Gig Work Calls for a New Social Contract

There has been a recent flutter in the discourse about remote work, pandemic and moonlighting which has raised important questions about the Future of Work itself, as WFH is actually work from anywhere. Geographies are global in terms of knowledge work as talent is available on demand as a Netflix series. The Uberisation of work calls for a new social contract, as talent can be let go at any juncture hence the trampoline available in the words of Senior Minister Tharman is not available to most employees. Side hustles are a way to earn an additional buck, but from the employee perspective they are simply safeguarding their livelihoods as a lot of us have families to support. Terms such as trust, authenticity and ‘cheating’ need a rethink. Please look at the context of the employee as most young graduates simply find it challenging to maintain one job, let alone having ‘additional’ hustle income. Easier for an Ivy League MBA to chime in on an employee who is struggling to make ends meet as the social capital cache is lopsided.

Each worker is a gig worker as there is hardly any security of work, as the lexicon of social protection is nonexistent. If an entrepreneur can be a serial entrepreneur, then why can’t an employee be considered in similar terms? Expectations need to be managed better as Millennial’s operate on a different understanding of a work life balance.


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