) revealed that 40% of respondents had only been gigging for the last five years, a testament to the growth of this 'sector' locally.
Whatever their reason, giggers get to choose how they spend their days. They decide which clients they work for and which projects they work on. They work when and where they want, whether that’s midnight on Sunday to meet a high-paying deadline, or for four hours every morning so that they can spend the rest of the day surfing. Working from home means they can go to work in their pyjamas if that’s what they want to do.