Uber Launches Uber Works Platform in Chicago
Ever since ridesharing started making the move from novelty to ubiquitous transportation option, the phrase “Uber but for…” has become a go-to pitch for many peer to peer platforms. For example imagine an app that’s like Uber but for temporary workers. As it turns out that’s exactly the idea behind Uber Works, which the company is rolling out in Chicago this week.
Just as Uber connects drivers and passengers, Uber Works makes it easier for businesses with available shifts to find applicable workers. On their website the platform lists a variety of job types that could benefit from the service, with positions ranging from warehousing and back of house operations to customer service and event staffing. As mentioned the platform will first debut in the Windy City but could expand from there.
According to a company blog post, Uber Works will provide workers with detailed job listings that note gross pay, location, required skills, dress code, and more. Moreover, once workers accept positions, they’ll use the app to track their hours and breaks. Then hours can be submitted after each shift so that payment can be sent in a timely manner. Workers will also have the opportunity to rate and provide feedback about their experience.
For businesses, Uber Works will allow them to easily post shift availability along with all requirements for workers. An estimate of costs will also be displayed before confirming a post and businesses will be able to review worker profiles/ratings. Businesses will also confirm worker hours before payments are processed.
Behind the scenes at Uber Works, the service is engaging in a number of partnerships. First Uber will work with staffing agencies such as TrueBlue. Additionally the company notes they’re expanding their educational partnership with Arizona State University so that eligible Uber Works workers will be able to access online learning opportunities. Finally Uber says they’re also supporting workforce access and reentry by working with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago along with local faith-based organizations to see how the Uber Works platform might assist their efforts.
With the winter holidays coming up, the Uber Works platform is sure to see its first big test — even when limited to the Chicagoland area. If successful the service could be truly useful to small businesses that might need occasional help but can’t afford to hire full-time staff. On that note, however, it’s also possible that Uber Works will undergo the same scrutiny as Uber’s flagship product, which has been criticized for its classification of drivers as independent contractors and not employees. For reasons both good and bad, it will definitely be interesting to see how Uber Works works out.