Platform Cleaners: The Potentials and Risks of Platform-mediated Cleaning Services in Germany

Project Details

Financing body

Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

Description

The rise of online platforms in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis has led to the emergence of new forms of work, such as clickwork or online delivery services. This project focuses on the implications of digital platforms on domestic cleaning services – a thus far underexplored realm of platform work. Cleaning services are mostly provided by female, low-skilled workers with migration background. These types of services are often undeclared, which does not only undermine the functioning of the welfare state, but also brings major risks for both workers and clients. The emergence of platforms mediating household cleaning might increase opportunities for flexible work and formal employment. However, it also opens up new challenges in terms of labor market regulation and working conditions. Our aim is to investigate the potentials and risks of platform-mediated cleaning services both from the perspective of cleaners and clients, narrowing down to the context of Germany.
Due to the explorative character of this research project, a mixed-methods approach is applied, including: 1) a netnographic study of several platforms offering household cleaning services in Germany; 2) a set of semi-structured interviews with cleaners and clients of the major platform in Germany; 3) a complementary online survey among cleaners using the major platform. The results build an in-depth understanding of worker realities in the field of platform-mediated household cleaning services, as well as the selected platform infrastructures. They are expected to provide valuable insights for developing policy recommendations for how to regulate these kinds of services to make them attractive both for workers and clients.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/04/2031/05/22

Collaborative partners

Keywords

  • platform capitalism
  • household work
  • platform-mediated labor
  • household cleaning