Francis Scaife works as a courier in the North East of England, in their home town of Teesside, a town heavily effected by deindustrialisation. Working as a courier for the gig economy platform Stuart provides Francis with a vital source of income in a time of huge national economic insecurity, but more than this it gives them a sense of purpose, drawing them out their house and into their community.
Stuart is a multinational business operating across Europe, it runs the online platform through which Francis works, shaping their working life in important and profound ways. As a company, it is everywhere and nowhere, operating at huge scales, but without the fixed infrastructure and offices that characterised the traditional courier companies that preceded it.
This episode looks at management, what’s it like working through a platform, where the principal colleague you’re working with is your smartphone? And how do you deal with the problems you encounter in your working day when you have no human manager to turn to?