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:

  1. Conceptualising Digital Futures at Work
  2. Comparative legal regulation of digital employment
  3. Mapping trends in time and place

Related work

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 explores the degree to which disruptions from COVID-19 bring new practices to improve the implementation of technology in social care services, through facilitating greater care-user and worker participation.

A Framework for Digital Strategy Work: Exploring Inclusion and Transparency in the Strategy Process

This Innovation Fund project aims to co-produce an evidence-based framework that 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?

Automation and the future of work: A social shaping of technology approach

Howcroft, D., Taylor, P. (2022) New Technology, Work and Employment

Measuring the size, characteristics and consequences of digital work

Verdin, R. and O'Reilly, J. (2022), Digit Working Paper No. 1

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

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

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

Remote for All: Time to Include People with Disability and/or Neurodiversity in the Remote Working Discussion

21 June 2022

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

14 June 2022

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

7 June 2022

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

30 May 2022

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

10 May 2022

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

4 May 2022

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

27 April 2022

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

8 March 2022

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

8 February 2022

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

1 February 2022

How a grassroots collective of delivery riders is challenging the German unicorn e-commerce company, Gorillas

Is the ‘right to disconnect’ a red herring?

24 January 2022

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?

17 January 2022

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?

14 December 2021

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?

6 December 2021

Can new models of hybrid-working act as a catalyst for the expansion of rural coworking spaces?

Is AI taking our jobs? Lessons from a survey of UK business leaders

16 March 2022

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

9 March 2022

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?

23 February 2022

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?

24 November 2021

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

3 February 2021

Simon Deakin discusses the classification of work relations.

Digit Co-Director to give keynote at BAM HR Management conference

23 March 2022

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

14 February 2022

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

12 April 2021

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

30 March 2021

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’

8 March 2021

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

2 March 2021

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

9 February 2021

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

10 September 2020

Emma Russell's new book is soon to be published.

From Emergency to Empowerment – special Soldo report featuring Digit researchers

14 July 2020

A new Special Report from Soldo discussing the future of hybrid-remote working

Harnessing the power of home working

21 May 2020

Emma Russell and Chidi Ogbonnaya discuss the power of home working.

More trust, less fuss!

20 May 2020

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

19 May 2020

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’

4 May 2020

Mark Stuart discusses Mark discusses how remote working is no longer a nice-to-have.