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HCI Webinar: Gig Work Trends and How Companies Can Leverage Gig Workers, While Being Fair, with Alex

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talked with Joe Schaeppi about embracing failure and creating psychological safety. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Revolutionizing Gig Work: Ensuring Fair Treatment


Alex and Jonathan discussed the trend and implications of gig work, emphasizing the need for companies to treat gig workers fairly. They traced the history of gig work, from its origins in the industrial age to its recent explosive growth. Alex shared his personal experience with gig work and its potential benefits, such as serving as an on-ramp for careers and allowing companies to adjust their workforce as needed. The conversation highlighted the role of technology in the evolution of gig work and the challenges it presents in ensuring fair treatment of workers.


Fairness in the Gig Economy


Alex and Jonathan discussed the increasing prevalence of the gig economy, in which individuals work as independent contractors rather than traditional employees. They emphasized the need for companies to ensure that workers in this economy are treated fairly, extending the principles of fairness and respect to all aspects of the business, including relationships with vendors and contractors. They also acknowledged that the gig economy provides flexibility and autonomy for workers and cost-saving benefits for companies. However, they cautioned against the potential for exploitation and stressed the importance of upholding core values that value people, including gig workers and contractors.


Employment Law and Gig Workers Debate


Jonathan and Alex discussed the changing landscape of employment law, specifically in relation to gig workers. Jonathan highlighted a high-profile case in California where rideshare drivers claimed to be treated like employees but without the benefits or protections of traditional employment, and noted the legal and public policy changes likely to occur in the coming years. Alex pointed out that gig workers traditionally command a higher pay rate than their permanent or full-time counterparts due to the lack of benefits, but also noted the challenges in providing benefits to workers in a way that is feasible for companies. Both agreed on the need for further discussion and change in this area.


Building a United Workforce: A Key to Success


Alex and Jonathan discussed building a community within the workforce, regardless of whether they are gig workers or full-time employees. Alex emphasized the importance of understanding employees' needs, providing support, and creating opportunities for connection and interaction. He highlighted the benefits of this approach, such as increased employee retention and productivity. Jonathan agreed, emphasizing the need to include all types of workers in a project, and the positive outcomes that result from treating all workers as part of the team.


Building Connections in Gig Work


Alex and Jonathan discussed the importance of employers building a connection with their workers, particularly in the context of gig work. Alex emphasized that companies need to understand their workers' needs and be open to doing things differently, including understanding their workers' values and needs. Jonathan agreed, emphasizing that treating everyone with dignity and respect is crucial, regardless of whether they are traditional employees or gig workers. Alex urged leaders to ask their team members how they would like to be supported, rather than making assumptions. The conversation concluded with Alex encouraging the audience to connect with him through his website and emphasizing the importance of listening to voices and finding meaning and purpose at work.


Listen to the episode here:


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