Happy working in the Gig Economy? Depends whether it's a choice or forced

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The gig economy is growing at exceptional speed, with the casual workforce now representing a fifth of Australia’s workforce. We're delighted to partner with Care Support Network to produce The Australia Casual Workforce Report, which shows satisfaction with work is the highest for workers who can choose their employment status, the hours they work and their clients.


More than half (57%) of casual or contract workers choose to work this way, and it isn’t just for the emerging generations either. Baby Boomers (63%) are the most likely to choose to be a casual or contract worker, more-so than Gen Y (50%) or Gen X (52%).

We often think that it is the technology-savvy younger generation driving the gig economy. But this research shows that the older Generation X and Baby Boomers are the most likely to choose the flexibility offered by the gig-economy. It not only allows them to choose their hours, but they can choose the work times that will best suit, but also increase or decrease their workload depending on their financial needs. – Mark McCrindle.


Of the 1,007 Australian casual and contract workers surveyed, work-life balance was the biggest driver of those who work casually, with 87% considering it to be extremely or very important to them.

The report also shows that most workers employed in a casual or contract role are choosing this option for their own lifestyle, rather than being forced into it by their employer. Almost three in five casual workers choose such a work arrangement because of the flexibility it affords them.

Those who have control over their work-life balance have a 90% satisfaction rate, while those without control over this only have a 26% satisfaction rate.


Choosing who people work with also has a correlation with job satisfaction. Those who have control over it have an 85% satisfaction rate compared to 39% for those who don’t have control over this.

43% of respondents said they do not have control over who they provide services to and 56% have no control over their pay or the fees charged for their services.


Care Support Network Co-Founder and CEO Rob Evers said it isn’t surprising that healthcare, community and social assistance workers are most likely to choose to work casually because of the flexibility it affords.

“Healthcare workers choose to work casually as they generally have multiple jobs across several providers in order to increase their weekly earnings. But the rise of the sharing economy, particularly in the home care sector, now allows casual and contract workers control over who they work for, when they work and even their own hourly rate,” said Rob.

Care workers have an even greater desire for control and satisfaction, with 24% of respondents saying they experienced anxiety around unfamiliar clients and different environments in the last month, as opposed to 14% of casual workers in other industries.


Australians who choose to work casually have their ideal hours per week at 22.9 hours, which equates to three days per week. Further, the amount people work is also linked with satisfaction, where those who control how much they work are three times more likely to be satisfied.

Research findings from The Australia’s Casual Workforce Report by Care Support Network and McCrindle.

Click here to download the full infographic

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