Gig Work With Friends and Family: Is It a Good Idea?

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The gig economy brings a level of freedom and flexibility that you simply won’t find in a traditional 9-to-5. Chief among these is the fact that you’re now free to essentially choose your own coworkers. Who you work with could be just as important as who you work for. If you find a gig you like, you might even open up to the idea of gig work with friends and family.

While it’s tempting to want to work with people you already like, it isn’t always the best idea. Here’s how to determine whether or not gig work with friends and family will play out the way you hope it will.

When It Could Be a Good Idea

The most important thing to think about when considering gig work with friends and family is if their presence will empower or distract you.

Nobody knows your relationship with this friend or loved one better than you do, so you need to be as objective as possible. Have you worked well together in the past? Do their skills and strengths play off of yours? If yes, they could be a great fit and would be a great person to recommend to your manager.

When It Might Not Be a Good Idea

Look at your relationship again. Are things between you casual to the point where your productivity is going to suffer? Does their work ethic match yours, or would you see yourself disappointed in their efforts? Friends don’t always make the best coworkers. Don’t just think about how much you like to spend time with them. Really consider if they’re someone you would be comfortable working alongside.

Another important question to ask when deciding whether or not to engage in gig work with friends and family has to do with whether or not you’ll be able to keep your work separate from your personal lives. You shouldn’t be entering into a situation where you’re likely to make each other late, for example. Likewise, you shouldn’t be put in a position where you have to make excuses for one another, and you shouldn’t be impacted if one of you is rehired and the other one isn’t. If any of those things are potential issues, it’s probably best to think things through.

Make Sure You’re Both Good Additions to the Team

Finally, you need to look inward and decide whether or not you are both well suited for the job in question. You shouldn’t want to perform gig work with friends and family members just because you suddenly can. Ultimately, you should do so because the two of you work better together than you do separately. You don’t have to be the best at the same tasks. It might even be detrimental if you are too similar because you’d overlap a lot in your work. Ideally, you should both bring something unique and valuable to the team.

Even if you decide that you shouldn’t gig work with friends and family, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with this. Not everyone is suited for every job. But if you are, you’ll be taking full advantage of another one of the many benefits that gig work has to offer. 


About the Author: Stephen Lilley earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Over the last decade as a professional writer he has written more than 15,000 unique pieces of content in areas ranging from entertainment to technology to finance, real estate and more. 

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