Thriving in the Gig Economy
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In a gig economy, digital platforms are used to match independent contractors with clients for short contract work stints and payment-by-task basis. Examples of such work include delivery services, freelance design/ writing/ coding/ administrative work, and providing household cleaning and baby-sitting services. Employment on the gig-economy platform currently comprises less than three percent of the global employment market share but it is a fast-developing sector. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the global gig-economy is projected to grow by 17 percent yearly to reach US$455 billion by 2023. Flexibility, independence and the opportunity to earn a supplemental income are the common reasons which attract people to the gig economy, although some take on such jobs as they are unable to find full-time employment.
This resource guide lists some resources on working in the gig economy which are available in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and on the Internet. Readers with an interest in this subject are recommended to search the NLB catalogue for more resources. Academic journal and research articles can be found from NLB’s subscribed databases, which are accessible via NLB’s eresources website.
Books and journal articles can be sourced by using these search terms:
|Gig economy; flexible work arrangements
||331.0973; 650.1; 658.3123
|Independent contractors; precarious employment; temporary employment
|Freelancing; self-employed; home-based business
||The gig economy
The landscape of the gig economy is explained in this book, along with the risks and opportunities that this type of work offers. Included are also case studies from the UK, Europe and the US.
All rights reserved, Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2019
Alex De Ruyter and Martyn Brown, The gig economy. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2019
(Call no. RBUS 331.7 RUY)
||Conflict and shifting boundaries in the gig economy: An interdisciplinary analysis
Examines the complex, multifaceted nature of the gig economy, gig workers who are in a constant state of flux and how the power balance between client, platform and worker has disrupted traditional worker and employee relations and shifted the boundaries in the professional and working landscapes.
All rights reserved, Bingley, UK : Emerald Publishing, 2020
Rebecca Page-Tickell and Elaine Yerby, eds., Conflict and shifting boundaries in the gig economy: An interdisciplinary analysis. Bingley, UK : Emerald Publishing, 2020
(Call no. RBUS 331.2572 CON)
||The digital transformation of labor: Automation, the gig economy and welfare
Investigates the impact of digitalisation on the labour market, the creation of jobs and workforce welfare. Several chapters focus on the digital disruption to gig workers and the global gig economy.
All rights reserved, New York: Routledge, 2020
Anthony Larsson and Robin Teigland, eds., The digital transformation of labor: Automation, the gig economy and welfare. New York: Routledge, 2020
(Call no. RBUS 331.11 DIG)
||New ways of working: Organizations and organizing in the digital age
Articles from international scholars in this book focus on the impact of the digital age on the nature of work and organisations. Issues examined include the gig economy, social media as a new workspace, collaborative spaces and telework.
All rights reserved, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021
Nathalie Mitev, Jeremy Aroles, Kathleen A. Stephenson, Julien Malaurent, eds., New ways of working: Organizations and organizing in the digital age. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021
(Call no. RBUS 658.1 NEW)
Ebooks & E-Audio Books
(myLibraryID is required to access the ebooks from NLB Overdrive)
||Secrets for thriving in the gig zone
The arrival of the gig economy, fueled by digitalisation, remote working and transaction platforms, has disrupted traditional modes of work. Drawing upon his own experiences and real-life examples from others in the industry, the author offers practical advice for navigating the volatile gig landscape.
All rights reserved, California, USA: Hay House, 2021
Ketaki Karnik, Secrets for thriving in the gig zone. California, USA: Hay House, 2021)
||Temp: The real story of what happened to your salary, benefits and job security
The author, a Cornell University economic history professor, reveals the surprising origins of the gig economy and attributes its emergence to the deliberate decisions made by top businessmen during the 1950s and 60s. The growth of temporary labour after post-World War Two is detailed in the author’s re-telling of the evolution of work and suggestions are also made for how the flexible workforce trend can be sustainable in today’s business environment.
All rights reserved, New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2018
Louis Hyman, Temp: The real story of what happened to your salary, benefits and job security. New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2018)
||The gig economy: A critical introduction
The authors unravel the origins of the gig economy, its inner workings and the implications for those who work in this industry. The authors propose four strategies which are aimed at creating a more equitable platform economy which benefits everyone.
All rights reserved, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2020
Jamie Woodcock and Mark Graham, The gig economy: A critical introduction. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2020)
||The six-figure freelancer: Your roadmap to success in the gig economy
This practical guide offers a structured approach to help freelancers grow their business successfully. The author shares her own experiences and those of nineteen other freelancers and offers advice in many areas such as ways to reach out to high-value buyers, tips on structuring a money-generating workday and potential obstacles to avoid.
All rights reserved, Irvine, California: Entrepreneur Press, 2020
Laura Briggs, The six-figure freelancer: Your roadmap to success in the gig economy. Irvine, California: Entrepreneur Press, 2020)
||Ultimate gig: Flexibility, freedom, rewards
Gain valuable insights into how the gig economy has re-defined the way that work can be done. The 12 chapters of this book cover a variety of must-read topics, such as how technology is shaping gigs, the benefits and pitfalls of gig working and features stories from gig companies and workers who have made their mark in this industry.
All rights reserved, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021
John T. Fleming and Lauren Lawley Head, Ultimate gig: Flexibility, freedom, rewards. UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021)
Gig economy platforms: Boon or bane?
Schwellnus, Cyrille, Geva, Assaf, Pak, Mathilde and Veiel, Rafael. (2019, May 15). “Gig economy platforms: Boon or bane?”. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/gig-economy-platforms-boon-or-bane_fdb0570b-enf
Gig economy platform employment comprises less than three percent of overall employment, with the growth primarily fueled by the service industries. To protect consumers and workers, the paper recommends that product market regulation, competition, tax and labour market policies which traditional employment is subjected to, also be applied to the gig economy platforms.
The gig economy
IZA World of Labor. (2020, Janurary). “The gig economy”. https://wol.iza.org/uploads/articles/523/pdfs/the-gig-economy.pdf
The rise of the gig economy has been plainly visible in recent years, particularly with the creation of digital platforms and apps. Gig work offers an alternative job opportunity for workers during economic downturns and it is seen as a precursor for retirement. While gig workers enjoy the flexibility of their work stints, they face fluctuations in income, worry over when the next gig might be and are also not entitled to worker protection policies which are accorded traditional work.
The state of gig work in 2021
Anderson, Monica, McClain, Colleen,Faverio, Michelle and Gelles-Watnick, Risa. (2021, December 8). “The state of gig work in 2021”. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/12/08/the-state-of-gig-work-in-2021/
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in August 2021 found that 16 percent of Americans have earned a salary from online gig platforms. The work performed comprised of making deliveries, running errands, shopping or delivering groceries and working as a private hire driver. Among current or recent gig workers, around 30 percent reveal that this type of work has been their main source of income over the past year.
Videos & Podcasts
The future is freelancing
Briggs, Laura. (2019, April 13). “The future is freelancing”. https://youtu.be/BGY8vO3KRTk
A former school teacher in the USA, Briggs shares her experience of leaving the education industry to become a freelance writer. She also shares that the landscape of traditional work has evolved and how the desire for flexible work is driving the changes in the global workforce.
Freelance Creative Exchange
Freelance Creative Exchange. “A podcast for freelancers by freelancers”. Accessed March 2, 2022. https://www.freelancecreativeexchange.com/
Hosted by CreativesAtWork co-founders, listen to the 30 to 40-minute podcasts or watch Youtube episodes featuring creative professionals who share their personal experiences with freelancing and their candid opinions on the gig economy landscape in Singapore and overseas.
The Singapore gig economy
SGExplained. (2020, June 3). “The Singapore gig economy”. https://podtail.com/en/podcast/sg-explained/the-singapore-gig-economy/
In this 50-minute podcast, Audrey Lim, a Singaporean, shares her experiences of being a freelancer in the entertainment industry. She also shares her observations about the current state of the gig economy in Singapore, the profile of the ‘own-account worker’ and suggests some policy tweaks which would help the gig economy to bloom.
This resource guide was prepared in April 2022 by Sharon Teng, Librarian at the National Library, Singapore. The information in this resource guide is valid as of April 2022 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2022.