Abstract

The “gig economy” has transformed the ways in which people work, but in many ways these markets stifle the growth of workers and the autonomy
and protections that workers have grown to expect. We explored the viability of a “worker-centric peer economy”—a system wherein workers benefit as well as consumers―and conducted ethnographic field work across fields ranging from domestic labor to home health care.

We discovered seven facets that system designers ought to consider when designing a labor market
for “gig workers,” consisting principally of the following: constructive feedback, assigning work fairly, managing customer expectations, protecting vulnerable workers, reconciling worker identities, assessing worker qualifications, and communicating worker quality. We discuss these considerations and provide guidance toward the design of a mutually beneficial market for gig workers.