How The Coronavirus Is Impacting Freelancers And Gig Workers
By Jon Younger
This article dives into the impacts of the coronavirus on the gig economy, gig workers, and freelancers. The author interviews gig workers and freelancers across the country, asking how the virus has impacted their businesses.
At the same time that the virus is creating pressures on firms like Uber, Lyft, and other gig companies to protect their workers, the demand for delivery of products and services is jumping as people cocoon up in their homes to avoid exposure.
Interviews with some Lyft drivers seem to indicate that their business is still good, in part because of fear of the subways and other mass transit. The wait staff at the airport said that fewer travelers mean lower tip income, but current travelers are more generous. One interviewee who has a side gig delivering packages finds more business due to people staying in and wanting deliveries to avoid getting into people-contact situations.
There has been some increase in out-staffing on a temporary basis when employees are sent home and are unable to work efficiently from home. Consulting firms are getting requests to help in developing remote work resources for companies that are adapting in part due to the virus. They’re looking forward to possible future and longer-term situations.