What does flexible work really mean for hospitality workers?

“Flexible work” is a hot topic these days. As life gets closer to normal, many employees don’t want to return to the office after nearly two years of working from home. They’re fighting for more flexibility, including remote options.

But for hospitality professionals—working from home was never a possibility. Does that mean you can’t have “flexible work” too?

No, not at all. With platforms like Instawork, hospitality workers can have flexibility. It just looks a little different from an office worker’s options.

Let us explain.

What does flexible work look like for you - the service worker?

Work-life balance

As a full-time server or bartender for one restaurant, you have to work whenever the restaurant is open or whenever the boss says you have to come in. This can mean weekends, late nights, and long hours—especially when there’s a big event.

But as a shift worker on Instawork, you choose when and how much to work, making it easy to protect your time off. For instance, if you have a wedding to attend in two weeks, plan ahead for your time off and choose not to pick up shifts that weekend. Or snag some extra hours the weekend before so you’re not missing out on a paycheck.

As an Instawork Pro, you’ll never have to worry about missing another family gathering because your GM decided last-minute that everyone has to work late Christmas Eve. Being a shift worker allows you to better balance your work life with your personal life.

More money

One study by Oregon Health & Science University found that service workers who rely on tips are more likely to suffer from depression, sleep problems, and stress. Yikes. Why does this happen? The unpredictability of tips leads to stress, as you’re never sure how much money you’re going to make.

Instead of heading into a restaurant where you’re paid below minimum wage and hoping patrons tip generously that day, grab an Instawork shift for a set amount—shifts on the app average up to 20% higher hourly pay than minimum wage.

List of open shifts available on Instawork

Plus, there’s always the possibility of earning tips on top of your Instawork payment (though we can’t guarantee that will happen).

With Instawork, you can make a higher and more consistent income. Just pick a shift at a pay rate that works for you.

Mental health breaks

Working in hospitality is stressful. It’s filled with late nights, rude customers, and snarky supervisors. What if you could take a break whenever you needed to, no questions asked?

When you work full-time for a restaurant or bar, you have little control over your schedule and when you can take time off.

But when you’re a shift worker, you get to pick when you work and when you take a break. So take time off when you need it, and when you’re ready to start earning again, just log into Instawork and book shifts that work for your schedule.


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What does flexible work actually mean for you - the service worker?

More control

There’s no hospitality worker who doesn’t know what it’s like to work in a toxic environment. You’ve likely had to put up with controlling bosses or backbiting coworkers because you didn’t feel like you could leave. After all, we all need a job to pay our bills.

But when you’re an Instawork Pro, you’re not stuck with one restaurant or employer. You can take it one shift at a time to try it out. Don’t like it? Pick another with a different employer. You’ll get to control who you work with—and where you work. Even better, you can see feedback left by other Pros who’ve worked that shift before you. There’s nothing better than having insider advice to help you pick up jobs you love!

Advice from Professionals on Instawork

Job security

There can actually be more job security as an Instawork Pro than as a full-time employee. Why? Because as a full-time service worker, you have one source of income. If you lose your job, you’ve lost 100% of your income. But as a shift worker, you have multiple sources of income. If one restaurant is no longer offering shifts, you can still pick up shifts with other ones.

“Covid-19 had me and a lot of others scrambling not only to stay healthy but also left us all struggling to find work…my passion happens to be working behind the bar and via Instawork, I was able to. Getting back to work and having the privilege of serving up the Bay Area again, it just feels right for the first time.”

       - Instawork Pro Jason B.

Be your own boss!

Instawork Pros enjoy the benefits of being their own boss — finally, you get to call the shots. Make your own schedule, take time off when you need to, and explore different areas of expertise if you want.


“Every shift is like adventure, different places, meeting beautiful people, being part of their story…most importantly Instawork gave me the opportunity to follow my career path with a flexible schedule.”

      - Inna P. from Los Angeles, CA

Flexible work is for service workers too

While hospitality jobs usually can’t be done from home, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the flexible work movement. By joining Instawork, you’ll enjoy more control over your schedule, more money in your pocket, a better balance between work and family—and so much more.

Instawork makes it easy for you to pick up shifts with different employers whenever you want. Get started by creating your profile and start showcasing your skills.