Freelance Prediction

Google Just Predicted the Future of the Gig Economy

Freelance News Freelance Tips

Earlier this week, Google announced that partnering staffing companies will now be required to pay contract workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour and provide health benefits. This is great news for the thousands of freelancers who have dedicated their careers to the tech giant and fought for equal treatment, but this isn’t the only business who is guilty of taking advantage of “giggers” as cheap labor. The future just got a little brighter for freelancers around the world. The 36% of the U.S. population who freelances at least part-time have been willing to sacrifice the security of employment for the empowerment and flexibility of being their own boss. But, they pay a price. If expenses like health insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off are not covered by an employer, professionals often have to do without, or accrue intense financial burden in order to pay for them out of pocket. Robert McGuire, publisher of Nation 1099 , laments, “The fundamental issue is that almost everything in our lives is oriented around W-2 employment. That includes insurance, taxes, retirement plans, how software licenses are sold by the full-time employee seat, etc. . . . The ecosystem needs to catch up with this new way of working.” And that is exactly what we are witnessing: one of the most influential brands in the world “catching up” by recognizing the validity and equality of contract work. If this bold move by Google is a predictor of future support for contractors, we are likely to see exciting empowerment of the freelancing workforce in more ways than just health benefit plans. Because, let’s face it, insurance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sacrifices of independents. Many other elements of their careers, both financially and not, are also affected, such as: Career Development: Without regular performance reviews, corporate mentor programs, promotion models, equality policies and an in-house learning and development department, the professional growth of a freelancer can be dangerously neglected or too subjective on the preferences and experience of the individual. Recognition: As McGuire mentioned, businesses are typically measured only on number of employees, which leaves team members that are contributing Community: Some contractors’ clients allow them to work on-site, but many work off-site, or are not fully integrated into a team. This structure puts professionals at risk for social and informational isolation , which hinders success in their role. Credibility: Society as a whole struggles to accept the stability and earning potential of freelancing, which limits workers’ ability to qualify for resources, like mortgages, unemployment support or life insurance. While Google has the privilege to be a pioneer in initiatives like this, not every company has the resources or influence to inspire global change. Most businesses are still subject to participation in the “race to the bottom” and discriminatory policies, whether they intend to or not. So, what does the path look like between now and true worker equality? “What we really need is change […]

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