Mental Health Challenges Faced by Gig Economy Workers

Working in Gig Economy in the Current Financial Climate

The gig economy has been labelled as the future of work and is becoming increasingly popular as a career choice. However, the current financial climate has presented a unique set of challenges to those working in this space. With the cost of living continuing to rise, gig economy workers can be left lacking job security or financial stability, which can have a detrimental impact on their mental health and wellbeing.  

For those who depend on temporary contracts, there is an added layer of uncertainty that comes with not knowing when their next paycheck will come from. Furthermore, they are often not provided with any benefits or professional development opportunities like their more traditionally employed counterparts. This contributes to feelings of isolation and lack of control over career advancement, which can cause stress and anxiety.


The gig economy also presents some unique psychological challenges due to its highly competitive nature. Workers are competing against each other for jobs, which can create a sense of anxiety and pressure around finding employment or maintaining steady income levels. It can also lead to decreased self-esteem if one is unable to find work, and feelings of rejection. 

Despite these potential difficulties faced by those working in the gig economy, there are a number of unrivalled positives and benefits, and strategies to bolster their mental health and wellbeing.  

Positives of Working in Gig Economy

One major benefit of gig economy work is the flexibility it provides. Many workers value being able to shape their own schedule and decide when and where they want to work. For those with family commitments or other responsibilities, this freedom can be invaluable so that they don’t have to sacrifice their professional aspirations. It can also help them maintain a healthy work-life balance which is essential for protecting mental wellbeing. 

Many gig economy industries provide employees with a high level of autonomy over their work and projects. This means that freelancers can explore creative paths and hone specific skills whilst having full control over how and when they approach tasks. The ability to learn new abilities while sidestepping cumbersome bureaucracy is often considered an advantage by workers who thrive in an environment where they have more control over their own lives.  

For those who are looking for more stability, long-term positions within the gig economy are increasingly common. These opportunities provide all the benefits of traditional employment while still offering flexible working hours and locations that come with freelance positions. This allows professionals to enjoy both job security and independence, something which is not always possible within regular office-based jobs.  

Another positive of life as a free agent is that professionals can pick up different types of gigs depending on their circumstances at any given time. With regards to finances, payments tend to be quicker than in traditional employment and more transparent – reducing financial stressors. Moreover, whilst freelancers may have less access than others when it comes to institutional support such as pensions plans or healthcare benefits – these can be purchased independently should they so wish – making sure everyone feels secure about their future during times of financial uncertainty which again could help protect mental wellbeing. 

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Unpredictable Working and Anxiety

Gig economy workers often face unpredictable working and the anxiety that can come with it. Due to the nature of temporary working, contract work or freelance roles, there is often an element of uncertainty surrounding income and employment opportunities. Without a steady wage or security from an employer, gig economy workers may experience stress and worry related to their job security and finding new opportunities.  

While this sort of instability can have its advantages for some people, it can contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression and insecurity. The pressures associated with finding the next job or keeping up with new technology can be a difficult obstacle for those in the gig economy to overcome, especially those who don’t have access to a support network such as family or friends. This is compounded by the fact that gig workers will often need to invest additional time and energy in order to look for another job – putting them at risk of overworking and burnout.  

It’s important for those in the gig economy to be aware of how stress and anxiety can affect their wellbeing and performance on the job. Taking regular breaks throughout the day, connecting with others in similar situations about their experiences, and seeking additional support where needed, can all help gig workers manage their mental health while doing temporary work. Additionally, developing a plan for managing money during times when there may not be a steady income stream can help mitigate some financial worries that come with unpredictable working hours. Finally, setting achievable goals for oneself both short-term and long-term can provide motivation when facing difficult tasks as well as a sense of accomplishment when meeting these goals. 

The Impact of Financial Pressures on Mental Health

The gig economy is an increasingly popular form of work that allows individuals to take on temporary work, often on a project-by-project basis. While this type of work has its advantages, it can cause financial pressure.  

Financial pressures can be a source of immense stress and anxiety for gig economy workers who are uncertain about their income levels and spending power from one month to the next. The unpredictable nature of their income means they may not be able to plan for long-term financial security or have enough money saved up in case of illness or emergency. This can lead to an individual feeling overwhelmed with worry and doubt about their future prospects. 

Unfortunately, financial pressure can have far reaching consequences on mental health, leading to bouts of depression, increased stress levels, feelings of hopelessness, and difficulty sleeping. It can even lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain and digestive issues resulting from persistent anxiety and fear. A lack of job security also affects self-worth which then further compounds the existing negative emotions caused by financial worries.  

The good news is that there are ways that both the government and individuals can help alleviate this problem. Governments should consider providing more support for those working in the gig economy by offering tax relief or extending access to publicly funded services or subsidised housing assistance programs.  

Individuals can also take proactive steps to protect their mental health by adopting certain strategies such as budgeting and setting aside some savings each month. Additionally, they should ensure they have access to health insurance coverage so that any medical expenses incurred due to illness are covered during times when there is no work available or income coming in.  

Temporary Working and Isolation

Temporary working and isolation can be a significant source of mental health challenges for gig economy workers.  

The lack of routine and structure associated with temporary work can make it difficult to build healthy habits into daily life. Additionally, without access to regular benefits such as sick pay or holiday pay, many gig economy workers are forced to keep working when ill or exhausted, leading to further stress and exacerbated illness. Furthermore, some employers try to abuse their contract workers by offering low wages or refusing payment altogether. These difficulties associated with temporary work further add to the existing mental health challenges faced by these workers.  

A study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation found that 8 out of 10 people working in the gig economy felt unsupported by their employer when it comes to managing their mental health. The study also found that 1 in 5 people said they had experienced depression while in a gig job role due to long hours and low wages. It is clear that those in the gig economy are vulnerable when it comes to their mental wellbeing, yet there continue to be inadequate measures put in place by employers in order to support employees’ mental health needs.  

In order for these issues faced by gig workers to be addressed effectively, employers must firstly recognise that this group is at a higher risk for developing mental health problems than traditional employees due to their distinct needs and circumstances. Secondly, specific policies need to be put into place such as providing adequate sick pay so that workers can take time off if needed without worrying about loss of income; creating flexible schedules so that workers do not overwork themselves and become exhausted; offering access to counseling services; putting emphasis on work-life balance; among other efforts.  

Finding Work-Life Balance in the Gig Economy

The gig economy has revolutionised the way people work, offering more flexibility and freedom than traditional employment.  

The need to constantly search for new gigs or job opportunities can place additional pressure to juggle multiple jobs or to spend hours outside of work looking for new opportunities. Longer hours and tighter deadlines may leave little time for rest or self-care. This means that not only do gig economy workers have to carefully manage their budgeting and finances, but also be proactive in maintaining a good level of physical and mental wellbeing.  

It’s important for anyone in the gig economy to make sure they look after themselves both physically and mentally. Taking regular breaks throughout the day is essential; even small changes like drinking plenty of water or taking short walks can help you stay focused and reduce stress. Structure and routine can reduce anxiety and increase control and predictability over the schedule.  

It can be beneficial to get creative with how you use your free time; finding hobbies or activities outside of work that help you relax, maintain good physical health and connect with others will go a long way towards helping find balance in the gig economy lifestyle. This could include anything from volunteering at local charities to joining interest clubs — whatever works best for you! Ensuring you take enough time away from work is key; having designated ‘me days’ where no work related tasks are completed allows us all to recuperate from both physical and mental exhaustion which can build up over time otherwise. 

Setting realistic goals is another great way of managing expectations within the gig economy lifestyle; this could involve writing down daily/weekly/monthly objectives which help focus energy on achievable targets rather than overwhelming yourself with too much at once.  

Freedom, Creativity and the Benefits of Working in the Gig Economy

The gig economy provides workers with many benefits, such as freedom, creativity and autonomy. Workers in the gig economy can choose which projects they want to take on, how many hours they work each week, and even where they work from – all without having to answer to a boss or supervisor. This offers a unique opportunity for those who may not be able to find employment elsewhere or those needing more flexibility due to personal circumstances.  

Another great benefit of working in the gig economy is that it allows people to explore their creative side. Individuals are able to explore new ideas, develop projects independently, and hone skills that may not be possible in other types of jobs. They also have the potential to earn more money than a typical 9-5 job due to having multiple streams of income from independent contracts.  

Some small adjustments can also help to improve the wellbeing of gig workers. Maintaining good relationships with former employers who may be able to provide valuable mentoring advice and job opportunities could prove beneficial for those navigating this landscape, as it provides both guidance and support during uncertain times. Additionally, seeking out resources like free counselling services offered by universities or other community organisations might also help ward off negative feelings associated with being part of the gig economy during periods such as these – helping individuals remain mentally healthy throughout similar economic climates that may arise again in future years. 


In conclusion, the gig economy provides a unique opportunity for flexible working but also presents its own set of unique mental health challenges for those employed within it. Companies should consider how best they can provide services such as on-demand mental health support or more job security so that gig economy workers don’t suffer due to lack of access or uncertain employment prospects. With greater awareness on these topics, we can ensure that everyone who chooses this type of work can remain healthy and safe while doing so. 

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