We've been getting a lot of feedback on the On-Demand Workforce report Intuit released last week (we worked with Intuit on this study).
Most of it has been positive, a fair amount negative and some of it downright nasty (see the very large comment section in the article How The On-Demand Economy is Reshaping the 40 Hour Work Week for examples).
Who knew people could get so worked up about a survey?
But this is a controversial topic and spirited debate is good.
This debate also brings up what we think is a really important point - the on-demand economy is not simply good or bad for its workers. It has a good side, a bad side and multiple shades of grey in the middle.
There are people who are clearly benefiting from and are satisfied with on-demand economy work. And our research - and the research of others - show these folks comprise a strong majority of on-demand workers.
But there are also on-demand workers who don't like their work and aren't satisfied. Our research and the research of others show this is a significant minority: 20-40% (depending upon the source) of all on-demand economy workers.
It's also clear that many independent workers (a broader group that just on-demand economy workers) are being taken advantage of and need greater protections against abusive labor practices.
This is "the dark side" of independent work and we need policies, laws and regulations that end the abuses.
So yes, by all means let's aggressively debate the good and bad of the on-demand economy.
Let's also work to the improve the working conditions of those being exploited and expand the safety net of all independent workers. We think the creation of portable benefits and expanding the earned income tax credit are two good ways to start.
But let's also recognize that many (most) on-demand economy workers are benefiting from - and yes, even like - on-demand economy work.