Uber expands to the gig economy
By: Ben Thomas
“Diversify or die”.
From Amazon to Apple, it’s a mantra the biggest brands have adopted to stay ahead in today’s hyperconnected, digital world.
As the original ride-sharing service, Uber had the market cornered. But with tightening regulations, the hangover of bad PR and an increasingly competitive ride-sharing sector, Uber is expanding into new areas, like food delivery and now the gig economy. Last week, they announced the launch of Uber Works, an app that connects workers to businesses looking to staff up available shifts.
Uber Works is an alternative to established staffing agencies and apps, but promises to be a faster, more transparent, “technology-first approach” to place “vetted and qualified” workers in casual roles; it’s positioned as a better, more seamless experience for workers and employers. But since the announcement, the same discussions about worker benefits have bubbled up (an issue Uber seems to have skirted by partnering with staffing agencies who are responsible for benefits).
Uber Works is currently only available in Chicago, but if the test goes well, we could see Uber continuing to expand its tech into more sectors to shore up its business outside of the core ride-sharing.