Future of work

The Internet changed how we work. ICTs have blurred the traditional routine of work, leisure, and sleep (8+8+8 hours), especially within corporations, businesses with increasing international exposure and on online platforms. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish where work begins and where it ends. These changes in working patterns may require new labour legislation, addressing issues such as working hours, the protection of workers' interests, training, and remuneration.

While this phenomenon requires broader elaboration, the following aspects are of direct relevance to Internet governance:

  • The Internet created the environment for a high level of temporary workers, short-term workers, and independent contractors. The term ‘permatemp’ was coined to describe workers who work for a business on a long-term basis on regularly renewed short-term contracts. This results in lower levels of social protections of the workforce.
  • The debate on whether platform workers should be classified as independent contractors or employees, and the related labour rights implications.
  • Teleworking has become increasingly relevant with the continued development of telecommunications, especially in regard to broadband access to the Internet.
  • Outsourcing ICT service sector work to other countries, such as call centres and data processing units, is on the rise. A considerable number of these activities have already been transferred to low-cost countries, mainly in Asia and Latin America.
  • Many adults lack the right skills for emerging jobs.

Our Experts

Ms Ana Maria Corrêa

Researcher, PhD Candidate in Law, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Brussels-based Ms Ana Maria Corrêa is working as as a researcher and writing her PhD thesis. Her research examines the challenges of regulating the digital economy and preventing discrimination in the US and European markets. Her project was awarded a four-year grant from the CAPES Foundation (Brazil).