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The future of work is one that reflects change – often for the better. Gig work is not a new way of work, however, it is adapting. Gig working is rising in popularity, which is one of the reasons it fits into this idea of the ‘future workforce’. Currently, one in three of the US workforce are opting to be a part of the gig economy.

Additionally, there has been a shift in the importance of workforce well-being. Workers are prioritizing their well-being, and employers are realizing that they need to provide better resources and training to support their employees.

However, gig workers are not viewed as employees. Instead, they are freelancers and are not provided the same benefits as employees. This begs the question: where does well-being fit in the future of work for gig workers?

Well-being in the future of work

Since the ‘Great Resignation’, workforce well-being has become a popular topic in the workforce management industry. Workers now desire and expect a work-life balance that suits them. And now that the power is in their hands, employers are doing their best to catch up with this trend.

To help support workers, employers have been putting more measures in place, as highlighted by CIPD who claimed that 57% of organizations are now focusing on mental health in comparison to 41% in 2020.

It is clear that in the future of workforce management, workforce wellbeing is now a permanent fixture. Thus, employers should make plans to not only support permanent employees but their workforce in its entirety.

To find out more about how organizations can help their workers with workforce well-being, read our article here.

How does well-being in the future of work affect the gig economy?

Gig work can provide a lot of benefits to those who prefer variety and flexibility. Although there are also negatives – it can be challenging and financially scary. They are not supported in the same manner as the rest of the workforce. The well-being initiatives that are put in place for permanent employees are not accessible for gig workers. This can have a significant impact on their mental health because they have similar challenges to employees but without the support. Thus, it can make working as a gig worker harder and less desirable.

Well-being in the future of work is key, and it needs to benefit gig workers.

Gig work challenges

Before addressing the improvements that can be made to better support gig workers, we first need to look at the challenges gig workers experience.

Job security

One of the biggest challenges for gig workers is their job security. It’s not the case of them having a reliable job that they go to 9-5, they have to find their own work which is a struggle in itself. Some weeks they may be busy with a lot of contracts to fulfill. At other times, they may have the bare minimum. Therefore, they do not have the safety blanket to fall back on that employees have. This can have a huge impact on their mental health when they are struggling to find work.


Similarly, there are unstable financial circumstances. Gig workers receive money for the work they do alone. No contract = no income. They have no set income like employees. Instead, some have to hope they get enough work that month to pay their rent. Gig work doesn’t provide a steady income, with 54% of gig workers worried about their financial future. Moreover, financial struggles can significantly impact someone’s mental health and overall wellbeing.


Working more might ease the financial troubles. However, it can also lead to burnout and other mental health issues caused by long periods of high stress. On some platforms, gig workers are rated for their work, meaning there is much more pressure for them to work to the best of their ability and keep everyone happy. A bad rating might mean a hit to their reputation, leading to fewer work opportunities. The constant pressure to find work and do as much as possible to the best of their abilities can be overwhelming for gig workers.

Gig workers and good well-being in the future of work

18% of HRDs believe that their workforce will consist of 51-75% of gig workers in five years’ time. Therefore, gig work is not going to go away, which is why it’s crucial their well-being is protected.

So, how can organizations protect gig workers’ well-being?

Health and benefit packages

Unfortunately, insurance products for those who are self-employed are very expensive. This is due to the worker being risk assessed individually, instead of in a large group like what happens with an organization. This has of course made it more expensive, leading to it being too expensive for some gig workers to afford.

This is where health and benefit packages come in. A health and benefits package provides all the benefits and incentives that employees often receive which might include:

  • Medical insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Pension
  • Bonuses
  • and more

It’s up to the employer what benefits they offer. Although there is an incentive for the employer too, as 67% of gig workers would feel more positive and go back to an organization if benefits were in place. Not only will it help retain gig workers, but HRDs believe it will improve their productivity (88%) and engagement (93%).

Emotional Support

One way that organizations can best protect gig workers’ well-being is by helping to make them feel comfortable, and have a sense of belonging. A way they can do this is by providing emotional support, for example, one-to-ones, counseling, and support tools – the same tools that are provided to full-time workers.

Additionally, a well-being support initiative as introduced by Taylor Rohwedder could be massively beneficial to both the organizations hiring and the gig workers. This initiative proposes that every new gig worker hired is supplied a ‘User Manual’, which is essentially a how to work with me pamphlet. It allows them to share how they like to work and coexist in a workplace and lets the organization express the same.

Overall, the well-being of workers has grown in importance to employers in recent years. However, the same often doesn’t apply to gig workers who face many challenges alone. They too deserve support to help face them and ease their burden. As the amount of individuals going into gig work is rising, it’s time for employers to act and help protect their well-being. Gig work isn’t going away so the time to act is now.

Chloe Mumford

Chloe Mumford


Chloe Mumford is a content writer and researcher for USTECH SOLUTIONS. After completing her BSc in Sociology, Chloe transitioned over into the workforce management industry with an interest in driving value from contingent workforce programs. She writes about contingent workforce management, Total Talent Management, the Future of Work, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, as well as the potential of talent technology. She can be reached via LinkedIn.