Ongoing Autonomy projects:

Flexibility for the Worker

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Phil Jones

Length: 6 months

 

In many cases, flexibility can often mean greater power on the part of employers and greater precarity on the part of workers. And yet, flexibility in itself is perhaps not a bad thing – having more control over our working lives is after all an aspiration for many. The question that grounds this research project is: how can workers have security (financial, temporal, contractual) alongside the flexibility that characterises many employment contracts?

 

Supported by: CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership

The Control of Workers & Worker Control

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Will Stronge, Julian Siravo

Length: 12 months

 

The Control of Workers: what is the present and future of technological tracking, evaluating and speed up in the modern British workplace? How do each of these functions get actualised, who controls them and what concrete effects do they have on workers?

 

We start with the working hypothesis that workplace technologies today involve the practices of tracking, evaluating or increasing (either speed or output). But how do each of these practices get embodied, who controls them and what concrete effects do they have on workers? This research will include work on data and intensification. How does the use of data changing the nature of workplace control, monitoring and then performance modification? We particularly want to explore the danger of technological ‘lock-in’, whereby forms of intensification effectively become (seemingly) immovable pieces of the industrial landscape. 

 

 

Worker control: What does worker control of technology – so often discussed, but rarely detailed – actually mean in practice? We will articulate both what control over the introduction of tech means and what the ongoing decision-making on the part of workers might look like. What international and historical examples can we draw on to develop viable policy, demands and regulation that increases the say that workers have over the deployment and use of technology in their working lives? Can data be resource for resistance as much as it is currently used for employer control?

 

Funded by: the Communication Workers Union (CWU)

The Future of Work in the Valencian Community

Status: ongoing

Researchers involved: Julian Siravo, Kyle Lewis, Will Stronge and Mat Lawrence

Advisory: Danielle Guizzo, Nick Srnicek and Helen Hester

Length: 8 months

 

Autonomy is collaborating with the Valencian Employment and Training Service, Labora, to jointly develop a strategy to improve the quality of work in the Valencian Community.

 

The objective of this work is to design a strategy to improve the employment policies that improve the quality of working conditions and facilitate an adequate response to future challenges such as automation, ageing populations, wealth inequality and climate change.

 

Funded by: the Generalitat Valenciana

Previous Autonomy projects:

Employability in the New Economy

Status: completed Sep 2019

Researchers involved: Phil Jones, Matt Phull

Length: 3 – 6 months

 

What is ’employability’?  Over the past two decades the term has taken on a practical significance both for those looking for jobs and for those doing the hiring. However, it remains relatively absent from current debates on the state of work today. In this report, we unpack what ’employability’ really means for our working lives.

 

Read the full report here:

'Working to Labour' report

Phil’s blog that accompanied the research:

Part One of Phil's blog
Part Two of Phil's blog
Part Three of Phil's blog
Part Four of Phil's blog

Supported by: CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.

The Post-Work City

Status: completed April 2018

Researchers involved: James Trafford, Diann Bauer, Maria Dada, Julian Siravo, Will Stronge

Length: 3 months

 

A collaborative project with graphic design students and staff at the University for the Creative Arts that combined an engagement with urban planning, utopian scenario-modelling and the political economy of the crisis of work.

 

For the outcomes of this project please go here.

 

In collaboration with UCA Epsom.

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