Timing Is Money: The Flexibility and Precariousness of Login Employment
47 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 31, 2018
In the gig economy, workers gain scheduling flexibility but lose guarantees of paid workload. Since a schedule without work has no value to workers, the size and variance of workload within an observed schedule become key dimensions of precariousness. Using detailed work data on over ten thousand agents working in a virtual call center (VCC), which pioneered a gig-based on-demand employment model fifteen years ago, we show that workers’ control over their schedule does little to enhance employment security. The only simultaneous increase in size and reduction in variance of workload comes from trading off flexibility for security by making advance commitments to a specific schedule in exchange for priority in receiving calls. The case gives the first evidence of an innovative economic work arrangement – Login Employment – that combines formal relational contracts with informal directive control and thus becomes a mirror image of the traditional employment relationship.
Keywords: Employment Relationship, Gig Economy, Flexibility, Precariousness
JEL Classification: M1, J2, J41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation