Working Without Borders: The Promise and Peril of Online Gig Work

Jobs are crucial for individual well-being. They provide a livelihood and, equally important, a sense of dignity. They are also crucial for collective well-being and economic growth. Over the past decade, technology has fundamentally shifted traditional work patterns, creating new ways in which work is contracted, performed, managed, scheduled, and remunerated. New business models, digital platform firms, are allowing the effects of technology to reach more people more quickly, bringing economic opportunity to millions of people who do not live in industrialized countries or even industrial areas, simply with access to broadband and a digital device (World Bank 2019). Digital labor platforms play a role in the process of structural transformation especially by triggering organizational and occupational transformations, for example, by enhancing labor productivity and formalization in service sectors (Nayyar, Hallward-Driemeier, and Davies 2021). New forms of work, known as gig jobs, enabled by digital platforms, have now gained momentum (Eurofound 2020).