Job quality and worker well-being in the gig economy

Collective Benefits has just completed a survey of 1,000 workers in the UK who work in the platform economy. That is, people who find work and carry out tasks through platforms such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo.
Mark Griffiths
Head of Social Impact

One of our goals with this survey was to reach beyond phrases such as ‘Digital Taylorism’ or ‘Algorithmic Management’ to better understand what people actually think and feel.


In the survey, we deliberately re-used many of the questions recommended by the Measuring Job Quality Working Group in the UK. This allows us to relate responses back to the evidence-based drivers of job quality - and in turn, worker well-being.


Many of the findings come as good news, and offer a useful corrective to the widespread view that work in the platform economy is empty of fulfilment and purpose.


For example: 


  • 64% of respondents who work in the platform economy say that their work is meaningful (this compares to 66% of their peers who do not work through the platform economy) 
  • 68% somewhat, or strongly, think they are paid appropriately given their skills and achievements (compared to 59% of their non-platform peers)
  • 63% say the main platform they work on is somewhat good, or very good, at keeping them informed about changes that affect them (compared to 56% of their non-platform peers)


Alongside that, the survey identifies areas where the nature of existing work in the platform economy is, on the whole, doing less well. For example, in making full use of skills that people say they have, or in providing autonomy over how a task, or a job, is done.


Next year, we will explore in much greater depth the topics of meaning and motivation at work in the platform economy. 


The evidence suggests that making improvements in both the amount, and quality, of motivation that the platform economy can harness will be good for workers (in terms of wellbeing at work) and platforms (in terms of metrics such as recruitment, retention and performance).


In exploring this topic, our goal is to be as open, inclusive and evidence-informed as possible.


If you work for a platform, are interested in this topic, and want to be involved, please get in touch with me at: mark@collectivebenefits.com.


December 6, 2021