Timing Is Money: The Flexibility and Precariousness of Login Employment

47 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018

See all articles by Valery Yakubovich

Valery Yakubovich

ESSEC Business School

Roman V. Galperin

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Mouna El Mansouri

ESSEC Business School

Date Written: August 31, 2018

Abstract

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

Yakubovich, Valery and Galperin, Roman V. and EL MANSOURI, Mouna, Timing Is Money: The Flexibility and Precariousness of Login Employment (August 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3247017 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3247017

Valery Yakubovich (Contact Author)

ESSEC Business School ( email )

France

Roman V. Galperin

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Mouna EL MANSOURI

ESSEC Business School ( email )

3 Avenue Bernard Hirsch
CS 50105 CERGY
CERGY, CERGY PONTOISE CEDEX 95021
France

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