Future of Work: Gig Economy and Field Maintenance

In today's dynamic and inter-dependent world, traditional jobs are losing ground due to the rise of the gig economy. Modern blue and white collar workers now have the opportunity to choose to whom they will give their time, where will they work and under which conditions. 

Future of Work: Gig Economy and Field Maintenance

Companies are expected to adopt a flexible approach to the new employee ecosystem, which will enable the parties to perform their jobs more productively in collaboration with new technological solutions.

These smart, growing digital networks create new markets for independent maintenance workers, and today already account for a significant part of workforce staffing. The current marketplace is flooded with worldwide designers, marketers, and developer while new marketplaces are creating opportunities for enterprise-level buyers and blue-collar suppliers. All this change begs the question, why is the gig economy model so successful?

For starters, empowering independent workers brings greater job satisfaction and earnings for everyone. In 2016 McKinsey’s research found that up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States—or 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population—engage in some form of independent work.

The study has also shown that people who participate in independent work through digital platforms are more likely to do so by their choice, and that the digital platforms are the place where people more often to find a job that can bring them additional benefit and satisfaction, a crucial need for long-lasting business partners.

Additional research supports this notion with nearly eight in ten participants say they prefer being an independent con-tractor to being an employee.

The transition towards a gig economy is not a localized small phenoma. Earlier this year, The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 16.5 million Americans are working in “contingent” or “alternative work arrangements” with salaries similar to standard employees. Most of them are independent contractors, who on average are disproportionately in their mid-40s or older and common in sectors like construction.

But they are just one part of a big group of various professionals who choose to be part of the gig economy. A National Survey of the New Workforce conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk (now Upwork) identified the five types of freelancers: independent contractors, moonlighters (people with traditional full-time jobs who also do additional freelance work), diversified workers (people with multiple sources of in-come from a mix of traditional employers and freelance work), temporary workers, and freelance business owners.

This growing pool of maintenance workers is adapting to new economic models with the help of digitized and automated technological solutions: From live video, automated procurement via the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and smart applications; maintenance workers are more empowered and more capable than ever before. On-site field workers can now use geospatial information from GPS, voice and facial biometric security, and utilize wearables, changing the very nature of freelancing. Furthermore, contractors and suppliers use modern tools of governance such as geolocation tracking and real-time service level acceptance to assure quality and efficiency.

For employers and buyers this means minimizing employee training time while increasing work quality through more efficient governance and automated hand-off points. Both sides can build trust through review systems and transparent financial transaction.

Iva Danilovic, Work Researcher & Tech Content Creator

HSE | 24.10.2018

Latest articles

Wärtsilä software will enable a new Simulation Centre to meet needs of cruise, ferry and superyacht clients

The technology group Wärtsilä is to supply and configure the software solutions for a new, state-of-the-art, purpose built simulation centre.

R&D | 20.5.2019

Safe chemical storage is essential for safety, health and business prosperity

Many industries use and store dangerous chemicals, and the chemical waste produced. Storing these substances safely is essential to protect workers’ health, the environment, and the public from the effects of potential chemical spills and gas emissions. In this article the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health, EU-OSHA, gives tips on how to keep workers safe and healthy.

HSE | 16.5.2019

Safe and sustainable airport maintenance with tractors

Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are already a reality, but can the same idea be applied to a 7-ton machine clearing an airstrip from snow? Valtra and Nokian Tyres partnered up with three other Finnish companies for a joint proof-of-concept project at the European Union’s northernmost airport. 

Applications | 15.5.2019

Maintenance Performance and its Measurements

Maintenance performance can be difficult to measure.  But, measurements drive behavior and it is therefore important to think through what to measure.  The measurement should be designed in order to achieve the following:

Asset Management | 25.4.2019

Implementing RCM? 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you are considering to employ  RCM analysis  at your facility, it means you have recognized the need for a change in your maintenance strategies. Reliability-centered maintenance is an excellent way to keep your plant or machinery up and running by helping you choose the optimal maintenance strategy for all of your important assets. 

Cmms | 19.3.2019

Save Energy in Steam and Condensate Systems

The oldest paper mill still operating in Germany detects defective steam traps with digital ultrasonic testing technology

Partner Articles | 15.3.2019

Time to Invest in Europe’s Water Infrastructure

THE WATER AND SANITATION sector is an important part of the European economy. It represents more than 500,000 people directly employed in water and sewerage companies, operating thousands of facilities and several million kilometres of networks.

Editorial | 14.3.2019

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016