The dark side of gig work: A work design perspective on flexible work.


From The Conversation, June 19, 2017


An increasing number of part-time workers are looking towards rideshare services such as Uber, or food delivery services such as Deliveroo. Work in the “gig economy” is often described as attractive due to its flexible nature – workers can choose their own hours, and work for as little or as much as they like.

In The Conversation’s top story, Kaine, Veen, Goods and Josserand (2017) discuss the trade-offs these gig workers make as they seek to balance the flexibility afforded by such work with a lack of control over their employment contract. This article presents how the new reality of work may be more nuanced than simply enjoying flexible work.

The authors also discuss the changes in work design that come with such work. For instance, while there appears to be more freedom from traditional work structure, workers reported feeling limited control over how they get work (and in return, remunerated). In addition, the physically isolating nature of the work may contribute to feelings of independence, or in some workers’ cases, a sense of camaraderie where workers build a shared understanding and support system for one another.

For more information, you can find the online version of the article.


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