Yesterday, the New York Times ran a piece by me and Dani Blum called “The Gig Economy Offers Parents Options and Obstacles.” We write about several parents who drive for GrubHub, Uber, et al, and how these gigs fit in their lives.
The key upside, as Sara Sutton of FlexJobs told us, is that the gig economy allows people to turn time into money, flexibly, and without long-term commitments. Entrepreneurs have always had some control over their schedules, but coming up with a money-making business idea takes time. (I’d note, as a self-employed writer/speaker/podcaster that building up enough of a reputation to make money takes a lot of time too!) Gigs let you make money on your own schedule without you having to come up with something genius, and without you having to build your personal brand. As she notes, this is a chronic need in the labor market, and gigs fill it.
Of course, you might not make too much money. We write about some of the downsides — unpaid waiting time, uncertain income, etc. These downsides are behind some of the recent attempts to regulate the gig economy.
Anyway, please give it a read! And if you are a frequent customer or worker of the gig economy, I’d love to hear about it too. We’ve just started using Instacart, which I have found fascinating.