The integration of technology in the workplace can make completing menial tasks easier and more efficient, but slim benefits packages, tense schedules, unreliable pay and a lack of workers’ input have also taken a hit due to how some companies utilize technology.
This has led much of the public to turn its back on the tech industry as seen in various protests against firms like Uber and Lyft.
Technology is an inevitable part of our future, so how can it be used to create a fair, more stable life for workers?
First is ensuring that employees have a say in a variety of matters like technology or policymaking. It shows that employers truly value the opinion of their workers.
Additionally, The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (PAI), a coalition of tech companies such as Apple and Google, was created to focus on engaging with workers to develop AI integration recommendations in the workplace in order to create more opportunity.
The government is also playing a role in bringing together businesses and workers for new policies. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom launched a commission on the future of work that includes restaurant and domestic workers, and is co-chaired by the president of the Service Employees International Union.
The commission is exploring a variety of solutions for workers, from basic income to how workers earn value from their data to improve job quality.
“Silicon Valley is great at optimizing for convenience… but we wanted to optimize for dignity and equity,” said Palak Shah, Director of National Domestic Worker Alliance’s innovation lab.