The digital transformation of industry and the world of work
International Labour Organization (Eds.), World Employment and Social Outlook 2021: The role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office – Geneva: ILO.
Book contributions and chapters
The digital economy is transforming the world of work. Over the past decade, the expansion in broadband connectivity and cloud computing, along with innovations in information and communications technologies, have enabled economic transactions and the exchange of large amounts of data and information between individuals, businesses and devices. Data is increasingly a key asset driving the digital economy. Related to
these transformations is the proliferation of digital platforms in several sectors of the economy. Since March 2020, the COVID‑19 pandemic has led to an increase in remote-working arrangements, further reinforcing the growth and impact of the digital economy. While digital platforms provide a range of services and products, this report focuses on digital labour platforms, which mediate work and have rapidly penetrated a number of economic sectors as a result of innovations in digital technologies. Digital labour platforms are a distinctive part of the digital economy. They allow individuals or business clients to arrange a ride, order food or find a freelancer to develop a website or translate a document, among many other activities and assignments. By connecting businesses and clients to workers, they are transforming labour processes, with major implications for the future of work. Digital labour platforms can be classified into two broad categories: online web-based and location-based platforms.