News24xx.com - Halim, was once a “conventional” ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver in Palembang, South Sumatra, with a motorcycle that he had to purchase on monthly credit. As the backbone of a family with two children, Halim felt that his income was far from enough and was less promising to support the livelihood of his family. His fate changed when Halim registered himself as a partner driver for Gojek in 2015. It didn’t take long for Halim to earn an income that he considered “more than sufficient”.
Since joining as a Gojek partner driver, he earns more than Rp 5 million per month on average and from having to live in a rented house, he finally got a home loan. But being a Gojek driver partner is not all about an increase in average income. Like Halim, most driver partners are satisfied and happy with their new career and being a Gojek driver partner is arguably something that gives them a fighting chance.
Based on the findings of research carried out by Lembaga Demografi FEB Universitas Indonesia (LD FEB UI) on the happiness level of Gojek drivers in Indonesia utilizing the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWL) from Pavot and Diener ( 2013 ), Gojek driver partners had an average happiness score of 24.3 on a maximum scale of 35.
This level of satisfaction was determined as part of a quantitative method of research that interviewed 6,732 respondents directly in nine cities, consisting of 3,886 GoRide partners, 1,010 GoCar partners, 1,000 GoFood partners and 836 GoLife partners.
The research stated that after joining Gojek, driver partners became happier, more satisfied with their lives and gave more meaning to their work than just something for their livelihood.
The five main factors that increase Gojek drivers’ happiness transcended financial reasons. They are the suitability of work with their personality, social interactions and a strong sense of brotherhood, especially involvement in many communities, an autonomous feeling at work, especially flexible working time, appreciation from customers, companies and friends, learning from the surrounding environment and feeling like they are needed.
Meanwhile, factors that can maintain the happiness of Gojek partners are customer appreciation, the use of appropriate services, a safe work environment, business continuity that maintains an additional source of income and access to comprehensive social security information.
According to the Head of LD FEB UI, Turro S. Wongkaren, self-development in the era of the digital economy is very important because so far well-being research has only been done for workers in conventional industries.
This research found five main factors behind the happiness of Gojek partners, namely suitability of work with personality, social interaction and a strong sense of brotherhood, especially involvement in different communities, feeling of autonomy at work, specifically the freedom to manage working hours, appreciation in the form of appreciation from customers, company and friends, as well as learning from the surrounding environment, and feeling needed by their community, which lightens the burden of their hard work.
“Research focusing on the actors driving the digital economy needs to be done in order to understand how the digital economy can help individuals from a non-financial side that is beneficial for self-development. This is important so that Indonesia’s digital economy can be inclusive and of high quality,” said Turro S. Wongkaren as head of Lembaga Demografi Fakultas Ekonomi Bisnis Universitas Indonesia (LD FEB UI).
“Gojek has contributed Rp 44.2 trillion to Rp55 trillion to the Indonesian economy, but it needs to be further investigated whether this large economic contribution is followed by the satisfaction and happiness of its partners,” Turro added.
Bagus Takwin, a researcher at LD FEB UI, explained the partners interpreted their work as more than just earning money to fulfill their own interests. “They see their lives becoming more meaningful by being a Gojek partner, as they are able to help different people and spread kindness. In the context of a digital industry that adopts a partnership system such as Gojek, the meaning of work becomes important because everyone has flexibility and autonomy at work, which further empowers partners,” said Bagus.
“This research found that the feeling of being an everyday hero and the appreciation from Gojek management can make partners feel happy. Through the communities that partners establish independently, they can also expand their social networks and carry out social activities for those in need,” said Bagus.