Source: Hannah Johnston, Chris Land-Kazlauskas, International Labour Organization, Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 94, 2018
…. We begin with an overview of gig and platform work and the structural and institutional challenges that gig- and platform-based workers in building collective, group agency. This is followed by a review gigworker organizing strategies based on the institutions or organizations that workers have formed or joined for the purpose of building agency. We stress the importance of workers’ organizations – broadly defined – as a site to agglomerate the economic, political, and cultural resources necessary to provoke change. The tenure of organizations allows workers to experiment with various tools and strategies to improve conditions and adopt those that are effective. The four organizational structures we explore (union renewal strategies and new organizing initiatives, worker forums, worker centres, and cooperatives) represent a comprehensive list of organizations that are actively organizing and supporting gig economy workers. Given the rapid turnover of the on-demand workforce, we view the tenacity and adaptive strategies of workers’ organizations as vital to developing a sustainable and dynamic labour movement. Each initiative examined has its own section delineated by a heading and a summary of the principle strategies used. We then turn to efforts by employers’ organizations to support their members in adapting to, and influencing these new realities.
The paper ends with a discussion of barriers that self-employed platform workers face to effectively achieve collective bargaining and efforts to achieve effective representation and collective bargaining for workers in the gig economy. In this section we discuss important steps that could be taken to ensure the right to freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining among independent contractors, who often find their these rights curtailed by anti-trust legislation. This section also highlights a number of recent efforts at collective regulation undertaken by workers and platforms in the gig economy…..
Source: Stephanie A. Pink-Harper and Beth Rauhaus, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Vol. 40, No. 3, Winter 2017
From the abstract:
The term “family-friendly” has been broadened to “employee-friendly” to encompass employees who may not benefit from traditional familial benefits. This change in terminology, focusing on employees in a general sense, has not necessarily resulted in policies that are beneficial to a dynamic, diverse public service. As demographics and lifestyles of federal government employees change, human resource policies will need to adapt to meet the needs of this population. This research explores the impact that employee-friendly policies (i.e. family, health, and socio-economic) have on the employee, and the workplace environment. This project attempts to bridge the gap between the theory- driven creation of employee-friendly policies and the practice of beneficial policies that employees will take advantage of. Results suggest that as demographics of the public service change, the need for human resource practices to be modified becomes even more apparent to achieve an appropriate work-life balance. In order to address these challenges, this work offers policy recommendations for increased levels of job satisfaction, which focus on benefits useful in improving federal public servants’ wellness.
Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM), March 2018
From the memo:
The key findings of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Federal Work-Life Survey administered January 25 to March 10, 2017. This memorandum highlights the Federal workforce’s use and impact of work-life programs and provides guidance for agencies. OPM’s analysis indicates a significant relationship between participation in work-life programs and optimal organizational performance, retention, and job satisfaction. These outcomes emphasize the value of work-life programs as strategic tools that support organizational effectiveness. At the same time, there are opportunities for improvement through expanding support and reducing barriers to utilizing these programs…..
Source: Elizabeth Ballou, Clutch, Press Release, February 22, 2018
Flexible work hours are the perk that can most influence employee satisfaction, according to a new survey by Clutch, a B2B research firm. More than 40% of full-time U.S. employees surveyed say that flexible hours are the most important perk they receive, and over half (54%) say it’s the perk that matters most to their job satisfaction. ….
Source: Upwork, February 2018
From the press release:
Upwork, the largest freelancing website, today released the results of its second annual Future Workforce Report, which explores hiring behaviors of over 1,000 U.S. managers. As companies struggle to fill the skills gap, they’re embracing agile, remote teams to get work done. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of companies today have remote workers, yet a majority lack remote work policies. ….
Companies have the resources, but lack the policies to support remote work
While companies feel confident they have the resources in place to support remote work, many lack a formal policy. Sixty-four percent of hiring managers feel that their company has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce, yet the majority (57 percent) lack a remote work policy.
Companies with work-from-home policies have become more lenient & inclusive
As companies increasingly embrace remote work, they’re evolving their work-from-home policies. Nearly half (45%) of hiring managers said their company’s work-from-home policy has changed in the past five years, with 60 percent saying it has become more lenient and inclusive. This increased inclusivity is making it easier for companies to find the talent they need. Over half (52%) of hiring managers that work at companies with work-from-home policies believe hiring has become easier in the past year.
Findings indicate remote work is likely to become the new normal
Over half (55%) of hiring managers agree that remote work has become more commonplace as compared to three years ago. Five times as many hiring managers expect more of their team to work remotely in the next ten years than expect less. In the next ten years, hiring managers predict that 38 percent of their full-time, permanent employees will work predominantly remotely…..
Source: Nathan Heller, New Yorker, January 25, 2018
…..Slowly, and in drips, though, data are trickling in. This afternoon, HoneyBook, a platform for freelance events-industry workers—photographers, caterers, stationery designers, and so forth—released results from a sexual-harassment survey it ran, in December, among users. The sample is limited, and hardly random. (The company sent a survey invitation to thirty-eight thousand of its users; a thousand and eighty-seven participated anonymously, and ninety-seven per cent were women.) But it’s not nothing, and the data start to light a candle in a room that has been dark.
The harassment numbers in the HoneyBook report are—one wishes this were a shock—high. Fifty-four per cent of the freelancer respondents reported being sexually harassed in the course of their work. Of those, seventy-seven per cent cited “unprofessional comments” about their appearance, three-quarters were called “demeaning nicknames” on the job, and a horrifying sixty per cent reported physical intimidation. Eighty-seven per cent never brought these incidents to anyone’s attention, even though eighteen per cent say they were harassed by the same person more than four times. (More than eighty per cent, in fact, continued working on whatever the harassment-filled project had been.) Those who did lodge complaints found their claims ignored more than half of the time…..
Source: Danny Vinik, Politico Magazine, January/February 2018
Forget automation. The workplace is already cracking up in profound ways, and Washington is sorely behind on dealing with it.
Source: Mike Maciag, Governing, October 30, 2017
…. Americans primarily working from home recorded its largest ever year-over-year increase in 2016, climbing to 5 percent of the workforce. Using the Census estimates, we compared each metro area’s average share of workers telecommuting in 2015 and 2016 with averages for 2006 and 2007. In 186 of the 252 areas with comparable data, the share increased. If this trend continues, Americans working from home will soon overtake the share of people who use public transportation, as it already has in many regions. The slow but steady shift carries numerous potential implications for transportation systems…..
Source: Rebecca Knight, Harvard Business Review, May 5, 2017
More and more people are working remotely, and many say it improves their productivity and satisfaction — while also saving them time and money. If you’re commuting to an office every day but would like to work elsewhere on a weekly basis, how can you convince your boss to let you do so? What arguments or evidence should you use? And what factors will increase your chances of securing a regular work-at-home schedule?…
Source: W.C. Bunting – research economist in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Date Written: June 29, 2017
From the abstract:
The central claim of the present article is that some form of government intervention is necessary to make telework arrangements sufficiently binding in the long-run for employees living in, or near, city centers to feel comfortable incurring the costs of relocating to more remote, lower-priced areas, and to ensure the long-run financial self-sufficiency of private telework centers, which provide important benefits, not just to employers and employees, but to society generally. The public benefit considered here is the capacity for telework, and telework centers specifically, to provide lower-priced housing alternatives for middle- and high-income earners who choose to live in, or near, the city center to reduce the time spent commuting, but who would otherwise choose to live in more remote, lower-priced areas if commuting costs were lower. As explained, a minimal amount of government intervention is necessary, however, to overcome several key economic challenges that preclude employees from relocating to remote, lower-priced exurban or rural communities, as well as the formation of a new and exciting private-sector enterprise—the privately-operated telework center.