The gig economy is an online marketplace in which organizations contract freelance workers for short term engagements. The word gig stands for a temporary job that lasts for a specified amount of time. These jobs range from online academic writing, transcription, data entry, taxi driving and provision of other services like electrical wiring. Not to be confused with a work from home plan, a gig worker is not an employee of the organization but rather an independent worker contracted to deliver a certain task within a given amount of time.
In Kenya, the following platforms offer these opportunities GetBoda, Ajiry, Air bnb, Uber, Lynk & Upwork. To join, one needs to create an account with the platform by registering using your phone number and/or email address. While in the process, make sure you read the company’s policy so that you are aware of what you are signing up for.
Well before you chose to ride on this roller coaster, it’s wise to know the pros and cons of this work arrangement.
In the gig economy, one has the freedom to choose gigs that suit their availability. Say if you are free from 3-6 pm on Monday, you can chose that specific time to do a certain task. You can also work from wherever you are, provided that you have the tools of trade.
You have the freedom to be your own boss in the sense that you simply chose what works best for you as compared to having a set of obligations stated on your job description.
AVAILABILITY OF GIGS
Generally, these sites are flooded with jobs, what sets you apart from others is your work score or ratings. The higher the rating, the more jobs you get.
LACK OF SOCIAL BENEFITS
Since a gig worker is not a permanent employee of an organization, they don’t enjoy basic benefits such as healthcare insurance, house allowances, paid leave etc. of a normal employee.
The employer employee relationship in the gig economy is not well marked out since there are very few laws in Kenya which protect a gig worker from exploitation. The gig worker has also no room for negotiating the prices, you either accept what is being offered or not.
Some sites just don’t pay on time despite timely submissions of completed work.
For those who haven’t tried this yet and are looking for ways to make that extra coin this is the best time. Currently, movement may be limited but there are other jobs such as online writing, transcription or typing that you can do, all you need is good internet access and a smartphone/computer.