From the rising costs of gas and groceries to larger purchases like home buying, people are feeling the pinch of inflation virtually everywhere. With the annual inflation rate climbing to 8.5% for the 12 months ending in March of this year (the highest it’s been since December of 1981), workers are experiencing tighter cash flow and looking for ways to improve their finances—and the companies and platforms they work for can play a big role. Smart businesses know that supporting people through financial challenges can help bolster recruiting and retention efforts in today’s tight labor market.
Addressing the unique needs of gig workers
While it’s true that people from all industries need support to cope with inflation, gig workers in particular can benefit from workforce support. Many times contractors don’t enjoy the traditional financial benefits W-2 workers receive like retirement accounts or health insurance. And because contractors also pay taxes on their own, budgeting can become a bigger hurdle. How much your company can pay contractors during inflation matters, of course. But there are also no-cost ways to support them through inflation. Here are some ideas.
1. Support them with schedule flexibility + added earning potential
As stated in our 2022 Gig Report, 85% of gig workers have recently picked up more gig work, with 58% citing inflation as the reason for doing so. Instead of having them pick up additional gig work on another platform, you want to keep your workers engaged with your platform, feeling confident they have the power to up their earning potential. Make sure they have the option to pick up extra shifts if needed and earn additional income with you instead of somewhere else.
This scheduling control is also crucial to gig workers because of the high value they place on flexibility—it's why many enter into the contracting space in the first place.
2. Help them with budgeting and cash flow
For contractors, managing business expenses and personal expenses can be complicated, especially if the two merge (think of the delivery driver who uses their own car to make deliveries).
There are a bevy of financial wellness tools you can offer your workforce—but the best ones can actually help contractors manage their expenses at no cost. At Branch, we have financial wellness tools baked right into our app, including tools to help contractors manage their business and personal expenses and see personalized spending insights, too. Helping your 1099 workforce budget (for free!) is a great way to boost their financial wellness and even help them reinvest in their own small businesses as entrepreneurs.
3. Provide faster payments
Offering across-the-board pay increases might not be in your budget right now, but changing the speed of pay can be meaningful in and of itself. According to our latest Gig Report, 80% of workers would choose one gig platform over another if it could pay them instantly without fees.
If you’re not currently utilizing instant payments for your gig workforce, Branch can help. We help companies pay contractors instantly, so they can start accessing their earnings right away (even Day 1). This boosts cash flow for your contractors, while proving to be an attractive benefit you can use to recruit and retain more talent. And since it's free for you and them, it's a win-win for both your workforce and your business.
Want more insights on today's gig workforce? Download your free report below.