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The pandemic has not only changed how people work but also how they look at working. Lockdowns created a seismic shift in the working world as both employers and employees re-evaluated their work life balance.
While some shifted their priorities from work responsibilities to improve their personal lives, others felt the disconnection was too great.
Leaving old jobs in favour of one’s that supported their wellbeing or were more aligned with their own values.
The lockdown also showcased a variety of virtual ways to work, which many say opened the door to their entrepreneurial dreams or helped them find their ideal career.
Many took lockdown as an opportunity to create secondary income streams for themselves, either by opening a side business or doing some form of freelance work.
Polyworking, or having multiple income streams and job titles, has seen a massive rise in popularity and this trend may be here to stay.
Polywork, a professional social network, conducted a study into this new work trend with surprising results.
85 percent of those participating in the study said the pandemic has permanently changed their attitude towards work.
Already before the pandemic began there was a steady rise in those categorising themselves as professional freelancers, although this generally meant adhering to one job title but working for different companies.
Polyworking is different to freelancing in this aspect as it includes not just working in multiple companies but also multiple areas under an array of job titles.
70 percent say that they no longer fall under a single job title and only 25 percent plan to have one job at a time.
For the rest, polyworking can include up to 10 different jobs that they work in at the same time.
This trend is particularly popular among young professionals with 65 percent currently polyworking.
The platforms available online to these polyworkers is virtually limitless, with websites such as Rev, Taskrabbit and Upwork offering a continuous stream of varying types of freelance work.
Some of the most popular types of polywork include beta testing, mentoring, content creation, live streaming, guest lecturing and activism.
This information reveals that the industries with the most polyworkers are software engineering, design, music and fashion.
As for employers, this new trend may end up forcing a change in employment contracts in order to allow employees to continue their polyworking with multiple companies.
Polyworking is also only one of the number of workplace trends that have emerged from the global pandemic.
The shift in work culture worldwide is undeniable and adapting to this will likely be the key to ‘future-proofing’ any company.
“The data from our community shows that there will no longer be such thing as a single job for life,” Peter Johnston, the founder of Polywork, commented.
“People are rejecting the single job titles that have been bestowed upon them for the last 10 years, in favour of representing all the different types of things they do, and working in multiple ways at once on their own terms.”
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