India Inc is still coping with the uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic. The organisations had to move to a remote setup in a matter of days, thanks to the lockdown. However, this gave the companies a chance to explore new employment models.

Many companies are now evaluating an ‘alternative workforce model’ with gig workers and freelancers.

According to Deloitte’s ‘Future of Work Accelerated’ report, three in five organisations (60%) are gauging increasing share of gig workers to reduce the dependence on full time workforce.

Gig workers struggle during Covid crisis

However, off late gig economy workers are struggling as their earnings depend on ‘how much’ they work. A large chunk of such workers also lost their jobs ‘on paper’ leaving them with a bleak future even after the lockdown ends.

“The slowdown started around mid-March and only around 20-30 million people now have their employment intact,” Pravin Agarwala, cofounder of Betterplace, a blue-collar employee management firm, told ET. As many as 120 million gig workers are now unpaid. However, the future does look promising to middle management level workers and their share will go up in a post-Covid world.

80% organisations have less than 10% employees as gig workers

As per Deloitte data, nearly 80% of the organisations have less than 10% of their employees as gig workers, accounting majorly to contractual staff. However, as India embraces flexi staffing, this is going to impact the unorganised workforce the most. India’s gig economy is projected at a market size of $455 billion over the next three years — which might increase even further with the new-found interest.

“A large majority of this is expected to be contributed by the unorganised sector of the economy, as India Inc’s adoption of gig workers remains nascent at best,” the report said.

Automotive companies, media houses and business process management companies are exploring areas that can be equipped with remote working models using gig workers on a sustained basis.

A shared employment model

For instance, the report referred to a global business process management company that is considering an alternative workforce for their blue-collar workers to recover in a post lockdown world. In fact, it might also venture into a shared employment model with other organisations.

On the other hand, the companies heavily dependent on permanent workforce will continue doing so. To facilitate employee engagement, organisations are heavily investing in future-ready skills. These corporates have reported a three times increase in training and virtual learning programmes for skills like managing ambiguity, creating virtual presence, and negotiating remotely.

Moreover the pandemic has led to the adoption of virtual collaboration tools. Three-fourths of CXOs said that there was a surge in ‘forced adoption’ of tech platforms. However, this has made the decision making process more efficient — largely due to efficiency coming from virtual meetings.

In addition, individual productivity has also increased due to ‘work from home’ routines. In fact, they believe that the employees are putting in more work hours, leading to a significant decrease in absenteeism.

*By Prerna Sindwani via Business Insider India*