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It Takes a New Kind of Worker to Make “Instant” Happen


Stashed in: @lizgannes, Jobs, Uber, Robot Jobs

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Are all of these part-time workers being exploited? An evenhanded look at the state of the art in worker "benefits" today.

They seem happy even though it does sound like exploitation to me. 

Ahhhh, here we have the Soccer Mom, the Slacker Dude, and the Vaguely Artsy Lady. I always wonder how any of them can afford to live in SF and drive a BMW on part-time wages.

Someone else is bankrolling them?

The gist is "fractional employees":

But it can be too easy to forget that people make “instant” happen. And, generally, these people are not a traditionally stable workforce. They are instead a flexible and scalable network of workers — “fractional employees” — that tap in and tap out as needed, and as suits them.

It’s estimated that more than 100,000 of these jobs have been created, especially due to the largest on-demand mobile services: The ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, whose drivers provide alternatives to taxis and other forms of transportation.

The Uber-style model works when a company can turn that kind of disparate workforce into a reliable branded service. It’s not quantum computing, but after you click “buy now,” it falls to someone to do the hard and sensitive work of moving physical stuff around in the real world.

Uber says it is creating 20,000 U.S. jobs per monthby allowing drivers to tap into its ride-hailing service in their local cities by renting a phone from the company (it used to be free).

And so, at its core, you might think of the instant gratification economy as a story about jobs — new kinds of jobs. Here’s how it works: People like to get stuff when they want it. And, because of smartphones and smart logistics software, deliveries can happen much more cheaply and quickly, especially in cities.

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