MARK BARNES: Gigs are good for the new Wi-Fi economy, but company is better
The 'gig economy' is changing the way people work and not necessarily for the better
There can be no doubt that human capital is the most valuable off-balance asset of a firm. But in the new “gig economy” human capital may be moving even further off-balance sheet than it is already. . When I was growing up, a gig was a one-off live performance by the local band at the Saturday night social in whatever town hall was hosting it that weekend. Nowadays that definition has expanded considerably. Specifically, a gig economy is “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements”. It is a phenomenon that is assisted, if not enabled, by technology. Wherever you are, with your mobile device and access to Wi-Fi, you’re connected to the world, you are at work, in the office delivering a service, editing a document, writing a business plan, drawing a design, doing a photo-shoot, transferring money, giving a lecture, whatever. These gigs are not just in the ether. If you’re a physically skilled ex...