Uber is delving into a new area of the gig economy — scheduling for shift workers.
The company, which is most well-known for its ride-sharing app, announced last week that has launched a new app called Uber Works. The tool connects employees with employers who need to fill available shifts.
“By providing a reliable pool of vetted and qualified workers, Uber Works can help businesses reduce scheduling headaches, weather seasonal variations, and staff up for unexpected demand,” Uber wrote in a blog post about the launch.
Through the Uber Works app employees can get information about shifts, pay, location, skills and required attire. They can also use the app to clock in and out of work. Uber partnered with the staffing agency True Blue to assist with hiring, pay and benefits. The company also has a partnership with Arizona State University to provide users access to online classes.
There are about 10.6 million workers who cite contract work as their primary source of income, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the gig economy continues to expand employers are looking for ways to provide benefits and other services to these workers. Some companies have turned to technology as a way to provide health insurance and other benefits to freelancers.
For example, Instacart, Postmates and DoorDash all use the platform Stride to offer benefits to gig workers. Trupo, a New York-based insurtech company, provides three insurance products — accident, specified disease and cancer — to workers.
So far Uber Works is only available to businesses and employees in Chicago. The tech company is also partnering with local organizations in the city — such as the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago — to provide workers with skills training and other benefits.
“It’s clear that technology can provide faster and easier access to shift work,” the company wrote. “We’re excited about this and eager to find more and more ways we can help make a difference in the lives of the people who do this work daily.”