Gig Work is a new flexible form of work with automated placement of mini jobs on online platforms. Little is known today about the gig workers and their motives for the new form of work. We investigated motives, life situations and needs of gig workers from the largest platform in Switzerland.
The explorative study followed a sequential mixed method design with qualitative interviews (professional biographical interviews (n=18), validation workshops (n=20)) and a subsequent online survey (n=1268). The results of a qualitative content analysis and a cluster analysis were combined to develop the typology.
Six types were found: Explorers, Professionals, Balancers, Jobbers, Integraters and Diversifiers. They show that there are different needs in terms of flexibility, reconciliation of different work and life domains, and networking. The types differ in relevance and time perspective to work as a gig worker (transition phases vs. mid- to long term perspective).
Limitations arise due to the case study of a single platform, the specific labour law status of gig workers and the economic context in Switzerland. Furthermore, selection effects in recruitment must be considered.
The typology allows a differentiated understanding of gig workers motives and needs. In practice, it supports a further development of the platform model and target group-specific communication.
We describe one of the first gig worker typologies in the platform economy, the first in the Swiss context.||en_US