Manage my business

The impact the gig economy has had on collaboration

Man and woman talking with each other while sitting at a table

The number of freelancer workers like me is growing exponentially. In fact, in a few short years 50% of workers will be “independents.” And that is a big jump from today.

It’s attractive because of the flexibility. Also, word is spreading that people are making more money freelancing: Freelance earnings were $1.4 trillion in 2017, up from $1.1 trillion the year prior. The newish term related to this is called “gig economy.” (I guess it stems from the word gig like a band books a musical gig.)

The gig economy has definitely had an impact on business. That includes technologies that companies are buying and using as well as collaboration methods.

Companies participating in the gig economy include Uber, Lyft, and, the company that connects freelance dog walkers to busy people whose dogs may be chewing up their owners’ sofas because they need to get out more.

The gig economy means that technology being used by companies needs to be more mobile and cloud based: that includes the collaboration tools.

It’s logical: a company that brings on new gig workers constantly needs to be able to scale up fast. Suppose a start-up participating in the gig economy, for example, one that connects party planners to those needing parties, needs to connect quickly with a whole bunch of independent event planners who are constantly on the move. They need a way to add a lot of workers fast.

Cloud-based collaboration tools would work the best because you can reach people through email distribution or a user list more quickly and cheaply. Cloud-based email means you do not have to buy a bunch of real estate/floor space for servers.

Here are the advantages of cloud and mobile based collaboration tools in the gig economy.

Mobile collaboration: A company’s workers aren’t working in the office. They are out and about. Obviously, solutions that are highly mobile are best.

And by mobile I don’t mean email and team rooms that work on a mobile device. I mean solutions that work while someone is traveling around. You can use any device but true mobility means your device works while you are out roaming around.

By the way, I set up my company website to be “mobile first.” It looks the best and loads fast on a smartphone screen.

Cloud Collaboration: Think about the huge money savings when it comes to cloud-based collaboration solutions. Cloud-based solutions, like web-based email, save you floor space due to decreased hardware footprint. Startups and large organizations, especially in expensive places like San Francisco, Chicago and New York City would especially benefit from not having to buy building space to house mail servers.

In summary, during this period of fast gig economy growth, cloud and mobile-based collaboration solutions are the way to go.

About the author

Michelle McIntyre

Blogger Michelle McIntyre, president of Michelle McIntyre Communications LLC, has worked, volunteered and thrived in the Silicon Valley tech community at small, medium and very large companies for more than 25 years. She has blogged for Huffington Post and was named VLAB Volunteer of the Year in 2017 and serves on the TEDxSanJoseCA Executive team. You can find her musings at @FromMichelle on Twitter.

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