Managing Workers in the Gig Economy
Most modern organizations are engaging with workers in the gig economy today. We spoke to Alex Jewett on how she manages independent contractors and her advice to other managers working with the gig economy.
Alex Jewett is the founder and CEO of the Right Left Agency. After working with in-house marketing teams and at a lead generation agency, she started to take projects on her own. Her freelance work grew to such an extent that she hired people from the gig economy. Eventually she rebranded her team as a marketing agency.
Her own time working in the gig economy led her to structure her agency in a way that provides the same amount of flexibility and comfort to her workers.
Let gig economy workers work at their own pace
“You’re not an employee of anyone and you can really work on your own schedule,” says Alex about being a gig worker. “That’s what I really loved about the work I was doing. That I didn’t have to sit at a desk from 9 AM to 5 PM. I could really spend my time where it was most valuable and structure things how I wanted. I love the freedom that came with it and we really built our agency to give all of our team members that same freedom.”
Not working in a corporate setting has its benefits. You can work when you want, and where you want. A lot of people have pursued travelling around the world while they do freelance work for an income.
Millennials value freedom in the gig economy
“I’m 25 years old and what I’m realizing is that my generation of people that are millennials really value freedom more than they do money or a job title. They want to be able to structure things on their time and have a life outside of work,” says Alex.
Millennials have grown up in an era where pretty much everything can be done from your computer. With that is the freedom to work how they want and when they want. They’d much rather take less money for a lifestyle that doesn’t keep them chained to a desk from 9 to 5. Respect that freedom and don’t put restrictions on when and where they should work.
Ditch the job descriptions
“A big realization for me was that the more freedom I gave my team on how to get to the end goal, the more effective we were actually at our work,” says Alex. “A lot of times, there were creative solutions that could achieve what I wanted or achieve even better than I could ever dream and wasn’t even looking at. The first step is to shift your mind-set from something that creates efficiency to something that oftentimes limits creativity.”
Your employees are the ones dealing with your customers on a daily basis. Because they are on the ground they have more insight on what works and what doesn’t. Giving them the flexibility to work how they want to, allows them be creative in finding new and innovative solutions. However not everybody can do this so you must hire a team that is self-motivated and inspired from the beginning. You can vet them in the interview process by asking them for solutions to tasks you deal with.