What share of independent professionals would turn down a guaranteed 40 hour work week at 80% of the pay per unit output?
The benefits of flexible labour supply should not be ignored, and potential lifestyle aspects will appeal to some. But please do not glamourize what for many people amounts to a nearly maximal application of the “use you and throw you away” logic.
In the organization I do most work for, the arrangement is exceedingly beneficial and enables to access occasionally required pools of talent. This makes it possible to access top talent across all projects and in management operations without having to worry about whether they are missing a few items from the wishlist – it can easily be explained as improving overall quality of outputs.
But please don’t try to tell me that the economic benefits of such arrangements imply that freelance service providers should – as a general rule – appreciate the situation. There is a difference between Ubers using technology to try to squeeze the maximum drop of availability and effort for an absolute minimum of pay in what are totally dead end positions that erode the capital of the worker through wear and tear on their vehicle, as compared to organizations that can make enormous improvements in both price and quality by accessing flexible independent contractors. The second group needs freedom and no more red tape than necessary, the first group requires basic protections while they endeavour to move a career and life forward.