Towards the platformisation of employment in post-pandemic Aotearoa New Zealand? Evidence from the Future Worlds of Work survey
It has been widely recognised in the international literature that the impacts of the pandemic on workers have been experienced unevenly, most severely affecting women, minorities, and those on insecure contracts. At the same time, Covid-19 has accelerated technologically driven developments such as platform work and online freelancing. To provide evidence for these shifts in Aotearoa New Zealand, a survey (n=570) was completed by a sample aged over 18 and employed in the previous 12 months. The survey found uneven experiences of pandemic-related disruption, particularly for those in insecure forms of work, Māori, and frontline workers in hospitality and retail. Further, there was evidence for the emergence of a culture of “digital hustling” among younger people, who are seeking supplementary forms of income from the online world, while 43 per cent of respondents with an employment agreement were required to use a smartphone as part of their job. I use these findings to develop the concept of platformisation, capturing broad impacts of digital technology on workplaces, together with trends towards precarity and individual responsibility. The results have implications for public policy analyses of a “tight labour market” which can negate the unevenly felt effects of an economic slowdown.
Copyright (c) 2023 The author and NZJER
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.