State of the On-Demand Economy

The on-demand economy is changing the future of work and how companies will hire.

By: Samantha Shefsky

Imagine having full control of your schedule, choosing when and how you work, even where you work. Sounds ideal, right? How does one achieve the ultimate ‘boss’ status, whereby control is the name of the game? Let’s take a deeper look.


It’s likely you’re comfortable with the term on-demand, with companies like Uber and Lyft at the forefront pioneering the industry. Both of these new-wave rideshare companies use on-demand workers instead of hiring full-time drivers, unlike its old school predecessor, the classic style taxi company. These on-demand workers choose when they feel like driving and clock in and out as they please. According to a survey conducted among Uber drivers, 73% of drivers said that they prefer having their own schedule and being their own boss, rather than having a steady 9-5 job.


On-demand workers are a relatively new phenomenon gaining traction with the launch of Uber in 2011, and the many other on-demand style companies which followed suit and continue to emerge. We’ve turned our cell phone into a remote; with one click we can order a taxi, a house cleaner or get food delivered. As a worker, you can tap in and out of this world and have the choice of using it as full or part time work. Low on cash? Work a shift!


What’s fueling this new phenomena?

Control and flexibility. Two words that are not often part of a regular nine to five job, are often the major factors when choosing to go the on-demand rout. Finally, people are now liberated when it comes to work, and the numbers show for it. Intuit research states 40% of American workers will be ‘on-demand’ workers by the year 2020 and according to Time Magazine, one out of five Americans is already working in the on-demand economy. These stats are a glimpse into just how popular on-demand work is and show that workers are prioritizing these factors into their work life. No longer are the typical W2 perks such as health care or paid time off the driving factors when it comes to choosing where to work. For example, as a mother, the on-demand economy allows you to structure your work and family life accordingly, choosing when you want to work and when you spend time with your family.


Millennials (a person reaching young adulthood around 2000) are also another driving force behind the on-demand craze. Millennials are the biggest generation in the work force, according to INC, millennials entered the workforce during the recession and slow growth years, and see jobs as scarce. Therefore they don’t put as much emphasis on the longevity or stability of their job. In addition, one third consider themselves freelancers and 32% of them say they expect to be working flexible hours in the future. As more and more millennials declare flexibility as a major factor when choosing where to work, the more companies will implement to comply with growing millennial worker trends.


What else?

The on-demand worker lifestyle allows you to take part in a plethora of jobs that complement your skillset, especially in the realm of freelance. Workers can easily become their own boss, by working on as many projects as they choose to take part in, and executing their own schedule. Because on-demand work is typically done part time or in one single day, workers are often doing exactly what they’re good at and have the skills necessary to execute the job perfectly.


With the ability to work on your own terms it’s difficult to imagine workers sticking to traditional jobs. As more and more on-demand style companies emerge on the scene, it seems there is something for everyone, and the choice is yours! Go for it!