Gig Work, a new phenomenon on the Swiss labour market
Gig work is a form of temporary employment in which a mobile application connects self-employed people directly with customers, e.g. the taxi service Uber. The project aims to identify the different types of gig workers and to investigate how this work form affects their lives.
According to the labour union Syndicom, 17 percent of all people with Internet access in Switzerland do gig work at least occasionally. Gig work is therefore a phenomenon of the Swiss labour market that should not be ignored. In our research project, we will examine the experiences of gig workers regarding their working life and employment history, from a work and organizational psychology perspective as well as a human resources management angle. We will register different types of gig workers on platforms of relevance for the Swiss labour market. In close collaboration with partners in the field, we hope to provide data-based recommendations for political decision makers, labour unions, platforms and gig workers, so as to develop a sustainable Swiss gig economy.
Although some initial research has been performed on gig work, the literature shows significant gaps in three areas:
- The linking of the characteristics and motivations of gig workers to the type of gig work they perform.
- The study of possible positive and negative effects of different types of gig work.
- Data-based research approaches for best possible information of all stakeholders.
We expect our research project to provide answers to the following questions:
- How do gig workers choose a specific type of work?
- How can gig workers within a typology be characterized and classified? And how does this typology relate to different types of gig work?
- How do different types of gig work affect career development, health, well-being, and the work-life balance?
We aim to identify the social risks and opportunities of gig work. Our goal is to provide data-based recommendations for political decision makers, labour unions, platforms and gig workers, so as to develop a sustainable Swiss gig economy.
Gig Work in Switzerland: Types, Opportunities, and Risks of a Digitalized Labour Market Phenomenon