The Gig Economy in Times of COVID-19

A research team from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences consisting of Juan Carlos Alvarez de la Vega, Marta E. Cecchinato and John Rooksby have published a paper called ‘The Gig Economy in Timed of Covid-19: Designing for Gig Workers’ Needs


Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected gig economy workers due to the contingent and precarious nature of their work.

Many gig economy workers have had to adapt quickly to new forms of working, and even learn new skills, to sustain their livelihood. At the same time, gig economy companies have prioritised profit and customers’ needs over workers’ safety.

In this position paper, we draw insights from recent academic literature, policy papers, and media reports from across the globe to explore broad implications the pandemic has had on gig economy workers. We then discuss how gig economy platforms might be re-designed to support better working conditions and foster workers’ development.