6 Ways to Increase Productivity as a Gig Economy Worker
Increasing productivity can be observed in a couple of different ways. It behooves us all to be our most productive selves in any of our personal endeavors, but in a traditional work setting, boosting your yield typically benefits your employer’s bottom line — yours, not so much. The caveat to this is that of the gig economy worker. Bolstering your productivity as an independent contractor of the gig economy is directly tied to your own bottom line. The more you work, the more money you earn. It’s advantageous and far more effective to streamline your daily workflow in order to handle more work, and in turn, bank more money.
Are remote workers really more productive?
As an independent contractor of the gig economy, you’re governed mostly by your own motivation and desire to earn a paycheck. A person could argue that the self-motivators of the world work extremely well in a remote, virtual setting, but since the novel coronavirus has forced millions into the new normal of working from their homes, it’s a toss up on how productivity will shake out in the long run. An economic professor named Nicholas Bloom spent two years extensively researching a Chinese-based travel company named Ctrip to determine whether the productivity of a workforce, when removed from their offices and left to the devices found in their homes, would be better, worse or remain the same. Here’s the gist of what he discovered:
So what we did in China is we took 1,000 people, and we asked them who wanted to work from home, and only 500 of them volunteered — only half of the people up-front wanted to work from home. And after the end of the experiment, of the 500 that worked from home, quite a few changed their minds, and I think about 30 opted to come back in. Working from home actually worked well for the employees in China who chose to work from home: They were 13 percent more productive, and the quit rates halved.
COVID-19 and the onslaught of a new kind of workforce
Many of you want to know, what happens when you remove millions of workers from their well-pruned offices where collaborations and watercooler conversations happen and require them to work from their homes (mind you, whose children have no school to attend), isolated from their colleagues and for many, against their will? Bloom anticipates productivity may suffer, because when a company has the time to build the necessary infrastructure for supporting their staff working from home, productivity stands a better chance. In our current state of affairs, the masses of our workforce, who are now waking up to do their jobs from a makeshift desk in their living rooms, haven’t been trained to be completely successful in these new, remote environments.
Adapting to the new work reality that COVID-19 has brought to our literal front door steps requires a substantial amount of discipline and focus for productivity. Luckily, we can look to the gig economy worker who has been doing this for quite some time for helpful tips for success. The INFOCU5 Connect Marketplace, a virtual contact center of on-demand customer service and sales agents, has established practices to boost and maintain productivity in a remote environment.
Here’s 6 ways for increasing productivity in the gig economy or adapting to a new remote work environment:
1. Strike when the iron is hot.
No matter which gig economies you choose to participate, working when the volume and demand is the highest is imperative. You know that old saying, “You’ve got to make hay when the sun shines?” Well, it’s true. The sheer nature of the gig economy is built on the foundation of on-demand services. When the demand is peaking, you must take advantage, because it could mean the difference between you earning on the top or bottom ends of your industry. For example, top performing contact center agents working on the INFOCU5 Connect platform are earning anywhere from $400-600 per week, because they are privy to the benefits of hopping on early, when they know the call volume is at its highest.
2. Diversify your means of earning money.
There are a slew of gig economies in which you could engage. Take Uber drives for an example. Many artists, musicians, and writers are moonlighting for the many freelance writers moonlight for the ride-hailing company. This approach to diversifying the ways you earn money alleviates the stings associated with unforeseen downturns, like the impacts of COVID-19. As for on-demand call center agents at INFOCU5 Connect, that diversification comes by way of adding skills to their repertoire. The more CRMs and campaigns these agents are trained to service, the more call volume and opportunities to earn money exist.
3. Streamline your workflow (and embrace multitasking).
Efficiency gives you the keys to so many castles, but it also requires you to avoid any lollygagging opportunities that come your way, and that includes the customers you are servicing. For the call center space, agents are constantly collecting data from customers, and it’s required that the data is kept in their respective profiles. Writing notes whilst communicating with a customer reduces a lot of after-call work and allows you to take the next call faster and more efficiently.
4. Keep your eyes on the prize.
The beauty of gig economies is the flexibility that comes with them. Days when you’re lagging or unmotivated, be sure to remind yourself that more productivity can also mean more time to yourself when demand is low. Many of the INFOCU5 Connect agents are engaging on the platform so they can have more flexibility to pursue other passions like travel, creating art, making music or spending time with family, so keep your sights set on what inspires you.
5. Pay attention to the time.
People like to talk. I know this because I am one of them. Tow the line between connecting and engaging with your customers to show you care and being mindful of the time you’re spending with them. Typically, there are goals around the amount of time you should take to properly assist any given customer. These goals all work together to reduce the average hold times of other customers waiting in the queue, as well as keep the average handle times within a healthy zone.
6. Create a sustainable routine.
If you know when the peak money-making opportunities are going to happen (for instance, early mornings for INFOCU5 Connect agents), then creating a sustainable routine that allows you to take advantage of that traffic is critical to succeeding as a gig economy worker. Waking up early is not everyone’s jam, I get that, but neither is not earning money. Setting the alarm and sticking with it could mean the difference between success or failure.