Steve King, partner in Emergent Research and a regular contributor to SmallBusiness.com,  worked on a recent study with Intuit that explores the changing face of the workforce in the era of the on-demand economy. That study and its findings, the On-Demand Workforce Report, covers the motivations, attitudes and demographics of those working within the on-demand economy that has been made possible by app-enabled marketplace platforms such as Uber, Upwork, Fiverr, etc. That earlier report is now being followed up with deeper-dives into the findings of its research. Once again, we thank Steve for sharing the following contribution to our on-going coverage of the changes in the ways people are developing new patterns of work and the ways business owners must adapt as the on-demand economy evolves.


Last week, Intuit released The Five Faces of the On-Demand Economy, an overview of some common profiles of on-demand economy workers. These profiles were developed using cluster analysis to group on-demand economy workers who share similar motivations and attitudes.

26% | The Side Giggers
Seeking financial stability by supplementing existing income

22% | The Business Builders
Primarily driven by the desire to be their own boss,

20% The Career Freelancers
Building a career through independent work

18% | The Substituters
Replacing a traditional job that is no longer available

14% | The Passionistas
Looking for the flexibility to do something they love


As Intuit’s Alex Chriss points out in his article The Future of Work Doesn’t Look Like You Think it Does, these groups are not fixed. “In meeting hundreds of our customers, I have come to appreciate that these profiles are fluid and there are often several motivations that influence people’s decisions on how to own their own career.” Chriss makes an excellent point. Much like the Pirate’s Code , these faces should be seen “as a guideline more than actual rules”.


All on-demand workers are NOT the same

The reason these groupings are important is to begin understanding how on-demand economy workers view their involvement, depending on their personal motivations for participating.

Work satisfaction: A good example of how different types of on-demand workers vary

Satisfaction is a good example. As the chart below shows, most “Substituters” are not sastified with on-demand work while the vast majority of Business Builders and Career Freelancers are.

83% | The Business Builders
82% | The Career Freelancers
65% | The Side Giggers
61% |The Passionistas
47% |
The Substituters


(via: The Five Faces of the On-Demand Economy)

16
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17
Yelp Joins Google, Amazon and a Slew of Startups in Home Services On-Demand Marketplace

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18
Uber Settlement Defines Drivers as Independent Small Businesses, Not Employees

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19
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20
Uber Didn’t Create the On-Demand Economy, The On-Demand Economy Created Uber

Uber exists because of the growing need for highly flexible part-time work to supplement incomes.

21
Voters’ Decision Keeps Austin Too Weird For Uber, Lyft

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22
Employers Prefer Full Time Workers, But Agree That On-Demand Economy is Here to Stay | 2016

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23
The On-Demand Economy Workforce Continues to Expand | 2017

Two-thirds of on-demand economy participants say they are satisfied with their work

24
HomeAdvisor Buys Angie’s List to Grow its Home Services On-Demand Marketplace

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25
Gallup: Most Employees Who Work Varying Hours Like Their Schedules | 2017

According to Gallup, the majority of employees who work variable hours each week report no problems or financial hardship with the variable hours.

26
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Are the acquisitions of TaskRabbit and Angie’s List pointing to the consolidation of the gig economy?