My partner works for a global IT company. He sits at a desk eight hours or more each day for five days of the week. He calls me precious—and not in an endearing or sexual sense (thank god)—but because I work three days for one company and the other two days I’m self-employed (read: I work when I feel like it).
‘Precious,’ ‘self-entitled,’ ‘lazy’…call it what you will (we’re Generation Y and we’ve heard it all). But the truth is, I think it’s healthy and smart, and according to Airtasker’s recent Future of Work study, most people are starting to agree.
The study found that ‘flexibility to choose hours’ was the most important factor for workers in a job (even above pay). It also showed that 72% of Australians agree that the traditional employment model of the nine to five office job is inflexible for workers, currently and into the future.
“Digital innovation and the sharing economy movement has transformed traditional means of earning, disrupting the Australian job market to pave way for a more flexible working landscape,” says Tim Fung, CEO and founder of Airtasker, a digital platform for people and businesses to outsource tasks, find local services or complete one-off jobs for extra income.
“The reality is, Australian workers are now much less reliant on their employers, as it’s become easier than ever to freelance and take on flexible work. You can now earn a sizeable, reliable income whilst maintaining a flexible lifestyle by working on collaborative economy platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Airtasker, GoGet and CarNextDoor,” says Fung.
So is the nine to five job dead? Not yet but we’re nailing in the coffin. With 80% of people wanting to supplement their income this year and 77% believing a more flexible work environment would increase enjoyment, productivity and motivation, it seems to be the way of the future. Who knows, with a lunchtime nap class and optional everyday sleep in, Generation (laz)Y may prove to be driven after all.
So if you’re looking for a way to increase your income, are fed up of missing the dentist because you work the same hours they do or (surprise, surprise) don’t want to be chained to a desk for two-thirds of your life, read on for Tim Fung’s top tips to work smarter, not harder.
Set a dedicated time to assess your goals and decide what you want more of in terms of your career and lifestyle. Whether it’s to pursue a new interest, explore additional income streams or to achieve more work-life balance, you can’t set a plan in place without a clear understanding of your needs and goals.
If you’re truly keen to capitalise on this shift, then you have to be honest about where you’ll sink (and where you’ll swim!). Study the flexible working market and identify gaps that align with your skill set. If you’ve spent time hiring employees in your job as a manager, then you’re the perfect candidate to write and edit resumes online. If you’re a DIY enthusiast in your spare time, perhaps you can earn some extra cash by taking on handyman jobs.
Once you’ve identified your strengths, take the time to research platforms on the market you can tap into to earn extra money. Pick and choose jobs that suit your individual experience and work when it suits you best. Staying organised is key to productivity and efficiency – you are trying to work smarter after all.
The very nature of flexible working arrangements means that you’re really the master of your own domain. But beware of the hidden temptation to overwork! Controlling the supply means that when demand increases, you’ll feel the urge to meet every request. Keeping a balance is crucial—remember to enjoy those hours you’ve freed up!