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Workplace trend 2019: the gig workplace

Imagine a world with no more permanent employees, but rather people who work for multiple companies at the same time and move on from project to project. The future of our work is directly linked to the rise of the platform economy, or the “gig economy”. We’ve seen the disruptive influence of start-ups like Uber and Deliveroo, and now the gig economy is coming to the market of office employees. Work is becoming flexible in both time and space, and on demand – features that are rather less well suited to the way offices are currently laid out. Businesses must move to create gig spaces for gig workers, leading to a gig workplace.

The gig economy is permeating offices
We’ve seen the disruptive influence of start-ups like Uber and Deliveroo, and now the gig economy is coming to the market of office employees. Delivery people and drivers may not need an office, but that’s not the case for app developers, data specialists, marketers, designers, call center operatives, copywriters and administrative employees. A big part of these jobs are going to be incorporated into the gig structure, meaning that they will no longer form a permanent part of the core company.

A new style of workplace needed: the gig space
The managers responsible for organizations’ real estate now face the challenge of finding the right way to accommodate gig workers within the company. The solution is to incorporate three different “shells” into the office design: the public space, the gig space and the core space. 

The gig space zone is the area between the public space and the workplace for permanent employees and specially designed for gig workers. Without having to go through a long-drawn-out screening process, they are granted access to the facilities and the systems they need to carry out their tasks. This increases the organization’s pace and agility.

Advantages to all parties
To house these gig workers in a coworking space is no real solution. Companies will have pay too much on renting flexible workspaces that are actually fixed. Also, the outsourcing of so many tasks will have a negative impact on the company’s shared identity by creates a division between key sections of the company. The gig workplace is the structural housing solution. Gig employees work “in house” and will be part of the company’s community. This will increase the gig worker’s engagement, it stimulates collaboration with other employees and contributes to the joint effort in building a successful organization.

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Harold Coenders

Partner | Director Occupier Services


Harold Coenders is Director of Occupier Services Netherlands.  Harold is thought leader on hybrid working and the impact on the corporate culture, the workplace and the real estate. He is an expert in developing strategic real estate solutions and innovative hybrid workconcepts  linked to the productivity of the workforce and in organisational cultural change programs.

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