Alisa Petroff, a postdoctoral researcher at GenTIC, has given the communication “Mobilities and Immobilities Among Skilled Workers in the Gig Economy” at the Neuchâtel Graduate Conference 2021, organized by the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) for migration and mobility studies. The event was held online on 1 and 2 July 2021, and gathered international researchers from diverse universities and research centres under the topic of “The Future of Mobility and Immobility”.
Alisa Petroff’s communication focused on the preliminary results of her ongoing research about the use of crowdsourcing platforms by skilled workers and explored the implications of digital work hypermobility in the gig economy. The researcher described crowdsourcing platforms as a window of opportunity to avoid brain waste. Asylum seekers, for instance, can benefit from the regulatory gaps of digital platforms. Participating in crowd work may help them to reduce the impact of the waiting time until they achieve refugee status and are entitled to work and boost their future chances of employment while contributing to the development of the receiving country.
On the other hand, Alisa Petroff highlighted that the hypermobility of nowadays digital nomads also involves challenges and does not necessarily entail workers’ improvements in terms of class, economic resources or social mobility. Contrarily, it may hide a precarious life, a fragile legal status and limited access to social protection schemes.