The Future of Work: 3 Ways Mobile Technology is Disrupting the Gig Economy
As Bill Gates once said, we’re changing the world with technology.
Mobile technology specifically is not only changing the way we communicate with each other, but also the way we work. Today, it is estimated that over 5 billion people own mobile devices, including smartphones in order to communicate and work.
The impact of technology on freelancers
In October, online freelancing platform Upwork conducted a study “Freelancing in America” revealing that there are an estimated 56.7 million American freelancers, a major increase of 3.7 million since 2014. In addition, the study found that technology is making it easier to find work as 64% of freelancers found work online, a 22% increase since 2014.
The increasing number of digital nomads is not only happening in the US but surprisingly enough in Japan too! One of Japan’s leading online talent marketplaces Lancers saw a 23% increase in the number of freelancers from 2015 to 2018. We at Payoneer recently launched our Q2 Freelancer report which covers the constant change of the global gig economy, why US professionals are drawn to this industry and the many reasons certain regions are seeing freelance growth.
For freelancers who are located in underdeveloped countries, technology has enabled them to connect to the global marketplace, breaking down barriers between nations and allowing freelancers in all countries to receive the same opportunity when applying for a job via a global platform. Last year, The World Bank released its annual World Development Report which focused on the changing nature of work, found that technology is interrupting production processes by expanding global value chains and changing the geography of jobs. Finally, technology is giving rise to the gig economy and is changing the way companies and customers connect.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways mobile technology specifically is disrupting the gig economy…
- More job opportunities
Entrepreneur on the go? With mobile apps, freelancers can stay connected with the latest job listings, no matter where you are, or what you’re doing. Mobile apps allow freelancers to stay on top of projects with push notifications, find new gigs with enhanced search capabilities and more.
Online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, have made it easier for freelancers to find jobs. Earlier this year, Upwork launched a new Android app for both freelancers and agencies. The new app allows you to conveniently run your freelance business from anywhere as well as receive notifications for the things that are most relevant. Whether you are searching for jobs, sharing files or viewing projects, this new app lets you take your business with you anywhere.
- Getting paid is easier
Receiving payments regularly and quickly are essential to any thriving business and as a freelancer, you want to make sure that you get what you earned when you expect it. Accepting payments through mobile devices is rapidly becoming one of the most preferred types of payments. For a freelancer who sits in Ukraine and creates designs for a company in the US, getting paid for their work can at times, be frustrating.
However, with digital payment platforms through mobile apps such as Payoneer, freelancers can get paid by companies and marketplaces worldwide quickly and securely, to a single account. With Payoneer’s cross-border payment platform, you can make it easier for your clients to pay you in multiple currencies as if they’re making a local bank transfer. Also, you can manage your payment requests, send invoices, and choose from multiple ways to access your funds.
- Work from anywhere
Mobile technology is giving us options and we no longer need to be tied to a desk from 9 to 5 to be productive. In fact, 51% of freelancers say that no amount of money would convince them to take on a traditional job. With the Instagram society we live in, more and more entrepreneurs are aspiring to travel and make a living while on the move.
Social networking apps like Slack, Skype, and Calendly all help freelancers keep up to speed with projects, clients and what’s going on in the world. With these apps, freelancers can communicate with clients around the globe, in real-time, bringing down borders.
“Do you have WiFi?” is no longer a necessary question for digital nomads as you don’t have to be connected to a wireless network in order to work. Setting up a data plan on your phone will do just as well. Mobile technology is giving freelancers the ability to gain more access while fueling competition within the gig economy.
We’ve learned that mobile technology not only provides freelancers with endless flexibility but also with opportunities to grow their business and connect with new clients, worldwide. Mobile and freelancers are inseparable and as technology continues to advance, more and more workers are seeking to make a living from home, on the road or up in the sky.
Today, you’re either asleep or connected!