How the gig economy has made flexible working de rigueur

Employees these days are attracted by the agility that gig working offers - and are looking for it even in 'conventional' workplaces.

With the rise of the gig economy and the contingent workforce, employers that want to stand out and attract top talent will need to be prepared to offer agility and flexibility to employees.

This was one of the takeaways from a panel discussion about future perspectives on the “gig economy” during the 12th Annual Asia Employment Law Congress, which took place yesterday and today at the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre.

Laure de Panafieu, Partner, Head of Employment & Incentives, Asia Linklaters, pointed out that flexibility and independence are key features attracting people to the gig economy.  

“One of the things we’ve realised is that we have to think differently – to consider offer agile working, for a start,” she noted.

She shared that during a recent visit to Google, the tech giant shared the results of an employee survey that examined the reasons why employees stayed with the company. Pay was only number eight out of 10. Instead, what came up tops were things like authenticity of relationships, brand name, environment – and flexibility.

“[These are] all things that traditionally people didn’t use to come into work for. They used to come to get paid for doing a job, go home at the end of the day, and that was it,” said de Panafieu.

“But if you’re not one of the big players, and you want to keep and attract top talent, you really have to think about offering that agility,” she added.

This is especially because flexible working is no longer seen as a “female” issue that is primarily wanted by working mothers.

“What’s maybe lacking in Singapore is that employers aren’t willing yet – the trust is not quite there,” concluded de Panafieu.


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