Issue #[[item.issue__number]] published [[timeFormat(item.date)]]

44 items in GIG ECONOMY

Riders in the Smog
We always need to balance the quantitative with the qualitative. The piece takes the personal stories from 3 gig economy workers in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and interweaves it with pollution data from the cities in which they work. The app delivery economy has an incredible consumer boon but I suspect we will one day have cause to reflect on the enormous sacrifice the poorest workers have had to make in order to improve our convenience. It’s a really good read, from a consistently really great blog.
Issue #388 published 17 Mar 2024
What is happening in the freelancer marketplace, in terms of contract length and day rate? Superb piece of work from YunoJuno who pull data from their platform, segment out per discipline and package it up in a wonderful interactive website. My interest was primarily in looking at job families which declined in rate over the past twelve months - significant if we additionally factor in cost of living crisis + impact of GenAI. Bookmark this.
Issue #382 published 4 Feb 2024
How a court case from an Uber driver who was physically assaulted whilst on the drive, led to a claim for data access and ultimately a philosophical position on who had access to the data and why that meant power. Its basically ‘gig work bad’ but does include an addendum at the end which recognises that perhaps it was still an improvement for many workers who had it worse. Important listen, so do it here. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share
Issue #366 published 15 Oct 2023
Did you know that gig workers now constitute between 4.4 to 12.5% of the global workforce? One of many fascinating data points in this global study of platform-enabled workers from the World Bank. It’s a 310 page monster (!) but helpfully has a condensed 40 pager which summarises the main insights. As many of us enter the gig economy ourselves, it is critical for us to know the lay of this land. Download here
Issue #365 published 8 Oct 2023
Fascinating two parter on the state of the gig economy in China, especially with tougher economic conditions in the Middle Kingdom driving surges in applications to the gig economy. The transition of middle class (and middle class aspirant) knowledge workers to the precariousness of the gig economy might be a global phenomenon as we together experience the inevitable results of hostile de-globalisation. Part 1 and Part 2 both worth a read.
Issue #353 published 16 Jul 2023
Gig economy or Recruitment Advertising, this short movie sells the story of Upwork pretty well I think: don’t be so past it that you’re actually a corpse. H/T to brainfood Jacob Sten Madsen for the share in the fb group
Issue #316 published 17 Nov 2022
Gig economy or Recruitment Advertising, this short movie sells the story of Upwork pretty well I think: don’t be so past it that you’re actually a corpse. H/T to brainfood Jacob Sten Madsen for the share in the fb group
Issue #None published 30 Oct 2022
The emergence of informal and parallel systems of labour organisation has been a theme of gig working, as the workers seek to maximise ROI by cooperating against the algorithm. Great story coming out of Indonesia where Gojek delivery riders take centre stage. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share.
Issue #312 published 2 Oct 2022
I’d be surprised if most of us haven’t made use of Upwork in some form. Part of its quality is that it provides such a smooth experience for clients that we often do not know how the platform actually works, for the workers. Rare and excellent breakdown post in case you wanted to fill that knowledge gap.
Issue #311 published 25 Sep 2022
Some sociology here, with the idea that gig economy platforms a designed for efficiency and so there is no scope of personalisation of the service, which is the dehumanising factor that the author uses in the title. No solutions here, other than a warning that the people delivering our conveniences might just be the canaries to a future we all might share. Brainfood is not all easy reading you know.
Issue #308 published 4 Sep 2022
Women working in the gig economy are being paid far less than men, according to a study of freelance workers in the US from WEF. Interestingly, this is based on the rates freelancers themselves set on platforms like Upwork. Why does this happen? Worth a read and a ponder here. Incidentally, I am hosting a webinar with our buddies Figures on How Men vs Women Talk Salary this week - register here if you want to discuss this topic with us!
Issue #307 published 28 Aug 2022
Shareholder updates are a great source of information to spot trends that are actually happening in the market. This is especially the case when the company in question is at the forefront of not only the gig economy but also the remote work one. Interesting and accessible reading from Upwork
Issue #303 published 31 Jul 2022
Bracing self analysis on the life as a freelancer - in this case, a freelance copywriter / content creator. A few things identified: there is never really enough free time, the work is usually boring and you are under pressure on deadline, most of the time. Worth a read, there is a way to do it but always useful to identify which paths have the most obstacles.
Issue #298 published 26 Jun 2022
Excellent thread on EU draft proposals for the regulation of digital platforms. Does the hard work of crunching through the policy document to highlight the key suggestions; OP has a pretty much orthodox view of gig work - that it is inherently exploitative - but don’t let that put you off. Techcrunch has a great review here, and if you fancy it, the EU Draft itself is here
Issue #271 published 19 Dec 2021
High quality conversation between two of the leading students of the future of work, Sophie Wade with Laetitia Vitaud. Welcome critique of the fetishization of the FTE, along with lots of things. Must listen folks.
Issue #266 published 14 Nov 2021
Exploited by apps. Attacked by thieves. Unprotected by police. New York City’s 65,000 delivery workers have only themselves to count on. They’ve improvised solutions, like bridge patrol to protect themselves from attacks, to make their jobs feasible.
It’s ‘decentralised collective action’. Wonderful essay on a social phenomenon we are likely to see a great deal more of
Issue #265 published 7 Nov 2021
You can’t really study the ‘future of work’ without the lenses of sociology and politics; the rise of the platform or gig economy has created new relations between worker and platform, and the workers, are organising for ‘decentralised collective action’. Li Jin one of the most effective coiners and chroniclers of this new era. Have a read here
Issue #262 published 17 Oct 2021
Brainfooder Andrew Spence is forging out on his own as a future of work thinker of Web3. Fascinating post with examples of institutional reinvention from the grass roots. Excellent read
Issue #260 published 3 Oct 2021
Fascinating research on 5000 gig workers from 15 different countries, on what they thought of gig work. The responses only seem contradictory if you see work only through the lens of FTE - it is perfectly compatible to see gig work as earning relatively well and still not see it as career. Accessible, important read.
Issue #259 published 26 Sep 2021
It’s a fascinating challenge - how to integrate different types of worker into the enterprise. Recruiters will have embrace the increase in scope and care for a much broader universe of talent than just FTE. Have a listen. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share.
Issue #257 published 12 Sep 2021
Shoehorning new ways of working into legacy legislative paradigms is a predictable pattern which will produce predictable outcomes, often deleterious to those it is designed to help most. US moves to make gig workers employees, which basically going to be collapse of gig platforms and zero employees. As ever, the nuance is in the HN conversation thread
Issue #239 published 9 May 2021
Perhaps no single country is better positioned to take advantage of a remote first world, than India. Huge, educated, English language speaking and available labour force plus decades of experience in offshoring. This report from BCG outlines the roadmap. Post here, full report here. Significant for any international recruiter or student of the gig economy
Issue #234 published 4 Apr 2021
In the second of the two major anti-big tech rulings this week, the UK supreme court concludes that Uber drivers are employees and not independent contractors. Potentially huge ramifications for the gig economy. Links to the full ruling here, the summary from Jeremias Adams-Prassl, Professor of Law, here, and - as ever - great conversation on it in the group here.
Issue #228 published 21 Feb 2021
Can Europeans come up with an alternative to the gig economy’s “growth at all cost” model?
The post gets more interesting at the halfway point when it looks at cooperatives like CoopCycle. We really need to recognise the diversity of possible relationships between individual and organisation - and move away from the over simplistic binary of ‘exploited gig worker’ vs ‘privileged employee. H/T brainfooder Tris Revill for the share in the fb group
Issue #224 published 24 Jan 2021
Nicolas Colin is one of the most interesting and accessible thinkers on the future of work; he makes the case here for the need for nuance when handling the challenges of the gig economy, and warns that a singular interpretation of alternative work being inherently exploitative will inevitably lead to legislative errors which harms the population it is intended to protect
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
Digital talent platforms have matured, and many companies are using them to hire skilled gig workers. Now they need to get strategic about it.
Great call to action for TA to get serious about building the on-demand workforce into their talent delivery plans. If we don’t do it, somebody else will - have a read
Issue #213 published 9 Nov 2020
Excellent thinking from Nicolas Colin - regulation intended to prevent worker exploitation is using an obsolete model of that work, which may in fact harm the workers it aims to protect - as well frustrate the growth of the entrepreneurial economy.
Related: California threw out Prop22 last week, in a reversal of the decision to classify Uber / Lyft drivers as employees, which inadvertently hammered all other kinds of non-permanent work, as well as leading to Uber / Lyft from ceasing operations in the state. One for a future Brainfood Live, I think
Issue #213 published 9 Nov 2020
Arise Virtual Solutions, part of the secretive world of work-at-home customer service, helps large corporations shed costs at the expense of workers. Now the pandemic is creating a boom in the industry.
A brave new world folks, though with some rather old economics. Still, the future is being made and if we want a more equitable proposition, we have to build a better offering. Meanwhile, others are building this
Issue #209 published 11 Oct 2020
I’m Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy. I used to be a full-time engineer but in 2015, I quit my day job to run the blog full-time! My team and I write about what it’s really like to be a driver for Uber, Lyft and lots of other gig services.
The 👆about me page should be enough for you to take a click at this superb post, comparing different gig economy platforms from the perspective of the workers. The mechanics of the gig economy are going to spread far behind food & people delivery folks, so essential reading. H/T brainfooder Simon McSorley for the original share in the fb group
Issue #203 published 30 Aug 2020
Thanks to brainfooders Simon McSorley and Bas van de Haterd for both starting conversations around the implications of the AB5 ruling against Uber and Lyft, redefining drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. Smart conversation going on in the fb group. as well as in this Hacker News thread too. Bottom line? we need to diversify the legal categories of worker
Issue #202 published 23 Aug 2020
The characterisation of the gig economy as an exploitative canard - only used by companies unwilling to extend the benefits of full time employment to their workforce - was always too simplistic to be accurate. Regulation to protect those workers inevitably create unexpected outcomes. Must read.
Issue #196 published 12 Jul 2020
More stories on the tension between the platform vs gig workers on them. And yet even with this type of exploitation, both Uber and Lyft are loss making enterprises. Consumers get an amazing service at below market rate, subsidised by the VC’s and the folks doing the driving. 
Issue #158 published 23 Apr 2020
Somehow missed this from Laetitia Vitaud earlier this year. She is an acute commentator on the future of work as there is. This is an outstanding essay on how changing workforce demands will in term transform the responsibility of ‘HR’. Must read folks. H/T brainfooder Matt Bradburn for the share. 
Issue #112 published 23 Apr 2020
Who Pays Writers?
The creative economy has pretty always been the gig economy. Now that we’re all about to catch up, it pays to pay attention to how they are getting paid. This is an anonymous, crowdsourced list of which publications pay freelance writers, and how much. A cool tool and maybe a message from the future
Issue #151 published 23 Apr 2020
Written as a critique of the gig or platform economy, this essay can also be read as a forecast of a future all of us might share - our pay becoming dependent on how customers rate our service. Note: this would be irrespective of whether they are qualified to do so or not. Food for thought for all of us I’d say…
Issue #175 published 23 Apr 2020
The power imbalance between payments providers and content creators is laid bare in this weeks decision by PayPal to pull out of Pornhub - leaving thousands of platform workers scrambling for alternatives, none of which adequately replace PayPal’s market dominance. Financial de-platforming…perhaps an unpleasant yet necessary consideration for platform workers in the gig economy.
Issue #162 published 23 Apr 2020
For the record, I disagree with my old boss Azeem Azhar’s argument for increased government oversight in regulating work on online platforms. He makes a strong case though in this accessible essay on the future of platform economy. Have a read here and make up your own mind.
Issue #98 published 23 Apr 2020
Amazon Mechanical Turk was perhaps the first ‘gig working’ platform launched as far back as 2005, it was a place where remote workers can do some menial digital tasks for micropayments. The Hustle breaks down whether you can actually make 'being a Turker’ a viable side hustle. Great - and balanced - read of a method of labour organisation which is an inevitable part of our future
Issue #145 published 23 Apr 2020
Agencies, marketplaces, platforms - are all in the same business of connecting buyer and seller. They just got to do it more efficiently than the open market. Paul Millerd offers a critique of the promise of the upstream gig economy from the POV of the talent, one familiar with a lot of us who’ve signed up to the gig economy. H/T ‘foodie Ollie Glass for the share
Issue #128 published 23 Apr 2020
5th annual report from Upwork and the Freelancers Union on the state of the freelance economy. Essential resource from one of market makers of the new economy. You need to download and read this paper - do it here
Issue #108 published 23 Apr 2020
Outstanding report from JP Morgan on the platform economy. This is not traditional contractors, this is work distributed by an online platform rather than open market. Sector divergence is the key finding, with the recommendation for tailored policy approaches. Download the full report here
Issue #104 published 23 Apr 2020
“..you have your 9-5, 5-9 and your weekend job”. Fascinating report into the tech enabled gig economy. In the developing world economies, with Nigeria, Indonesia and Vietnam as exemplars, this is already the norm. 
Issue #60 published 23 Apr 2020
‘Rental is the new retail’ so the saying goes, as consumers avoid the headache of having to actually own things. The movement will inevitably come to hiring, as employers get rid of the headache of 'owning’ workers, preferring instead to rent them. Have a read here
Issue #161 published 23 Apr 2020
The future of organised labour might look a lot like this - market wide co-ordination of gig workers, independent of any employer or platform. Last week’s call for a nationwide strike in the face of heightened risk of work during the pandemic is an early sign of things to come. Have a look - we might belong to it or something like it, one day.
Issue #182 published 23 Apr 2020