Indian labour market is seeing a shift towards gig economy, with an increasing number of workers seeking contractual or freelancing opportunities, and services sector is embracing it at the fastest pace, says a report.

According to the global job site Indeed, recruiters too are rethinking their remote work programmes, 7.7 per cent of all companies posting on the Indeed platform in India offer flexible work opportunities.

In addition, 2.8 per cent of all job postings on the site from India are for part-time or contractual roles.

As per data collected by Indeed from January, 2013 onwards till October this year, indicate a seasonal trend in contractual hiring in the services sector, where jobs of this nature increase towards the close of the year and remain relatively low at other times.

It has been observed that the percentage of part-time job opportunities rises from an average 5–10 per cent to a yearly high of 20–25 per cent between November to February, it said.

Other sectors that constitute the top 10 in terms of job flexibility include media, real estate, legal, hospitality, tech help, management, medicine allied and education.

“Employees are increasingly willing to sacrifice the additional benefits that come with a permanent job, such as gratuity or health insurance, in exchange for a greater amount of flexibility,” Sashi Kumar, MD, Indeed India said.

Indeed data demonstrates an increasing demand for flexible work arrangements, especially in larger cities, where a daily commute might be time consuming.

“Of the leading metros in the country, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore contribute 27.2 per cent, 12.4 per cent and 12.9 per cent respectively to all flexible work opportunities available in India,” Kumar noted.

Given increasing employee preference for flexible arrangements, companies are proactively taking measures to ensure that all members of the company feel involved.

“Companies are working to leverage technology to bridge the physical distance remote work might bring. From video conferencing to document sharing platforms, employers are going the extra mile,” the report said.

The leading segment in terms of job flexibility, is the service sector, with the role of ‘examiner’ offering flexible work arrangements in 75.2 per cent of all job postings.

Other job profiles that correspond to maximum flexibility across sectors include freelance photographer (68.5 per cent), property management consultant (53.6 per cent), claims investigator (52.8 per cent), freelance writer (49.5 per cent) and event planner (43.2 per cent) among others.

A job role that sees a large number of openings, that of Data Entry Clerk, is also seeing part-time opportunities making up 16.9 per cent of all job postings on the site, the report noted.