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The Team at Laudale

Alec Laurie
Alec Laurie
Managing Director

How the professional gig economy is making talent accessible to every business (event summary).

Yesterday, I chaired an insightful panel event on the Rise of the Professional Gig Economy. It was held at DLA Piper’s Manchester office and kindly supported by Pro-Manchester.

Attendees from businesses across the Greater Manchester region gathered to hear from our experienced panel.

Here are my 5 main takeaways.

  1. You can access talent you couldn’t otherwise by tapping into the professional gig economy.

Have you ever thought, “it’d be great if we had a [insert job title here], but we could never afford them”?

Gill Galassi from Genie Communications has provided services ‘on-demand’ for a couple of years now.

And “access to specialist skills” is a key benefit for companies tapping into the professional gig economy, according to Gill.

For example, some companies can’t afford Gill’s expertise permanently.

But they can access her for a few days a month, a year, whatever. When – and only when – required.

That means they only pay for the time they use. Which is a perfect model for running a lean business.

  1. ‘Gig’ work is satisfying. And both the consultant and the end client benefit from this.

Richard Long, Founder of Smarter Vision, described the flexibility, autonomy, and control that he has over his work as an independent.

To a large extent he can design own schedule, and this helps with work-life balance.

It also means that when he is working for his client, he is doing so with high intensity and focus. He’s happy and productive.

  1. The number one priority of successful independent professionals is adding value.

Both Richard and Gill described the mindset shift they experienced moving from permanent employment to independence.

They will tell the client what he or she needs to hear, even if it isn’t pretty. A permanent employee might find this harder to do – i.e. it could be career limiting.

Successful ‘gig’ professionals focus on fixing things and solving complex problems for the client. And it’s by adding value that they get repeat business and referrals.

  1. Gig economy networks and intermediaries are thriving.

Grant Thornton UK (GT) has been facilitating the professional gig economy for a number of years now. Jackie Whittingham provided an overview of GT’s offering.

GT acts as a platform between the client (businesses) and independent professionals (self-employed associate).

They work primarily with finance departments and provide expertise on an ad-hoc basis from experienced finance professionals. This can range from ad-hoc support to end-to-end project delivery. And for as little as a few days, to 3-6 months.

GT’s vetting process and quality standard is high which reassures the client.

At the same time, they give the associate the feeling of belonging to something ‘bigger’. They engage them in a community of like-minded people.

  1. Legislative change is afoot in the UK, but the professional gig economy can continue to thrive.

Emma Mills from DLA Piper’s Manchester office provided excellent insight into legislation in the gig economy.

And the message was optimistic. Whilst there’s a degree of negativity around the pending changes to IR35 rules, true independent consultants – and end clients who treat them as such – will continue to benefit from the professional gig economy.

*Though, point 5 is neither Emma nor DLA Piper’s legal advice. It is my interpretation. *


All in all an insightful morning with some great people.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the points above, please get in touch.

Thanks, Alec.