Worker Experience in the Food Delivery Gig Economy

Implications of food delivery and ride share platforms on the nature of work and employees

This UWA research project evaluates how the growth of work organised through platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo has implications for work, including a reshaping of relations between employers, employees and their regulators. Researchers aim to investigate the changes in the arrangement and performance of work to inform research and policymaking to improve work experience in the gig economy.

Research has found that emerging changes in technology and the global economy are currently disrupting the nature of work and reshaping employment relations. One major area of digital disruption is the gig or platform economy work, which is facilitated through online platforms, best known from companies such as Uber or Airtasker.

Gig work can be distinguished between two forms:

  • Crowdwork, which uses the internet to connect clients and workers on a global basis and generally involves work that can be performed or communicated online. It can range from large jobs (e.g. designing logos) to micro-tasks (e.g. tagging photos).
  • Work on demand through apps (or platform-based, on-call work), this involves more traditional real-world tasks such as driving or cleaning, and is offered or assigned by intermediaries (i.e. Uber) who may set minimum service standards and select/manage workforce.

The key focus of this research project is on the gig work in the second form: work on demand through apps.

What is the nature and experience of work in the gig economy?

What are the implications of flexibility for workers in the gig economy?

Are workers aware of the possible risks connected to work through gig economy platforms?

Project collaborators

Dr Caleb Goods from The University of Western Australia will be collaborating on this project with two other Australian researchers: Tom Barratt, a lecturer in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, and Alex Veen, a scholarly teaching fellow in Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney.

Contact Dr Caleb Goods