Our work in Research Theme 1 examines the conceptual, regulatory and empirical foundations of emerging ideas about digitalisation, the connected worker and economy.
There are three related strands of research:
- Conceptualising Digital Futures at Work
- Comparative legal regulation of digital employment
- Mapping trends in time and place
Digitalisation, connectedness and inequalities
This project explores the role of digitalisation in shaping working practices and experiences in two firms located in legal and IT services.
The Digitalisation of Access Work: fiction to policy recommendations
This Innovation Fund project explores how access workers' expertise and practices are changing due to the digitalisation of work.
Comparative legal regulation of digital employment
This project, led by Professor Simon Deakin, updates a key dataset for the comparative study of international labour laws in 117 countries.
Where Automated Job Interviews Fall Short
This related project explores how HR departments and technology companies could improve on the interview experience when using automated job interviews. Funded by the UKRI- Higher Education Innovation Fund.
Patterns of Digital Platform Employment and Regulatory Implications: A Comparative Analysis of China and Australia
This related project explores the plausibility of introducing a regulatory strategy for registering digital platforms by type. Funded by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) - CASS Joint Action Program.
The Care Necessities: Developing Inclusive Digital Technologies for Scotland’s Post Pandemic Social Care
This Innovation Fund project explored the extent to which the introduction of technological innovation in social care has been characterized by care worker and service user participation in the choice, implementation and evaluation of technology.
A Framework for Digital Strategy Work: Exploring Inclusion and Transparency in the Strategy Process
This Innovation Fund project conceptualises emerging changes in the nature of strategy work in organisations related to the use of digital technologies.
Towards privatised social and employment protections in the platform economy? Evidence from the UK courier sector
Why do digital platforms offer privatised social and employment protection provisions — and with what consequence for platforms and platform governance, workers, and regulators?
The US–China rivalry and the emergence of state platform capitalism
Steven Rolf and Seth Schindler (2023), Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
Inequalities in the disruption of paid work during the Covid-19 pandemic: A world systems analysis of core, semi-periphery, and periphery states
Valizade, D., Ali, M., Stuart, M. (2022) Industrial Relations
Automation and the future of work: A social shaping of technology approach
Howcroft, D., Taylor, P. (2022) New Technology, Work and Employment
Rapid recruitment in retail: Leveraging AI in the hiring of hourly paid frontline associates during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Hunt, W. and O'Reilly, J. (2022), Digit Working Paper No. 3
Innovation Work Chains in US Retail: Automation, Tracking and AI Adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic
Stopford, N. and O'Reilly, J. (2022), Digit Working Paper No. 2
Measuring the impact of AI on jobs at the organization level: Lessons from a survey of UK business leaders
Hunt, W., Sarkar, S., Warhurst, C., (2022), Research Policy
Measuring the size, characteristics and consequences of digital work
Verdin, R. and O'Reilly, J. (2022), Digit Working Paper No. 1
Towards privatized social and employment protections in the platform economy? Evidence from the UK courier sector
Rolf, S., O'Reilly, J., Meryon, M. (2022), Research policy
How rural coworking hubs can facilitate well-being through the satisfaction of key psychological needs
Merrell, I., Füzi, A., Russell, E., Bosworth, G. (2022) Local Economy
Can HR adapt to the paradoxes of artificial intelligence?
Charlwood, A., Guenole, N. (2022), Human Resource Management Journal
Digitalised management, control and resistance in platform work: a labour process analysis
Joyce, S., Stuart, M. (2021). Chapter 7 in Work and Labour Relations in Global Platform Capitalism. Cheltenham, UK
Reimagining e-leadership for reconfigured virtual teams due to Covid-19
Chamakiotis, P., Panteli, N., Davison, R. M. (2021), International Journal of Information Management
Crowdwork, digital liminality and the enactment of culturally recognised alternatives to Western precarity: insights from crowdworkers in Nigeria
Elbanna, A. and Idowu, A. (2021) European Journal of Information Systems
COVID-19 and the uncertain future of HRM: furlough, job retention and reform
Stuart, M., Spencer, David A., McLachlan, C, J., Forde, C. (2021), Human Resource Management Journal
Robots, Reshoring, and the Lot of Low-Skilled Workers
Krenz, A., Prettner, K., Strulik, H. (2021), European Economic Review
The role of digital health platforms in re-skilling healthcare professionals in developing countries: The case of MedicineAfrica
Petrakaki, D., Chamakiotis, P. (2021), Policy@Sussex
Digital automation and the future of work
Spencer, D., Cole, M., Joyce, S., Whittaker, X. and Stuart, M. (2021) Scientific Foresight Unit, Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament
HRM and the COVID-19 pandemic: How can we stop making a bad situation worse?
Butterick, M., Charlwood, A. (2021), Human Resource Management Journal
How to make automation work for workers
David Spencer argues that if workers and society rather than big tech companies such as Amazon are to benefit from automation, they need to have a larger influence and stake in it.
Digital Presenteeism: The Pressure to be seen in the Virtual Office
Laura Jarvis-King on how office workers, who once took care to be seen at their desks, are now adopting new forms of ‘digital’ presenteeism to signal their constant availability.
Four ways digital technologies are changing strategy-making
Enabled by digital technologies, so-called ‘open strategy’ initiatives are showing greater transparency and inclusion.
Which skills are the skills of the future? That might depend on you!
Fabian Stephany on why the value of learning a new skill is relative, as it depends on what we already know.
Disability, neurodivergence and remote working: what employers need to know…
Dr Christine Grant and colleagues outline four steps employers can take to develop truly inclusive remote working practices.
Employers’ responses to the end of free movement: the rhetoric and realities of automation
Chris Forde and colleagues consider whether automation offers a solution to post-Brexit migrant labour shortages as envisaged in some policy discourse.
‘They all know how to use their phones at home!’ Normalising and undervaluing digital skills in complex social care work
Kendra Briken and colleagues on how the acquisition of new digital skills by social carers goes unrecognised, undervalued and unrewarded by managers.
Remote for All: Time to Include People with Disability and/or Neurodiversity in the Remote Working Discussion
Remote working seems to offer a means to increase inclusion for workers with neurodiversity and/or disability, however, employers, line managers and colleagues may lack awareness, knowledge and understanding of the reasonable adjustments that are needed.
Lighter work for all
The goals of both better and less work require us to rethink and reorganise work as well as technology, and to adopt new ideas about what it means to work and live well in society.
Researching AI video interviews from a human perspective
How are AVIs perceived by young job-seekers and do they contribute to an extra level of anxiety within the job seeking process?
Five questions about the future of work in blockchain
Jobs in blockchain are a growing part of the labour market—but what are these jobs and do workers have the skills to do them?
Levelling up or levelling down gig work? Three reasons why platforms are offering privatised social and employment protections
What is motivating platform firms to introduce private social and employment protection provisions for nominally self-employed workers?
Long-term care in the gig economy
Advances in digital technologies have led to the development of a flourishing platform economy in the provision of long-term personal care at home.
Guiding principles for leaders of newly formed virtual teams
Virtual teams are not a new phenomenon, so what can leaders of newly virtual teams learn from what we already know from the pre-pandemic context?
Rise of worker surveillance software
How should we understand and respond to new technologies that enable workers to be monitored in new ways?
Three unanswered questions about the EU Directive on gig work
Will the 'theoretical’ protection for platform workers offered by the new EU Directive translate into effective protection in practice?
“We organise in under ten minutes”: Rise of Germany’s wildcat strikers
How a grassroots collective of delivery riders is challenging the German unicorn e-commerce company, Gorillas
Is the ‘right to disconnect’ a red herring?
Right-to-disconnect policies are gaining traction but are they a distraction from the real problem—too much work?
Moving beyond lip service on work life balance: are UK workers being left behind on the right to disconnect?
As countries across Europe introduce additional protections around working time, should the UK follow in their footsteps?
Can digital resale clothing platforms provide a stable income for young people in the UK?
Some online marketplaces emphasise environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices but does this translate into material differences in the nature of work?
Coworking in the country: sign of a healthy rural economy?
Can new models of hybrid-working act as a catalyst for the expansion of rural coworking spaces?
Working from home after COVID-19
Pawel Adrjan asks how increasing and declining pandemic severity has influenced advertised telework from 2019 to today?
Shaping the Future of Work: An Activist Research Agenda
Professor Thomas Kochan asks how researchers can take an activist role in studying how to best design and use technology for the common good.
Can we talk about strategic Human Resource Management in the gig economy?
Professor Fang Lee Cooke provides an overview of research on digitally enabled gig employment and the implications for human resource management research and practice.
Is AI taking our jobs? Lessons from a survey of UK business leaders
What can a survey of UK business leaders tell us about the impact of AI on jobs?
Threat or opportunity? (Social) media perspectives on AI and the future of work
What can online discussions about AI and the future of work tell us about how the impacts and possible futures are understood?
Can HR adapt to artificial intelligence?
How can the HR profession shape the future to put fairness and ethics at the heart of AI development and use?
Digit Debates: Do workers need a legal right to disconnect?
Our Digit Debates Right to Disconnect panel, comprised of experts from law, academia, trade unionism and journalism, discuss whether workers should have the right to disconnect.
Digit Debates: Decoding employment status
Simon Deakin discusses the classification of work relations.
Amazon still seems hell bent on turning workers into robots – here’s a better way forward – David Spencer in the Conversation
Professor David Spencer has written a new article for The Conversation about ongoing strikes by Amazon workers protesting about pay, long hours and surveillance systems.
Call for papers: Summer School on digital transformation and its impact on workers
WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre are holding a Summer School in Berlin on 18th and 19th May 2023.
Parliamentary Office for Science & Technology cites Digit-funded research
Research into the remote e-working experiences of Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers, supported by Digit's Innovation Fund, has been cited in a new briefing from the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology.
Job opportunity: Research Fellow – Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a new Research Fellow (Research Associate or Research Assistant) to work on a project exploring employment regulation and the digitalisation of work as part of Digit.
Coworking and the Future of Work – Extending the Debate Research and Stakeholder Workshop – 21-22 October 2022, Brighton
Are you doing research on any aspect of coworking and coworking spaces and the future of work?
Digit Co-Director to give keynote at BAM HR Management conference
Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly will be a keynote speaker at the BAM Human Resource Management SIG International Symposium in June 2022.
Digit co-lead quoted in the New Statesman
Digit co-lead Dr. Emma Russell was quoted in an article in the New Statesman on: The development dip: Has remote working stopped us learning?
Digit researcher co-authors report on Working from Home
Digit Co-Investigator, Professor Debra Howcroft, has co-authored a report on working from home (WFH) for the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).
Return to the office? Mark Stuart quoted in BBC article
Digit Co-Director, Professor Mark Stuart, is quoted in an article by the BBC discussing the future for remote working as Covid-19 vaccinations are rolled out.
Digit researchers’ report for the European Parliament argues for a new ‘Digital Social Contract’
Digit researchers have produced a report for the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) that argues for a new ‘Digital Social Contract’ to address the rapid technological progress underway in modern capitalist economies.
Call for papers: Digit researchers edit special issue of Cambridge Journal of Economics
Digit researchers have issued a call for papers for a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of Economics on the Future of Work and Working Time.
Agile working and working from home – Digit researcher Dr Emma Russell co-edits new book
Dr Emma Russell has co-edited a groundbreaking new book on agile working and working from home, Agile Working and Well-Being in the Digital Age.
Agile Working and Wellbeing in the Digital Age
Emma Russell's new book is soon to be published.
From Emergency to Empowerment – special Soldo report featuring Digit researchers
A new Special Report from Soldo discussing the future of hybrid-remote working
Harnessing the power of home working
Emma Russell and Chidi Ogbonnaya discuss the power of home working.
More trust, less fuss!
Digit Co-Director Prof. Jackie O'Reilly discusses remote working in this interview with Soldo.
Digit’s Brendan Burchell discusses Covid-19 and working time in this video and blog
Blog - Brendan Burchell discusses Covid-19 and working time.
In an interview for Soldo magazine, Digit Co-Director Mark Stuart talks about ‘Rewriting the Social Contract’
Mark Stuart discusses Mark discusses how remote working is no longer a nice-to-have.