Research Outline

Thought workers during and after pandemic


To determine how COVID-19 and the remote work trend are affecting thought workers by explaining the changes in numbers of emerging LLCs, Sole Proprietor, and other companies being created by software engineers, product designers/ux, and other knowledge workers.

Early Findings

The Gig Economy

  • The Covid-19 epidemic has been a pivotal point in the gigification of knowledge work, also known as thought work. Individuals and firms are attracted by the prospects of the direct and indirect cost savings that the gig economy model offers.
  • The gig economy illustrates how workers in the knowledge economy seem to prefer “a bunch of free-floating projects, consultancies, and part-time bits and pieces while they transacted in a digital marketplace
  • The gig economy has experienced tremendous growth, although the majority of it can be attributed to unskilled work such as driving companies e.g. Lyft and Uber.
  • A vibrant gig economy for knowledge workers has not really materialized. Put succinctly, the stability of the gig economy for software engineers, consultants, management executives, and product designers – has not been experienced yet.

Trends of Thought/Knowledge Work Gigs

  • An estimated 16 million U.S. knowledge/thought workers started working remotely due to Covid-19 as of March 27. This number has most likely increased as more states adopt lockdown measures. This number represents nearly one-quarter of all knowledge workers in the U.S.A.
  • A nationwide survey of 2,877 thought workers across all 50 states revealed that 45% of the individuals who work in this economy were working remotely. Out of these, 66% reported they worked from home due to the pandemic, while 27% considered this model normal.
  • Roughly 11% of the thought workers surveyed say that it is impossible to accomplish their jobs remotely. Nearly half (48%) replied that working remotely would make their jobs more difficult.
  • Out of the respondents, 71% of those working from home because of the coronavirus expect to continue working remotely in the short term.
  • In the long term, only 12% of the thought workers say they intend to return to work full-time. 72% are actively seeking a combination of office and remote work.
  • Gig workers in the knowledge economy will have to work with and for firms that have pronounced values, incentives, practices, and preferences.