The Gig Economy Is Doomed, Long Live The Professional
(at least until robots take all of our jobs)
Everyday folk finally have a world of choice in where and when they work….well at least it seems. The Gig economy has certainly brought about a new employment freedom within the UK to this way of working, but with any new freedom it eventually moves to a new type of containment.
This is a heavily debated topic with the ongoing battles between operators within this economy, it is with certainty that regulation changes are sure to follow in 2018. The severity of which no one knows fully, but will include more protections for workers. Whilst there are many variables to consider, including exclusive working, the law will be changing to bring about change and protection to this particular workforce for sure.
Access 2 View is no stranger to using contractors to complete work on a national level for over five years now, however times are ‘a-changin’. Being on the forefront of many new innovations over the last few years we have seen many new entrants come to market and take what we have done and try to replicate it. However innovation never stops and hence the problem of trying to copy another always leaves you months, sometimes years, behind.
Around a year ago we decided that the future of our little corner of the property market would be to plan for a long term transition to an employed workforce, testing new methodologies along the way. Over this year Access 2 View has already committed to growing our employed field team. “Why do this?” you may ask, well simply because we want to offer our clients a better service and bring stability to the lives of those that work with us.
I have completed many jobs in the field personally to better understand the challenges that our workers face. Something that was truly revelatory in how it helped me better understand the business itself. From this and conversations with our workers, I realised that the job is tough at times and even more draining when they are working for several companies at a time…including my competitors (a sad reality, but currently necessary for the industry for now).
What I’ve seen being a director within the gig economy is that the ground never stands still and you must keep moving to improve what you offer to both the client and your workers. This has to be done intelligently and with innovation so that your costs do not rise beyond what your clients are willing to pay. If done with some clever thinking, and the extraction of ‘Fat’ elsewhere within the business, then it is achievable.
This year Access 2 View will be extending our employed workforce in the UK by up to seventy nationally. This will have a few important benefits to our team and clients.
Field Agent Benefits:
- Improved working conditions. Holidays, pensions and a wage comfortably higher than minimum wage.
- Extended training and support.
- Improved reliability and availability of services.
- Reduced cost of services per hour.
Using ‘Giggers’ within the professional sector of property has at times been challenging and surprising. Yes we have been stung a few times over the years by people that presented themselves in an amazing light only to be let down time and time again. However there have been times when I’ve been blown away by the professionalism of someone that we almost never took onboard.
To sum up, ‘Gig’ workers are as varied as any normal workforce but with smaller consequences for poor professionalism. But hasn’t that always been the case when working with a contractor?
As a Director I am personally challenged as to whether this sporadic performance is suited to a professional property market?
Personally, from what I have seen this past five years, I think not. But what do I know anyway? Within a decade we’ll all likely be swapped out of our jobs with robots and artificial intelligence in one way or another!
Jim is the Founder of Access 2 View, the UKs first national viewings company. Supplying the property market with viewings, inventories, concierge, admin support and marketing since 2012. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
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