The last two years have been the tasting time for business and HR leaders. With changing demography of the workforce, dealing with tech-savvy and non-techies, keeping an eye on employees’ health and well-being, and having everyone on the same page are among the challenges that surfaced when Covid 19 rejigged the traditional work culture.
Thanks to technology and the quick action of HR managers across industries made the impossible possible. Technology turned out to be a saviour even for manufacturing units that follows traditional brick-and-mortar setup.
HR leaders Tarun Sinha; CEO BetterPlace (Enterprise Business), V Krishnan; CHRO, Havells India, Venkatesh Palabatla; Chief Advisor and Strategic HR leader, SimplyBiz, and Maninder Kapoor Puri; Global Chief People and Diversity Officer - Mastek Ltd collectively spoke on how pandemic accelerated adoption of technology and acceptance of the gig economy at recently conducted People Matters TechHR India 2022.
According to Tarun Sinha, employee engagement and well-being are two aspects that are critical to transforming the gig economy. And technology is the enabler through which organisations can leverage the there.
Technology to attract talents
Thanks to avid technology use, says Maninder Kapoor Puri getting the right talent for your organisation has become a quite essay affair. She also calls for an infusion of flexibility in the workplace, especially in the IT sector to attract gig workers.
According to the NITI Aayog report titled ‘India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy', the gig workforce is expected to reach 2.35 crore by 2029-30 from 77 lakh in 2020-21. The gig workforce has been divided into the platform and non-platform workers. Those whose work is based on online or software apps are called platform workers while others who work for a daily wage or part-time or full-time are called non-platform workers.
“Gig workers help companies to get their projects delivered on time but to get their talent on board it is a must for companies to work in sync with their timing and giving them the flexibility to choose time slot as per their convenience,” explains Puri. Adding that with the changing times, many organisations have also started considering having four-day work week culture. However, modalities of the shortened working week are yet to be finalised.
On the growing popularity of the gig economy, Sinha adds that freelancing, gig, the flexibility of work, get paid by the hour is no longer limited to a certain field. It is now permeating across industries.
The gig is not new
The gig economy or free market system is not new. It has been there in the form of consultants be it legal or financial, says Venkatesh Palabatla. “It has just evolved after Covid struck the world. The gig economy not only helps the workforce at the same time businesses are also getting benefitted as it offers continuity, productivity, and efficiency, the most important thing that organisations are looking for,” asserts Palabatla.
Responding to a question on the gig role in the HR domain, V Krishnan says that the world has completely changed and no sector is immune to the gig economy culture. “Ultimately it is the productivity that matters. Companies should be open to the talent they are looking for. They should not carry the dogma of the way everyone used to work in the pre-Covid era,” says Krishnan.