GIG APPS FOR A PANDEMIC ECONOMY: PART-TIME, NO COMMITMENT
Techlife News|Techlife News #513
For months, Gabrielle Walker had been looking for a part-time job. She applied to restaurant chains and retailers like Nando’s and Primark, and she scoured the job search site Indeed.
Nothing.

Then one day, Walker, a 19-year-old student at University College London, was scrolling through TikTok and stumbled on a video about an app called Stint. A face on the screen explained that Stint could help students earn money by working brief temporary stints at places like restaurants and bars that require little training or experience.

Walker downloaded the app, took a 15-minute intro course and days later snagged a job polishing cutlery at a Michelin-star restaurant in London — for one day. Between May and June, she took on several other gigs, squeezing them into her class schedule where she could.

“Everyone could do it,” Walker said.

Stint, in use across the U.K., has grown in popularity, alongside similar apps in the United States like Instaworks and Gigpro, as one response to the peculiar ways in which economies have been rebounding from the pandemic recession. Uncertainty about the durability of the recoveries and the tentative re-openings of businesses still threatened by the coronavirus have made flexibility a top priority — for workers and employees alike.

As the hospitality industry, in particular, confronts worker shortages, these apps are helping form an ultra-short-term worker-employee relationship, something that hasn’t widely existed in recent decades. Walker noted that even students with no relevant experience could sign up with one of these apps and likely find paid work — as brief as a couple of hours — that fits their schedule from week to week.

In contrast to Stint, Instaworks and Gigpro are suited more for skilled or experienced workers who want or need short-term shifts. Collectively, the newer apps represent a variation on the many gig apps that sprang up in recent years — from Uber and DoorDash to TaskRabbit and Thumbtack — that typically serve households in need of a one-time service. What distinguishes the latest apps is that they link workers with employers that have a steady need for labor but don’t necessarily want to commit to permanent hires given the uncertainties from the pandemic.

“It’s no surprise that during COVID, when everything became virtual that these ... marketplaces might have exploded,” said Fiona Greig, co-president of the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a global financial thinktank, whose research expertise includes the online platform economy.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TECHLIFE NEWSView All

19-year-old Woman Sets Record For Solo Global Flight

Home! And no longer alone.

3 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

RED CROSS: HACK EXPOSES DATA ON 515,000 VULNERABLE PEOPLE

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is best known for helping war victims, says hackers broke into servers hosting its data and gained access to personal, confidential information on more than a half-million vulnerable people.

1 min read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

LAWSUIT: GOOGLE, FACEBOOK CEOS COLLUDED IN ONLINE AD SALES

Newly unredacted documents from a state-led antitrust lawsuit against Google accuse the search giant of colluding with rival Facebook to manipulate online advertising sales. The CEOs of both companies were aware of the deal and signed off on it, the lawsuit alleges.

2 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

NETFLIX UPPING US, CANADA PRICES WITH COMPETITION GROWING

Netflix is raising prices for its video streaming customers in the U.S. and Canada, less than a year and a half since its last price increase, as competition from other streaming services increases.

1 min read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

WHY AIRLINES FEAR 5G WILL UPEND TRAVEL THIS WEEK

AT&T will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.

3 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

MICROSOFT BUYS GAME MAKER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FOR ABOUT $70B

Microsoft is paying nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, to boost its competitiveness in mobile gaming and virtual-reality technology.

4 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

AMERICAN AIRLINES REPORTS $931 MILLION FOURTH-QUARTER LOSS

American Airlines lost $931 million in the fourth quarter and the omicron variant of COVID-19 is delaying its recovery from nearly two years of pandemic.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #534

HOW TO CRUSH YOUR HOLIDAY DEBT

The holidays have left without a trace. Well, almost. Long after the decorations have come down, you still have debt hanging around.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #534

FBI, US AGENCIES LOOK BEYOND INDICTMENTS IN CYBERCRIME FIGHT

The FBI and other federal agencies are increasingly looking to counter cyber threats through tools other than criminal indictments, the head of the bureau’s cyber division said in an interview.

3 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

AMAZON PLANS A CLOTHING STORE FOR A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MALL

Amazon says it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year, a first for the online behemoth and a fresh challenge for already struggling traditional retailers.

2 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022