Platform work Europe

We are researching the relatively new field of platform work in order to better understand the opportunities and risks for employees and companies posed by this new mode of working. Our research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation as part of its National Research Programme 77 for Digital Transformation.

Factsheet

About our project

Platform work is a form of temporary employment in which employees are connected to clients via an app or a digital platform. In our research project, we combine different research methods in order to gain a holistic understanding of the concept of platform work from a work psychology and an HR management perspective. Based on our findings, we offer data-based recommendations for political decision-makers, companies, unions, platforms and employees with the aim of contributing to a sustainable Swiss platform economy.

Flyer Platform work Switzerland Enlarge image
Project overview in German (click to enlarge)

News from our project

Transform Konferenz

TRANSFORM 2021: Digital Goes Human – Brave New Work?

Our research project on platform work in Switzerland was represented at Bern University of Applied Sciences’ Transform event, in order to put our research results back into a practical context. Prof Caroline Straub discussed the opportunities and risks of platform work with Viktor Calabro (founder of Coople) and Daniel Hügli (Head of the IT Sector at Syndicom).

Podcast Let's Talk Business

What have Swiss people’s experiences of platform work been?

On the Bern University of Applied Sciences podcast ‘Let’s talk business’, Prof Caroline Straub discusses what we have learned from 86 interviews with gig workers in Switzerland.

Best Symposium Award at the Academy of Management

Our symposium «The Gig Work Phenomenon: Insights Into Current Multidisciplinary Research and Trending Topics» won the award for best symposium at the world’s biggest management and organisation research conference.

Gig Workerin an Screen

Swiss gig workers on Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com

As part of his bachelor’s thesis, Thomas Baumann used data scraping to analyse what Swiss gig workers on the platforms Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com earn, what their most common jobs are and how much they work using the platform.

Gig Workerin an Screen

Gig work and careers guidance

At the Swiss Service Centre for Vocational Education and Training (SDBB) conference on 29 June 2021, Dr Annabelle Hofer gave a presentation on the practical implications of our research for careers guidance. By taking part in the conference, we hoped to promote dialogue between the fields of research and practical careers guidance with the aim of working together to promote sustainable career paths. 

Logo syndicom

Interview with Prof Caroline Straub

Prof Caroline Straub talks about the goals of the longitudinal study in an interview with Syndicom. 

Take part in the research project

Do you work via a platform or app, and would you be interested in taking part in the study and sharing your experiences? 

Or do you run a platform yourself, and are interested in learning about what factors affect the satisfaction, health and productivity of platform workers?    

Then we look forward to hearing from you. We are accompanying platform workers for a year and gathering data as part of a longitudinal study. The aim is to discover what factors are important for sustainable platform work.

Team

Prof Daniel Spurk

Project Head
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Prof Caroline Straub

Project Head
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Dr Annabelle Hofer

Project team member
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Lorenz Affolter

Project team member
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Clara Zwettler

Project team member
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Tetiana Tverdushka

Dr Tetiana Tverdushka

Project team member
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Publications and conference presentations

Symposia 

  • Hofer, A., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2021). The Gig Work Phenomenon in Europe: A Trending Topic in Applied Psychology (symposium) 12th Congress for Work, Organizational, and Economic Psychology and Human Factors, Chemnitz (Germany).  
  • Hofer, A., Straub, C., & Spurk, D. (2021). The Gig Work Phenomenon: Insights Into Current Multidisciplinary Research and Trending Topics (symposium) 81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, A Virtual Experience. Best Symposium Award of the Career Division.  

Research papers 

  • Affolter, L., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2022). Gig work challenges and work alienation: Hindering factors for living a calling? 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Seattle, (USA).

  • Zwettler, C., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2022). Occupational Identification within Gig Work: A Career Perspective. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Seattle, (USA).

  • Affolter, L., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2022). Called to be free: gig work as a resource passageway towards living one’s calling? 20th EAWOP Congress, Glasgow (Scotland), congress cancelled due to COVID-19.

  • Hofer, A., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2022). Entering the Gig Economy: A Qualitative Investigation of Push and Pull Factors. 20th EAWOP Congress, Glasgow (Scotland), congress cancelled due to COVID-19.

  • Zwettler, C., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2022). How do gig workers progress and thrive? The role of transitioning through different career stages. 20th EAWOP Congress, Glasgow (Scotland), congress cancelled due to COVID-19.

  • Affolter, L., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2021). Gig Arbeit: Mögliche Ressourcen für eine gelebte Berufung? Presentation  at the German Psychological Society (DGPs)’s Congress for Work, Organizational, and Economic Psychology and Human Factors in Chemnitz (Germany).

  • Hofer, A., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2021). Entering the Gig Economy: A Qualitative Investigation of Push and Pull Factors. Presentation  at the German Psychological Society (DGPs)’s Congress for Work, Organizational, and Economic Psychology and Human Factors in Chemnitz (Germany).

  • Hofer, A., Spurk, D., Straub, C., & Zwettler, C. (2021). The Gig Work Phenomenon: A Multi-Level Framework Literature Review and Research Agenda. Presentation at the AOM Annual Conference, Virtual Experience.

  • Zwettler, C., Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2021). How do Gig Workers experience their career? The role of career learning cycles. Presentation at the German Psychological Society (DGPs)’s Congress for Work, Organizational, and Economic Psychology and Human Factors in Chemnitz (Germany).

Professional development workshops

  • Meijerink, J., Duggan, J., McDonnell, A., Hofer, A., Straub, C. (organisers) (2022). Human Resource Management and Gig Work: Exploring Differences Across Countries (professional development workshop). 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.