Labour of Liquid Love

Like everything else, I’d like to stress that I don’t think liquidising labour is inherently a good or bad thing. It just is. I have a job doing social media for a night club, where they make me work set hours in an office away from the club. The whole process seems dumb. For a social media company to hold onto the relic of a by-gone working era (the set office hours) feels ridiculously backward.

I have another job that I work at casually, whilst handling their social media on the side. The social media aspect of my job is completely fluid, which allows me to do my work late at night when I’m most productive. If I have questions or need feedback from other staff, I’m still limited by their office hours and have often run into the problem of them thinking I can complete work at any hour. Both have their downside, but I believe flexibility and giving the employees the right to choose how they’d like to structure their work is the best way to go.

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3 thoughts on “Labour of Liquid Love

  1. Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed the memes you have incorporated into your blog in which you discuss the nature of liquid labour and how (like everything) it has both pros and cons. I think that inevitably this is the way our workforce is heading. As I work five different jobs I know I certainly find the convenience of liquid labour preferable to set work hours. As Kelly (1999) states:

    ‘Of course, all the mouse clicks in the world can’t move atoms in real space without tapping real energy, so there are limits to how far the soft will infiltrate the hard. But the evidence everywhere indicates that the hard world is irreversibly softening.’

    But I can’t help but wonder want sort of social and psychological impacts this has upon us and individuals and as a society. If we are constantly expected to ‘be in standing reserve’ when do we get the time to stand back and rest from processing information. Is it only when we completely switch off our electronic devices and disconnect that we truely experience this? But then theres also this incredible pressure to be connected at all times and know what is going on. Surely the ongoing battle between the two must be having an impact on us.What do you think about this phenomenon?

    -Kelly K 1999, This New Economy, New Rules for the new Economy.

    • I find myself sometimes waking up in the middle of the night, worried about whether I’ve forgotten some crucial aspect of my job. It’s extremely hard for me to ever properly switch off, and when I do I find that I’ll usually come back to some kind of work related crisis. I think this has had an impact on my stress levels, and I have no doubt that many others feel the same. I think moving forward we should try to combine liquid labour and centralised systems, to create a happy medium that offers freedom- to both work when you want and also to be free of work when you want. We’ve still got along way to go before we reach that point. Thanks for your input, I’ll check out your source!

  2. Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed the memes you have incorporated into your blog in which you discuss the nature of liquid labour and how (like everything) it has both pros and cons. I think that inevitably this is the way our workforce is heading. As I work five different jobs I know I certainly find the convenience of liquid labour preferable to set work hours. As Kelly (1999) states:

    ‘Of course, all the mouse clicks in the world can’t move atoms in real space without tapping real energy, so there are limits to how far the soft will infiltrate the hard, but the evidence everywhere indicates that the hard work is irreversible softening’

    But I can’t help but wonder what the social and psychological impacts of liquid labour on us. If we are constantly in a state of reserve are we ever fully at rest? Is it only when we completely switch off our electronic devices that we can experience a true rest from the chronic task of sorting? However therein lies the cyclical nature of the Internet, as when we inevitably reconnect we must catch up with everything that went on in our absence. Surely this continuous internal battle between this desire for connection and disconnection must be impacting upon us in some way. What do you think?

    – Kelly, K 1999, ‘This New Economy’, New Rules for the new Economy

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