In an article that appeared the other day on CNBC, reporter Cadie Thompson mulls over the effects of all these on-demand companies that make their money by connecting people with tasks to be done or resources that in a previous era would not have been connected at all. While some enjoy the flexibility and control of the on-demand environment, for many other workers the unpredictable, precarious earnings they generate can be a real source of stress.
Will the companies be able to keep a lid on what they pay their armies of just-in-time workers, or will we see a return to a more traditional employment contract? Hard to say, although as the economy improves, the power these firms have over the ability to assign jobs to people is highly likely to wane. What is pretty clear is that many of our institutions have not caught up with this phenomenon. You’re either employed or you’re not. We don’t quite know what to do about the grey area in between.