The rise of the gig economy

FT journo John Gapper writes about the new ‘gig’ economy – and at the time of writing it’s the publication’s most read article of the day. He talks about the end of the lifetime career and the rise of the self-employed, believing there to be a lot of potential in the new world of work:

Days earlier there was an op-ed in The Guardian by NYU professor Arun Sundarajan on the gig economy, The ‘gig’ economy is coming. He writes that while “empowering” about being a boss (a better work-life balance can be achieved) there is something reassuring about company benefits, regular work hours and a regular income:

These are exciting times, and greater individual empowerment can be no bad thing.

Shanghai, Beijing among most expensive cities in the world

Juba

Switzerland might the happiest country in the world, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to move there any time soon: four Swiss cities are named among the most expensive cities worldwide for international assignees in ECA International’s Cost of Living survey.

The singularly most pricey city in the world, however, rocketing into first place from 9th spot last year, is Juba in South Sudan. Entering the top 10 for the first time are Shanghai (8) and Beijing (9). Having lived in Shanghai myself, I can attest to the high cost of living there – however, don’t let that put you off: there are great opportunities in China for people with the right mindset!

Swiss bliss: Happiest nations in the world named

Perhaps you are reading this by the pool with your mates, totally blissed out. You might be thinking “I wish it were like this all the time.” You might also be thinking where can I be happy like this all the time? In other words, which is the happiest nation anywhere on the planet, where people are just…you know…happy?

I can tell you it’s not Malaysia, where I’m presently writing these words, perhaps many people’s notion of “paradise”. There are extraordinarily beautiful beaches, stunning grub available 24/7 and a laid-back lifestyle, and yet there are also visible tensions.

It’s not southern neighbour Singapore, either, a highly developed and educated country in contrast. Friends in the city-state, famous for its competitive kiasu mindset, complain about the cost of housing and work-related stress.

There are grumbles in the UK meanwhile, with not even London escaping criticism.

The number 1 result, according to the latest World Happiness Report, might surprise some. Switzerland, a country more famous for its cuckoo clocks and Roger Federer, is on top of the world:

Northern countries do extremely well, with Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland and Sweden taking 6 of the top 10 spots.

Do you agree with the survey findings? Are you itching to move on? And what does happiness mean to you anyway? Comments please!