Is your job positioned to go gig? Historically, the gig economy for knowledge workers (like engineers, consultants, and management executives) has never really taken off. This is largely because organizational and cultural norms have gotten in the way — most firms still prefer full-time hires for these positions. But this may be about to change.
The pandemic has forced companies from all sectors to get used to remote working — and whether a remote worker is full-time or gig-based is often simply a matter of contractual documentation.
Researchers have found the chart shown above to be extremely useful in figuring out which kinds of tasks are amenable to gigification. It involves asking these three basic questions about each knowledge-intensive task involved in delivering a product or service.
Is the task codifiable? Codifiable tasks are definitely contractable to gig workers and the organizational processes that involve such types of tasks are usually easy to reengineer.
Is there a delay between value creation and value consumption? In some tasks, value creation and consumption need to be simultaneous, such as when a physician conducts a patient’s physical exam. If such a task is customer facing, it is a big risk to “gigify” it.
Can the task be done remotely? Today, more industries have been forced to reengineer their work processes and bolster their technology support systems, which have been the traditional barriers to alternate work arrangements. — Adapted from “Will the Pandemic Push Knowledge Work into the Gig Economy?” by Sameer Hasija et al