This week’s reading ‘Work’ by Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas explores the realms of work environment in today’s world as mostly the workers are doing freelance work. It can be a good thing and a bad thing too. With freelancing, the workers have the freedom to work at their own pace of time, freedom for creativity and enjoying a permeable boundary between work, private life and leisure, but the expense is the experience they have in their bag and that can only be possible by working with a company.
A professor from New York University Andrew Ross said in his work ‘No Collar: The Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs’ (2003) that although many enjoy the benefits of ‘new economy’ like flexible hours and creative control, his respondents also faced issues like over work and exploitations. This exploitation of labour is also shown on mainstream media in HBO’s tv series ‘Girls’, where the character Hannah ‘captures the experience of many aspiring media workers with working lives full of uncertainty and (self) exploitation’ (p.75)
However couple of solutions have been proposed in the reading like call for formalization of workplace and recruitment practices, along with better and more extensive government regulation. Hesmondhalgh and Baker have also emphasised that there should be unionization and a basic guaranteed income as a means to reform and a commitment that an individual will not self exploit.
I believe that if you are wealthy enough, then you may join the workforce for experience purposes as you feel yourself exploited, but for people with lower income, this is an issue as they would have to find ways to feed themselves. As long you enjoy what you are doing, then I don’t think there should be a complaining to do. Where do I see myself in all this? I guess I’ll probably be freelancing in near future and enjoy the freedom that it offers.