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Why the gig economy (and earning money online) is booming

A man assembles a chair in a workshop as part of the gig economy, where earning money online for selling goods and taking surveys is booming.

The gig economy shows no signs of slowing down – but is it good or bad? Here’s why casual workers, and earning money online, is on the up.

According to online surveys in the UK, 1.3 million Brits are employed in the gig economy, and around 15% of workers come under the casual/contractor/freelance umbrella. Some choose this work due to the flexibility, and benefit from supply and demand, whereas others might be trapped in this new way of working as they cannot find a permanent job. Here are some quick pros and cons to the gig economy, and how you can make it work for you.

Surveys reveal the benefits of the gig economy

For some, the gig economy works for them. Perhaps parents with school age or young children, students who want to make money in their spare time, or permanent employees who want to earn extra cash.

Jenny*, 32, explains why the gig economy suits her: “I have a toddler and I work nights as a carer. It means I save on childcare costs, and I can see my boy in the daytime. I like picking and choosing the shifts I do – when I want some time off I just tell them I can’t work, and when I want some extra money for a holiday or something, I ask for extra shifts. A permenent shift pattern just wouldn’t be as good for me, and I also don’t want the office politics!”

Opinion polls suggest the gig economy can cause suffering

According to recent survey reports, some gig economy workers earn as little as £2.50 per hour. They cannot all choose their hours, and they have little control over the work they are given. The employers effectively control them, but they don’t receive the benefits that employees get – such as sick pay, a pension or holiday pay. There is very little job security, and it can be highly unpredictable – not easy when you have a mortgage and bills to pay.

To tackle these issues, a report was published requesting that gig workers receive more protection and benefits in the future. Whether or not this will change is yet to be seen, but it’s clear that something has to happen – the gig economy is booming and shows no sign of slowing down.

So, how can you get the best out of the gig economy as a worker? From delivery driving, to survey taking, earning money online and being a taxi driver, there ARE ways to make extra money in your spare time.

If you are someone who would like to earn extra money in your spare time, joining the gig economy could be the answer. Why not look online for newspaper or leaflet delivery jobs which can be done in your own time? You could also consider driving for leading cab companies, or even delivering takeaways – why not ask in your local restaurant, pizza shop or takeaway? Others direct sell beauty and jewellery products, make money online through influencing social media, and some moonlight in a second job: such as dance instruction, dog walking, face painting, music tuition or even lampshade making. If you have a special skill or interest, chances are there is a market to either do what you love on behalf of someone else, or teach it to others. Check out our blog about earning extra money online.

Another great way to earn money online is by taking surveys for cash. This is a secure and safe way to make extra money in a truly flexible way. There is no commitment, no cost associated in joining and paid surveys come in all shapes and sizes. A reputable company, such as Opinion Outpost UK, OpinionWorld or QuickThoughts will allow you to have your say in surveys for cash, and reward you in the way that you choose. What’s more, you can pick and choose your own hours, and anyone can join who lives in the UK – whether your’re employed, unemployed, a student or a gig worker yourself - as long as you’re over 18 and have an email address you can sign up!

What do you think of the so-called gig economy? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Do you think workers should get more protection, or should they be free to pick and choose? Join the discussion on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to take paid surveys and earn money online with surveys for cash at Opinion Outpost UK.

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