Brotherly labour: innovating in social networks
McDonald’s are piloting an interesting idea: allow a member of your family to cover your shift. If sucessful it could be extended to friends too. This is obviously doable because the Taylorist approach to McDonald’s labour means that labour is quite transferable. So is it a good idea?
This pilot takes the idea of job share to its extreme – rather than a company hiring an individual it’s effectively hiring the value inherent one person’s social network.
That seems great, like a form of community labour "one-for-all", "all-for-one". Of course that is, until one of your friends lets you down at work. Or until that falling out you had affects your contractual obligation to provide labour…
It seems to me that in return for flexibility you effectively become a manager of a set of freelance staff. McDonald’s couldn’t require of it’s staff what you can ask of your friends without crossing all kinds of employment laws….