Autonomy at work in the gig economy: analysing work status, work content and working conditions of independent professionals

François Pichault, Tui McKeown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a critical perspective on the debate surrounding autonomy at work for a specific category of non-standard workers: independent professionals. The increasing numbers now working this way as well as their spread into all sectors, industries and occupations, mean that their work arrangements can no longer be dismissed as non-standard or atypical. Defining them by what they are not is quite simply no longer an option. Our paper examines the various components intertwined behind the taken-for-granted concept of autonomy. Drawing on debates from the legal through to the sociological and HR literatures, we identify three underlying dimensions to autonomy. When combined, they provide the basis for an analytical matrix that may assist policy makers, practitioners and individual workers to understand the challenges and opportunities linked to new ways of working.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • autonomy
  • independent professionals
  • work status
  • work content
  • working conditions
  • future of work

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