Knowledge for policy

Platformisation of work

  • Work is increasingly more cognitively complex, more collaborative, more dependent on technological competence, more mobile and less dependent on geography
  • In the 'Gig Economy', jobs are chosen on an ad hoc basis through online platforms, based on one's own interests, skills, and timeframe. The platforms could be classified into 4 groups taking into account distinction between the mode of delivery of service (physical vs. online) and customer (collective vs. individual):
    • physical delivery of service to individual customer
      (e.g., UBER, listminut', Pawshake)
    • online service delivery to individual customer
      (e.g., peopleperhour, freelancer, guru)
    • physical delivery of service to collective customers
      (e.g., appJobber, FieldAgent)
    • online service delivery to collective customers
      (e.g. prolific, Clickworker).
  • The 'platform economy' is growing:
    • The increase in sharing economy will be driven by demographics: the emerging middle class, women and the elderly.
    • Online labour platforms have grown considerably in recent years and the number of people who tried platform work is increasing slowly but steadily in Europe.
    • In Europe, an estimated 11% of the adult population has ever used online platforms for providing some type of labour services; about 1.4% are main platform workers (work at least 20 hours a week on platforms and earn at least 50% of their income via online labour platforms).
      | Related Megatrends: Technology; Inequalities
  • The platform work introduces major transformations on the labour market: from hiring local staff to reaching remote workers, standard employment is increasingly supplemented or substituted by temporary work, from continuous/permanent employment towards project-based (casual), from single employer towards multiple concurrent clients.
  • The platform workers are younger than offline workers; based on the Colleem survey the average age of offline workers was 42.6 in 2018, while the average age of platform was 33.9.
  • The participation of male in the platform work is higher than female, but the profile of platform workers is becoming less male-dominated.
  • There is a high economic insecurity of platform workers. In 2017, only six out of ten respondents were covered by health insurance, and only 35% had a pension or retirement plan, notes ILO.
  • The State of California, USA, adopted legislation that gives many independent contractors (including gig-workers) employee status, with guaranteed minimum wage and benefits. The law will go into effect in 2020.
    | Related Megatrends: Technology; Inequalities; Education;