The Gig economy is here. It goes by different names: The “collaborative economy”, “sharing economy” or even the “new work economy”. One thing we can agree on however is that it’s here to stay. Gig economy platforms continue to flourish driven by both technology and people’s desires for more flexibility in their work.
According to a 2016 Jobvite survey, close to 20% of the adult American population has held a gig-type job. And that number keeps on growing. The growth of Uber for example is testament to the burgeoning sharing economy and people’s willingness to adopt new ways of working and living.
As with any shift in the way we work, the sharing economy is still fraught with challenges. And we can’t turn a blind eye to that. Yet with the right kind of innovation, regulation and policy measures, the gig economy can mature to provide employment and decent income options to more people.
Let’s face it, the sharing economy is largely driven by independent contractors and freelancers. Most are seeking work flexibility and a way to earn extra income to supplement their salaries. Gig economy platforms just connect the freelancers/independent contractors to customers who need their services.
Here are the top ten gig economy platforms providing that connection.
Uber is by far one of the largest sharing economy platforms. It has become part of our daily lives since we all need some form of transportation. Uber makes it easy to earn extra cash with your personal vehicle. Simply sign up as a driver and start offering rides to folks who need them.
The best part; you get to choose and set your own driving schedule. Check out an in-depth look at Uber here, and also our must have accessories for Uber drivers to maximise your profits.
Lyft is also a ride-sharing gig economy platform seeking to outdo Uber. With claims of drivers making upto $35 an hour, Lyft is a worthy alternative for gig economy workers seeking to maximise their ride-sharing income.
And not just that, you get to keep your entire stash of tips not to mention any income you get from referring other drivers.
Not everyone wants to become a driver. Maybe you don’t have the time or the patience to put up with rowdy riders. This is where Turo comes in. It’s a platform that enables you to rent out your vehicle to a traveler and just watch the dough roll in.
Your car’s rental price is set automatically based on model, location, time of year and other data. You get to keep 65 – 85 percent of trip rental price based on the insurance protection you choose for your vehicle.
The company screens and vets travelers before they are accepted on the platform ensuring the safety of your vehicle.
Here’s an excellent guide on how Turo works.
Loosely stated, Airbnb is the Uber of property. It connects people with extra room/space in their homes with folks who need a place to stay. With just the app, you can rent out and manage any manner of free livable space you’ve got. Be it a cabin, a condo, an extra room or floor in your mansion, Airbnb will help you monetize that space.
You’ve had something delivered at one point in your life. Whether a package or just Chinese takeout. Yummy! With Postmates you get to deliver stuff. It can be anything from groceries to shopping and the best part, you can use any mode of transport to make the delivery. Yes, cars, bikes, scooters and even trucks are allowed…as long as you make the delivery on time.
Check out this excellent primer on everything you need to know about becoming a postmate.
Instacart is an on-demand delivery platform that connects deliverers with customers who want groceries delivered to their homes. Yes, you get to shop and deliver groceries to people’s homes and make a profit.
Let’s face it, most of us hate grocery shopping. I do. It’s tedious and time consuming yet absolutely necessary. Instacart makes it a breeze, here’s how it works.
Taskers on Taskrabbit perform a variety of tasks. On any day you could be doing a different thing. From painting houses, repairing leaking faucets to picking and delivering groceries to people’s home. It’s handyman’s paradise.
This gig economy platform goes to great lengths vetting taskers and helping them with the onboarding process to perform at their best and bring in the most income from their work.
The gig economy extends to the virtual space as well. Sometimes we need someone to help us tick off tasks on our work related to-do lists. On Freelancer you can offer your expertise on a variety of areas such as web design, freelance writing, book-keeping, internet marketing etc.
Clients post their jobs and freelancers bid on them. Whoever comes up with the best bid and is accepted by the client gets the job.
Upwork is one of the most popular gig economy platforms extending the collaborative economy into the virtual space. Upwork boasts of more than 6 million freelancers worldwide with more than 4 million clients making it one of the biggest freelancing platforms in the world.
Clients post jobs on which freelancers can apply to through writing proposals. The platform facilitates the whole process of connecting clients with freelancers and handling payments for a small cut.
According to site, freelancers can be hired for jobs on web, mobile, and software development, engineering and data science, creative services such as graphic design and writing, sales and marketing, customer service, virtual assistants, and accounting and consulting.
WeGoLook is a sharing economy platform that can dispatch from its over 20,000 ‘Lookers’ to verify claims made by sellers about assets for sale. Lookers act as the buyers eyes on the ground to see if a purchase they want to make is as advertised.
Think of it as an on-demand inspection, or custom tasking. Yes, you get paid to be someone else eyes!
To learn more about this side hustle, check out these excellent posts:
The gig economy makes 20 – 30% of the workforce in the US and Europe according to one Mckinsey report. That number is bound to grow. For gig workers the sharing economy provides flexibility, variety and a way to earn extra income. But it also lacks certain crucial safety nets.
For employers and businesses, the collaborative economy helps them reduce overhead and get the best qualified people to work on their projects.
Being a win-win situation for both employers and freelancers, the sharing economy is bound to grow as more gig economy platforms continue to provide the much needed innovation while authorities provide guidance and regulation to facilitate growth and shield both parties.