Gig Workers: What Problems Do They Face In Their Careers?

Gig Worker

The gig economy is defined by some as “people using apps or platforms to sell their labour,” and includes independent workers, freelancers and those who take up limited-period contracts rather than permanent jobs.

So, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for “gigs”.

Just How Big Is The Gig Economy?

In the USA, about 16.5 million people are working in “contingent” or “alternative work arrangements,” and 2.8 million people in the UK are working in the gig economy.

In the US, the gig workforce, comprising independent contractors, temporary and contract staffers and on-call workers, accounted for about 10 per cent of the overall workforce in 2017.

A McKinsey report estimated that between 20% and 30% of people in the U.S. and E.U. have engaged some form of independent work, and around 15% have used a digital platform to find it.

The Gig Economy In India

There is a growing demand for freelancers and short-term contract workers in India, and over a third of 500-plus organizations expect to rely up to 50% on flexible talent in the next five years, according to a survey by Flexing It.

India’s white-collar ‘gig economy’ is growing, with skilled professionals seeking flexibility and purpose in their career. According to a study by PayPal, one in four freelancers come from India and most Indian freelancers are men aged under 40.

Freelancers in India earn an average of Rs 20 lakh annually and need an average of 15 projects a year and 13 retainer clients as the threshold for assured stability and security. 41% of Indian freelancers have seen growth in the past one year.

In India, web and mobile development, web designing, data entry and internet research account for the lion’s share of work for freelancers. Some of them also take up graphic design assignments or provide consultancy services.

However, there is a growing demand for specialised talent in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, UI and UX design, and digital marketing. There is also a growing freelance workforce of architects, lawyers and chartered accountants.

According to this article, the gig economy is a boon for those who want to actively work even in their golden years and be financially independent. With so much contractual work available today, retired professionals are re-skilling themselves and becoming job ready for new-age profiles.

The gig economy is also a blessing for women who have taken a break in their careers to have children. Many of these women have been out of the workforce for a number of years and find it difficult to get jobs at the same level as when they left.

Mom on laptop working at home

Remote work job boards and platforms are a lifeline for people who cannot work in the regular economy because of age, disability, or family responsibilities.

Is The Gig Economy Bad For Workers?

The gig economy and workers rights is a topic of much debate and discussion as more people opt to become digital nomads, anywhere workers, or independent contractors.

Gig workers and freelancers don’t get the benefits that full-time employees enjoy, such as health insurance, retirement savings and tax assistance. Critics of the gig economy state that it targets people who are already on the fringes, lacking a safety net.

While the “gig economy” may be filled with promise for workers who want more flexibility, it’s also legally and financially fraught for the employer and the employee says Jeanne Sahadi.

Employers don’t have to offer gig workers benefits like health insurance and retirement benefits, pay them overtime, or give them paid days off.

They don’t have to pay into state unemployment insurance or worker’s compensation funds on the contractors’ behalf. And they don’t have to cover the employer share of their payroll taxes or withhold income taxes.

Gig workers are easy prey for bullies and gangmasters, says Andrew Hill of the Financial Times, noting that the very freedoms people seek by going freelance increase their vulnerability.

Gig economy workers are at risk in legal limbo, according to Diana Kloss of the Council for Work and Health. It has been recognised that some supposedly “independent” contractors are as weak and as subordinate to employers as those directly employed.

Gig workers could easily be abused by employers who want to call their workers freelancers in order to avoid payroll taxes and other benefits to which employees are entitled – leaving them without social security, health insurance, and the protection of labour laws as a result.

It’s certain that gig workers need better employment protections, but as of now, when it comes to health insurance or tax assistance, gig workers and independent contractors are on their own.

Some organisations like Fiverr are working to alleviate this by partnering with companies that will provide these services to their freelancers at discounted rates.

Gig Economy And Workers Compensation

Independent contractors are cheaper for companies to hire. A McKinsey report found that independent contractors get paid 20-30% less than employees.

These low wages, coupled with the competition that gig workers face on online job platforms, lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

Stressed Out Gig Worker

An article in the Telegraph notes that “Even the best workers struggle to raise their wage rate because of intense competition. As a result, they have to put in longer hours at anti-social times to improve earnings, leading to 18-hour days and weeks of 70 hours or more.”

Data from a survey by AND CO shows that over 80% of gig workers in the USA earn less than $100,000 a year, with over 50% earning less than $50,000. Engineers outearn other professions, with 19% earning $100,000 per year or more as a remote worker.

Is There Any Good News?

The McKinsey study also found that those who do independent work by choice (free agents and casual earners) report greater satisfaction with their work lives than those who do it out of necessity (the reluctants and the financially strapped).

Free agents also reported higher levels of satisfaction in multiple dimensions of their work lives than those holding traditional jobs by choice, indicating that many people value the nonmonetary aspects of working on their own terms.

The AND CO survey also found that the longer you work remotely, the more you love it. Those who’ve worked remotely for 7+ years were far more likely to intend on working remotely forever than those who are freshly remote (0-1 yrs).

Nearly 80% of respondents want to work remotely as long as possible; only 4% are doing so on a temporary basis. Remote working, freelancing and the gig economy are gaining popularity and they’re here to stay.

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Gig Workers - What Problems Do They Face In Their Careers

5 Websites To Find The Highest-Paying Entry-Level Remote Transcription Jobs, No Experience Required

Remote Transcription Jobs

Do you have a strong command of the English language, its syntactical and grammatical rules? Are you comfortable with understanding American English accents or speech and have a decent typing speed to boot?

If you’re looking for a work from anywhere or freelance or work-from-home job and you have these basic skills, you may be the right person to take up a remote transcription job.

Transcription involves converting audio files to text by listening to the audio and typing it out. You don’t need any special equipment, except for a working computer, usually one with Google Chrome, and a reliable internet connection.

Most of these jobs (except legal and medical transcription jobs) require basic knowledge of English. Medical and legal transcription jobs require specific knowledge and understanding of medical and legal terms.

For entry-level, remote job seekers, remote transcription jobs can pay quite well, allowing you to earn a decent income working from home or anywhere in the world, at your own time and pace.

Being an excellent transcriptionist — one that actually gets hired — involves much more than the ability to listen and type. Janet Shaughnessy of TranscribeAnywhere offers affordable, high quality, proven transcription education. These courses were developed to transform typists into transcriptionists in as little as 2-4 months.

You can learn to transcribe with excellence, and you can do it from anywhere. Get all the training you need on a solid e-learning platform with multimedia training tools, videos, practice, templates, quizzes, and thorough how-to marketing tutorials that aren’t available anywhere else.

Download a Free eBook, The Truth About Transcription, and take the Free Transcription Foundations 7-Lesson Mini-Course to learn if you’re a good fit for transcription and how much you can earn as a transcriptionist.

She also offers a Free Legal Transcription Mini-Course that is an overview of the industry along with foundational information to help you in your decision on whether or not to pursue it for yourself. This mini-course will NOT prepare you to work as a legal transcriptionist.

In the article below, I’ve compiled a list of websites that showcase the best remote transcription jobs. Register on them so you can find the highest paying remote transcription jobs, no experience required.

This list is a work in progress, so I’ll keep adding to it as I come across more websites. So bookmark this page and come back to it often.

1. GoTranscript

This is a thriving online-only transcription and translation company. They are growing their freelancer transcription team, to keep pace with the rapid growth in customer orders.

They pay up to $0.60 per audio or video minute. A transcriptionist’s average earnings are $150/month while top earners make around $1215/month.


They hire transcribers from anywhere in the world. You will be asked to complete their Transcriber Training programme and exam once you register.

All applicants who successfully pass the training course will be contacted and will have paid work available to them. In some cases, you may have to be put on a short waitlist as they process your registration.

Transcribers are paid US $20 per audio hour for general transcription, although different projects and specializations may offer higher rates. They also have the chance to become QA (Quality Assurance) agents, responsible for consolidating, proofreading and editing transcriptions.

There are also further specializations, such as special project teams and captioning transcription teams. These other opportunities often entail different, greater, pay scales than our standard transcription rate.


They offer home-based transcription jobs for those who go through a test process and get certified as a transcriber. Once certified you will be paid for the files you transcribe on an audio hour basis.

You’ll have to transcribe short files, 6 minutes or less. However, there are no obligations, monthly commitments or withdrawal limits. You pick and choose the files to work on.

Payments are made once a day via PayPal and start at starting at $0.60/min or $5 to $25 USD /audio hour, with a monthly bonus of $5 for every 3 hours completed.


Get a remote job typing and analyzing files for Quicktate and iDictate. Quicktate transcribes voicemail messages, memos, letters, legal files, medical files, recordings of phone calls, conference calls and other audio files.

They also audit, summarize, evaluate and analyze audio recordings and phone conversations. Some audio files, like voicemail messages, may average just 2-3 minutes in length, while other recordings may be significantly longer, perhaps several hours. IDictate transcribes all types of files, except for voicemail messages.

To qualify you’re required to have accurate spelling and punctuation, and the ability to listen to voice files and accurately type what you hear. You can’t have convictions of a felony or misdemeanour on your record.

You can take a typing quiz for each language or speciality you are interested in (e.g. English, Spanish, French, Medical Transcription).

You may also be given an opportunity to be tested to analyze audio files. Depending on how you scored on your Quicktate typing test, you may qualify to be tested to also offer your services to iDictate.

As an Independent Contractor, you can select your own hours that you want to work. You can work as few, or as many hours as you want.


They specialize in transcription, translation, adding captions and foreign subtitles. You can apply to become a Transcriptionist, Captioner, Subtitler, or a Translator.

Work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You’ll receive regular feedback and coaching and receive weekly payouts via PayPal for all work completed.

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