I wouldn’t be where I am today without temporary gig work. In fact, being a gig worker is what piqued my initial interest in Wonolo, an online job marketplace. At first, I used the platform to find temporary gigs. Now, as a customer success associate at Wonolo, I work with companies using the platform to connect with temporary workers.
And it’s my current role that has given me a clear view into what is going on in the talent landscape — and how the pandemic has shaped it. It’s also enabled me to talk with talent regarding what drives them to use platforms like ours and what they want going forward. Here is what I’ve learned.
Flexibility is big. It’s a huge wish made imperative by the pandemic for many people. On a personal level, using Wonolo to find work as a gig worker enabled me to create my own schedule and excel in other areas while navigating through my day-to-day with ease. And it’s not just me who seeks the benefits of gig work. For example, when schools closed, many parents signed up to use our platform because they needed the freedom to pick the jobs that fit their schedules. Then, workers became accustomed to using a simple mobile app to find work and make money.
Higher pay for a new way of working. Two years in, workers have been making it clear they do not want to go back to the old way of working. This is why the current labor shortages and record quit rates are not surprising to me. The new way of working goes beyond flexibility.
Pay is a factor, too. As an article in Brookings’ The Avenue recently noted, “Many workers have not wanted to subject themselves to difficult working conditions and potential safety risks for the low wages that these jobs have historically offered.”
Survey findings. We recently surveyed 3,000 workers who use our platform to learn more about their current sentiments toward work. We found that just 34% of respondents are satisfied with their current work situation, while almost 25% are either somewhat or fully dissatisfied. Thirty-two percent said they are looking for temporary/ additional work to supplement existing income. Meanwhile, higher wages (74%), flexibility (63%) and learning new skills (48%) were the top reasons given for leaving a current job or looking for more opportunities. And in terms of looking for a new job, on a scale from one (least important) to 10 (most important), on average, workers said they most value flexible hours (7.01), higher wages (6.92) and working conditions (5.22).
Platform power. Job marketplace platforms like Wonolo can help level the playing field when it comes to finding jobs. For example, workers who have worked many jobs may still lack aspects of experience that businesses traditionally look for. On the Wonolo platform, if a worker sees a job they are interested in, they can simply click the “accept” button and show up to the job. In addition, the Wonolo platform enables workers to showcase their skills and work experience to businesses through their own digital public profile.
Other opportunities. If a company has a full-time job opening, workers who have previously worked different temporary jobs with that company are in a prime position to apply and distinguish themselves from the competition given their familiarity with the personnel and operations of the business. This is good for businesses, too, as they can focus on the candidates that they have prior experiences with.
The story continues. Today, I continue to build relationships inside the gig economy. My career journey enables this calling to exercise my compassion for humanity alongside others — even as a gig worker. Eventually, what drove me to work for Wonolo is that shared vision. It is instilled within our company. I am constantly improving who I am and get to be surrounded by those who are on the same mission.
For those workers who desire to work on their own terms, consider your options. You have power to get what you want. The opportunity is there. How you access it is up to you.