On-location client-determined moderately skilled work

12 Septembris 2019

Platform work is a form of employment that uses an online platform to enable organisations or individuals to access other organisations or individuals to solve problems or to provide services in exchange for payment. Eurofound identified 10 different types of platform work prevalent in Europe as of 2017. Three of the 10 types were covered in an in-depth study of working and employment conditions. These, together with two additional ones, are also discussed in a policy brief highlighting the key issues arising in platform work as well as first solutions to tackle them.

On-location client-determined moderately skilled work covers low to medium skilled on-location work that is selected by the client by means of an offer. It mostly takes the form of household tasks conducted by professionals to earn additional income or to occupy spare time. Workers who perform this type of platform work have to apply for tasks that are posted on an online platform by a client, who determines which of the applicants obtains the task.

Characteristics

Overview of the characteristics that constitute on-location client-determined moderately skilled work

Source: Eurofound 2018

Format of service provision

Format of service provision refers to whether the work is performed online or offline (on-location). As the label suggests, on-location client-determined moderately skilled work is performed on location: that is, the platform worker will come to the client’s premises to perform tasks.

Form of matching

The process of allowing clients and workers to find each other is the main issue for platforms. Platforms are highly invested in optimising the matching process, as the more smoothly clients are matched to workers, the more reason they will have to stay exclusively on one platform, instead of using a different platform or exiting the market. In on-location client-determined moderately skilled work, matching is done by means of an offer. Clients post tasks and requirements on the platform and the platform worker then sends an offer to the client. Workers usually have a profile on the platform, including a skills summary and quality ratings from previous clients.

Selector

Selection can be made by the client, worker, or the platform. In on-location client-determined moderately skilled work, the selection of an offer is done by the client, and will usually depend on price, skills, and previous ratings of the platform worker.

Scale of task

Platform work can involve tasks on a wide-ranging scale of duration and complexity. There may be large, long-term projects, as well as micro tasks. Tasks performed within on-location client-determined moderately skilled work are usually of larger scale. There is a great variety of tasks performed in this kind of platform work, but many include household tasks such as carpentry, electrical work, furniture assembly or gardening. Some tasks are therefore large both in terms of complexity and duration, as they may require special skills (for example, handling electricity) and several days of work (for example, furniture renovation).

Skills level

A given task may require low, medium, or high skills. This refers to the traded tasks and not necessarily to the skills that the workers possess, since it is not uncommon that highly educated individuals carry out simple tasks through platforms. In on-location client-determined moderately skilled work, the required skills level can be described as moderate. For most tasks performed, at least a basic training is needed (for example, carpentry work), while other tasks may legally require formal certification (such as electricity installations).

Selected working conditions in on-location client-determined moderately skilled work

In the context of platform work, autonomy involves the freedom of workers to choose which tasks they do, when they work, and how to organise and perform their work. People doing on-location client-determined moderately skilled work enjoy a high level of autonomy and control, as the job offers full discretion and no direct control is performed by platforms or clients. Many platforms offer advice in cases where there are problems with clients.

Earnings are usually satisfactory, as platform workers can often set their own rates, similar to small business owners. Earnings are fairly predictable and there is a high awareness of taxation regimes and the practical handling of tax payments.

The work intensity and working time quality is usually satisfactory. Only unpaid search time can have a negative impact, but this usually decreases with higher levels of experience. Platform workers have a large influence in determining working time and can therefore make sure that work intensity does not get unbearable.

The physical environment is often located in the homes of private clients, often with questionable safety standards and unclear responsibilities, but high own awareness and precaution measures. Platforms usually provide only limited information and support regarding health and safety standards. Also commuting times should not be underestimated.

The social environment is generally good for work–life balance. A relationship between the platform worker and the client can develop, with a positive effect on ratings and professional development. There is, however, only a limited relationship between the platform worker and the platform, and platform workers often see themselves bearing the negative stigma of platform work.

The career development and prospects are generally good, as workers can build up a client base and professional relationships with their clients.

 

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