Platform workers are happier and more satisfied with their work than people in permanent employment according to a report by Free Trade Europa. This is despite the fact that they are more likely to work more than 45 or even 60 hours a week, and earn slightly lower salaries on average.
The platform economy across Europe has grown almost fivefold from an estimated EUR 3 billion in 2016 to approximately EUR 14 billion in 2020 This growth sees no sign of slowing either, with estimates that 30-50% of the European population could be involved in some form of Platform work by the end of the decade.
Currently 11% of the adult population has performed platform work at least once, however those relying on platform work as their main income is far fewer at between 1% and 5% of the adult working population in Europe.
The benefits of platform working far outweigh any negatives with 70% of workers saying that they do not want to earn an income the traditional way via a 9 to 5 job and one permanent employer.
According to the report, increased autonomy to choose when and where to work, how long to spend, and what work to perform results in a better work:life balance and the opportunity for individuals to combine multiple jobs in their own portfolio. By comparison, a huge percentage of Europeans say they are not engaged and unhappy in their current job, while many say they actually hate their current employment.
The platform and gig economies are controversial due to the risk of workers being exploited, however these innovative businesses and modern ways of working are here to stay. Platforms provide work opportunities, increase choice, increase income and empower a very large variety of people so it is critical that this way of working is not stifled in order to fit an outdated labour market concept.