[REPORT] On-Demand Workers Like Job Flexibility But Want Benefits

Survey finds despite perks of working when they want, many want a 9-to-5 schedule

(Image: ThinkStock)
(Image: ThinkStock)

A revealing new study provides details about the people who are making up the on-demand workforce.

[Related: Tech Companies Dominate In Best Pay And Benefits]

The 2015 1099 Economy Workforce Report—which was broken down by the Wall Street Journal—provided a composite of the 1,330 workers polled who worked at 78 companies. Perhaps not surprisingly, 75% of those who responded chose their on-demand job because of the seeming flexibility the position offered, but a major concern for many of these workers was that they wanted even more work and, of course, higher pay.

The paper points out that these conflict with the models of on-demand companies such as Uber, which uses algorithms to figure out driver pay when demand is highest. The publication also notes that this can undermine the flexibility that draws in the on-demand workers, as 49% of respondents said that peak hours and demand greatly affected the times and the hours that they worked—beating out the family factor at 35.4%.

Some other key findings in the report:

  • Despite a “work when you want to work” schedule, many respondents said their ideal workday conformed pretty closely to a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
  • 49.2% of respondents said their biggest frustration with on-demand jobs was finding enough work
  • 36.2% said theirs was understanding tax or legal obligations
  • 31.5% said theirs was optimizing schedules to maximize earnings
  • Insufficient earnings were the No. 1 reason people left on-demand jobs
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents polled were men
  • 40.7% of respondents worked for ride-sharing services
  • 52.5% worked for manual labor companies
  • 67.5% age 34 or under
  • 38.3% said they were currently college students
  • About 40% were college graduates

The Wall Street Journal says companies with on-demand models–which are experiencing a rise investment–may at some point in the future be forced to create hybrid employment models that provide benefits that will attract and retain workers–key among them health insurance, retirement benefits, paid sick and vacation days, and opportunities for advancement.