Work & The Gig Economy
April 27th 2021 10:00 GMT
The gig economy is now a profound part of our economy and society, and goes hand-in-hand with the casualisation of labour, especially as the digital economy has become more advanced. In this seminar, Alex Wood will introduce us to his research on the gig economy, based on empirical work with gig workers from six countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Despite varying country contexts and types of work, Alex shows that algorithmic control is central to the operation of online labour platforms. Algorithmic management techniques tend to offer workers high levels of flexibility, autonomy, task variety and complexity. However, these mechanisms of control can also result in low pay, social isolation, working unsocial and irregular hours, overwork, sleep deprivation and exhaustion.