Research released by Australian local services marketplace Airtasker reveals that Gen Z are leading the charge when it comes to embracing the flexible economy in Australia.
The study found that more than two-thirds (70%) of Zoomers have either made money via platforms like Airtasker (42%), or are planning to venture into it in the future (28%) as younger generations look beyond a linear career path to create new streams of income.
With the ability to earn from other jobs (41%) and earn doing something they enjoy (26%), Gen Z are making it mainstream to monetise their skills outside of traditional employment.
Gen Z are earning an extra $429 a month through the flexible economy whilst data collected by Airtasker has revealed that some are making as much as $14,000 a month.
One of the most lucrative skills being monetised by Gen Z is app development, which has an average task price of $255 whilst complex work can go up to $5,000.
Other skills being monetised include graphic design ($160) and social media support ($122).
Airtasker explains the dynamics of a flexible economy
Whilst many Aussies have seen the benefits of flexible work schedules this year, the “flexible economy” is much more than choosing the hours and location of your work.
Digital online platforms like Airtasker empower Australians to choose the work they want to do, when they want to do it and most importantly, how much they get paid.
For Gen Z, who prioritise flexibility and passion for their work it is the perfect way to monetise their skills and the opportunity presents access to multiple income streams at once.
Asked to describe their ideal work situation, Gen Z are twice as likely to say they would prefer to have multiple income streams (36%) than one source of income with fixed hours (21%).
A third (35%) of the Gen Z also say that it is important for them to diversify their income.
Youth employment coach and start-up mentor Zoe Piper explains why this is the case. “Gen Z are the first generation who grew up seeing flexible work situations as the norm.”
“They came of age just as flexible economy marketplaces like Airtasker started to gain traction. They are able to craft multiple income streams much earlier than older generations.”
As a result, the idea of making money outside of traditional employment, or through more than one channel, is already more mainstream than even 15 years ago.
“Put that in the COVID-context, where Gen Z were amongst the hardest hit during lockdowns, there is also a desire to take control of their finances and monetise their skills in other ways.”
“The passion project holy grail is not a distant reality anymore to be saved for retirement, but a genuine employment preference to earn income and build careers.”
The flexible economy enables Aussies to make money remotely which is a key driver for Taskers like teacher and part-time book editor Veronica, and Ahmed, a graphic designer.
Ahmed explains, “Amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic, I needed to find a sense of security and Airtasker provided a reliable way to find job opportunities from the comfort of my home.”
“I make offers when I want, for the prices I want. A secondary income is very convenient. It’s not just money and flexibility that motivates me, but the chance to help others.”
“Many people with start-ups are looking to get extra help and it’s incredibly rewarding.”
“I’ve been blessed to have worked with mental wellness groups, disability services, personal trainers and so many more individuals looking to really make a difference!”
Airtasker’s research examines the future of work
The benefits enjoyed from the flexible economy by Gen Z, according to Airtasker are also spilling over into this generation’s expectations in their traditional workplaces.
It is not surprising that flexibility in work hours and locations continue to be a key consideration for over half (52%) of Gen Z, regardless of their employment type and industry.
And whilst 49% say competitive pay is still high on the agenda, over a third (33%) also said that a job that lets them monetise skills or hobbies is more important than one that pays well.
Whether in a role that plays to their passions and strengths, or one that offers the flexibility to run a side hustle, the idea of turning passion into profit is, for many, desirable and expected.
Airtasker CEO Tim Fung assessed the evolving employment opportunities for Gen Z.
“As work life balance becomes a priority and Gen Z have had the opportunity to experience flexible working, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing this shift in the way they view work.”
“We’re really proud that Airtasker is able to connect Gen Z with meaningful and benefitial work opportunities to monetise their skills and to help them in building career momentum.”