Digital transformation is not only disrupting the way we work, it’s also transforming the employment framework. Work and work contract, for instance, will never be the same and some predict that such concepts are going to die or be reserved for some skilled lucky profiles.
So let’s talk about a very popular topic : the uberization of work. Trendy topic but abused workd. The uberization of work is about many things at the same time ;
• the scarcity of paid employment
• the scarcity of work (even if I consider that this point is rather about watsonization than uberization)
• the deterioration of the employer/employee relationship, the employee becoming a replaceable commodity, a kind of necessary evil without any right nor protection.
If an Uber is a success from a customer perspective and had helped many drivers to get some work, start their company and even find their place in the society, we should also hear the voices of the disappointed ones. Of all drivers that see their situation degrading, are forced to accept changes in their relationship with uber, can be excluded from the program without any notification or explanation, are denied to form unions and even to exercise their rights. The dark side of flexible work that should make us understand that what is often designed with nice names like collaboration or sharing economy (I still can’t see where sharing and collaboration are in this business) is nothing more than a on demand economy.
It’s not about freelancing, it’s about platforms
An easy response would be to say that it’s nothing but logical. We’re entering a freelancing economy and freelances are less protected than employees. They don’t have a work contract with an employer but a service contrat with a client with everything it implies. The social side, benefits insurances etc… are his own problems and the way the contract is performed and can be stopped are not negotiated but imposed by the most powerful contractor. So not the driver.
A downgraded version of the work contract, perfectly fitting in tomorrow’s world, favoring activity and flexibility over security over time. Anyway, that’s the way things are going to be, it gives people work, whatever the work and work conditions.
Like it or not : it’s unavoidable and that’s least bad response to the upcoming world. But that’s not what is going to happen : the future will look even weirder.
Towards the “platformization” of work
The main thing about the upcoming economy is not freelancing but the fact it’s a platform economy. So I’d rather say platformization than uberization.
Food for thought for CHROs…