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Malaysian Gig Workers Consider Long-term Careers

Independent contractors in Malaysia cite flexibility, additional income, and accessibility as reasons to pursue gig work.

By Maggie Mancini

A white paper from the Malaysian Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution finds that 19% of gig workers in Malaysia plan to make it their long-term career. The white paper finds that most Malaysian gig workers are engaged in location-based work, catering to the demand for flexible and on-demand services. Further, gig workers predominantly work part-time (70%) and often have full-time jobs.  

The report identifies three primary factors that drive gig work in Malaysia. These include the following.  

  • Flexibility allows gig workers to choose when, where, and how often they work. More than half (60%) of respondents cite flexibility of timing as their main reason for choosing gig work, while 41% also cite flexibility of location as one of their main reasons. This is particularly important for full-time gig workers—68% of which cite flexibility in timing and 49% of which cite flexibility in location as their reason for choosing gig work as a career path.  
  • Gig work is often used as a valuable source of supplemental income. Though 30% of gig workers in Malaysia are full-time gig workers, most use their work to earn supplemental income in addition to a full-time job. Many gig workers use these opportunities to address financial gaps.  
  • Gig work is more accessible to those with diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences. Gig workers tend to be younger, and those with lower education qualifications are more prevalent in location-based gig work (36%) compared to non-location-based (18%). This also allows for interim work, including opportunities for college students to earn while pursuing higher education, the report finds.  

Gig workers are more satisfied with their gig work than with traditional employment. The main appeal to this kind of work is flexibility, and the higher satisfaction level indicates that gig work enables this kind of flexibility more than traditional employment.  

Part-time gig workers often do not consider their work as something they’d like to do as a career; rather, the work serves to gain financial stability and future planning. Many full-time gig workers consider their work temporary, with a significant portion (37%) saying that it is a stopgap measure until they secure better opportunities. A smaller percentage of part-time gig workers (23%) feel similarly.  

Still, 19% of all gig workers—including 19% of full-time and part-time gig workers—consider gig work to be a long-term career for them.  

Tags: APAC July 2024, APAC News

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