Covid-19 has forever changed how we do business. It changed our relationship with work and how we operate our businesses. As the distance grew between us, building a network that could provide fruitful collaborations became more crucial.  

What the pandemic also did was feed the gig economy with so much demand that it quickly ballooned. According to the UK government, “The gig economy involves the exchange of labour for money between individuals or companies via digital platforms that actively facilitate matching between providers and customers, on a short-term and payment-by-task basis.” 

As businesses were forced to reallocate resources, downsize, and redeploy employees, many jobs became obsolete. People who were let off began freelancing on gig platforms such as food delivery and freelancing apps like Grab, Fiver and Upwork. Others who were unemployed have also jumped on the trend of utilising their skills on a freelance basis. 

On the flip side, businesses were finding it more efficient to outsource work to freelancers in order to optimise lower budgets while increasing productivity. This made it important for everyone to build a contact sphere that could foster collaboration. 

Before we dive into how networking evolved since the pandemic, we first have to understand how the gig economy evolved

 

3 Key Ways the Gig Economy Changed Through the Pandemic

 

1. More types of jobs took to the gig economy

Through the pandemic, highly-skilled people began offering services as freelancers. Programmers and developers began working remotely, virtual assistant positions were being filled quickly, and content creators jumped on the bandwagon to help promote products and services.

For example, outsourcing content creation to freelancers or influencers has become one of the most popular ways for businesses to take the pressure off creating content in-house, while also reducing the amount they would usually spend on advertising.

2. Larger pools of talent provided more opportunities for businesses

In the gig economy, everyone works remotely. It doesn’t really matter where you live because telecommuting is how you get things done. What this means is that business owners and HR departments no longer have to limit themselves to hiring people who live nearby. 

In fact, it is now common to hire talents from other countries on a freelance basis, especially if their services are significantly cheaper. More importantly, highly-skilled freelancers are now more accessible to businesses, no matter where in the world they live.  

3. Hiring freelancers increased efficiency and productivity 

Many businesses found that productivity had increased when they started hiring freelancers. When you outsource to a freelancer, you are literally leaving things to an expert and not relying on someone who may need to be trained or who is inexperienced. Moreover, freelancers tend to complete tasks quickly and efficiently so that they get paid quicker. This increases productivity for businesses. 

Ultimately, hiring experts frees up your headspace and allows your employees to focus on their strengths. 

 

Networking Since the Pandemic (How has networking evolved?)

As the gig economy continues to disrupt the way we do business, it has become more important for executives to build a network that they can tap on to grow their businesses. As most networking activities have gone online, it is also easier to connect with experts all over the globe. This, in turn, is paving a growth path for businesses and service providers to collaborate and grow together. 

EGN’s Managing Director, Nick Jonnson says, “In these uncertain times, building a network is like mining for gold – enriching yourself and others!”

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