The recent ruling by the California Labor Commission that an Uber driver should be classified as a W-2 employee, not an independent contractor, highlights the strange new landscape we are in.
… New digital platforms are beginning to act as real-time global online staffing agencies, but staffing agencies that bridge borders and integrate the global workforce at levels never seen before. Meanwhile, coordination platforms like Uber and Shyp are multiplying almost daily, powered by smart synchronization algorithms that can route tasks to those who are best qualified and available to perform them. … They are reinventing the meaning of jobs as we’ve known them.
… Clearly, we need to ensure that this new category of workers enjoys fair wages and the benefits of the social safety net. … The new reality will be different, and rather than applying old standards, we need to understand the future on its own terms. Specifically, we need to understand the internal logic of the new platforms, the labor economics that drive them, the design elements that could maximize their positive aspects, and the full array of challenges and opportunities they represent. Now is our moment to step up to the biggest design task the world has ever undertaken: To blueprint for people who work, and indeed to rethink the future of work itself.