By Shreya Chakravorty
Demand for freelancers or contractual workers is expected to increase further in 2021, as employers and corporates look to optimise costs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2020, we saw huge numbers of takers in gig space such as e-commerce hired three times due to the COVID pandemic. Otherwise, they used to hire only 50-60% or at the maximum at 100% but with the penetration into tier 2 and 3 towns and cities, it has increased,” said, Kaushik Banerjee, Vice President and Business Head of Teamlease.com and Freshersworld.com.
He also added, “India has now emerged as the fifth largest country in terms of gig or flexible staffing and they are only behind US, China, Brazil, and Japan. So, India has roughly around 3 million gig workers and we have grown from 1 million which was very off late”.
Now in 2021, most of the IT, ITES, digital, E-Commerce will look to hire more gig workers because with the help of them it is easy to finish work more quickly. While working with gig workers, companies need not to worry about PF, compliances, office space, etc.
“Gig economy was a relatively new concept till we were hit by COVID virus. Last year was an experimental year for both – the employers as well as for the Gig workers. Now with the opening up of the economy, the landscape has changed too,” said Alok Kumar, Senior Director, Manpower.
He also added, “pre COVID, the demand of gig workers was limited to Blue-collar jobs – App-based drivers, food delivery agents, etc. Now, the trends are changing fast and we are witnessing a sudden surge in demands for white-collar jobs too.”
The pandemic has also changed the thought process of how the gig economy would look like in 2021. The nature of work, timing, and expectations are more flexible, agile, and streamlined now. Companies are foreseeing more short-term projects, part-time jobs, seasonal demands, and consultancies.
Shreya is a trainee writer with TimesJobs