Leadership & Productivity

A third of UK gig workers juggling multiple jobs

3 min read

20 December 2017

Former special projects journalist

New research has shed light on the growing number of gig workers operating in the British economy.

Many new businesses and scale-ups rely on the gig economy to find staff, and, while lots enjoy the flexibility, others are burning the candle at both ends.

Around 32 per cent of gig workers are juggling two or more jobs at the same time, with seven per cent juggling three or more.

This is according to new research from Zurich UK – which analysed data from YouGov of over 4,200 adults, 603 of which were gig economy workers. The research also found that one in ten undertake seasonal work during the holidays.

There was a division by gender, with more women having just one form of gig work than men (55 per cent versus 42 per cent). Men are also more likely than women to hold three to five jobs (19 per cent versus 11 per cent).

Despite the flexibility on offer to gig workers, there are several drawbacks. Among the downsides experienced by this demographic included not knowing where the next job or pay packet was coming from (42 per cent) and not having a workplace pension (31 per cent).

Chris Atkinson at Zurich UK said: “With Christmas approaching and people increasingly considering gig work to supplement seasonal costs, holding more than one role has become the norm.

“The benefit of gig work is that it gives people flexibility to boost their income, but it comes without the benefits that full-time employment provides such as holiday pay and income protection. This is why it’s so important there is more support available to gig workers to ensure they take steps to protect their finances.”

Although flexibility and breadth of opportunities were the main factors influencing the decision to work in the gig economy for 39 per cent of workers, 21 per cent said it is the only type of employment available to them. In addition, 14 per cent revealed they took up gig work to ease them into retirement.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.