In recent years, the way people work has undergone a dramatic shift with the rise of the gig economy. This growing trend has opened up new avenues for individuals seeking to earn a living on their terms, free from the constraints of traditional employment. One of the latest developments in this field is micro-tasking, which allows people to perform small, simple tasks for pay, usually through online platforms.
Let’s explore what the gig economy is, how micro-tasking differs from traditional freelancing and its potential benefits.
What Is The Gig Economy?
The gig economy refers to a labor market based on short-term contracts or freelance work rather than permanent jobs. It’s a way for individuals to earn income by working independently on a project basis, typically through online platforms or apps.
What’s the size of the market? In 2021, the global gig economy market size was estimated to be $355B, which is forecasted to grow to $873B in 2027. There is no doubt that the gig economy is growing, and more people are joining the sector every day.
The gig industry offers flexibility that traditional employment cannot match. It allows workers to create their own schedules and choose the types of jobs they want to take on. Many people turn to the gig economy as a way to supplement their income or as a means of supporting themselves full-time.
The central part of the gig economy is freelancing platforms, such as Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.com. Experienced professionals, such as web developers, graphic designers, or writers, can find many short-term gigs to complete and get paid in return. However, this type of freelancing is often restricted to people with skills and experience in some fields.
Micro-tasking, however, is a field that differs from traditional freelance work and may have its own benefits regarding accessibility and accessibility.
What Is Micro-tasking?
Micro-tasking or micro-work involves breaking down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks that freelancers or independent workers can complete. Unlike traditional freelancing, where a project is typically completed from start to finish, micro-tasking allows individuals to take on small, specific tasks that require a limited skill set.
The purpose of micro-tasking is to allow companies or individuals to outsource small, repetitive, or time-consuming tasks to a distributed workforce. Examples of small jobs include data entry, transcription, image tagging, and captcha solving, among others.
What’s the goal? People solve micro-tasks worldwide, and all of these are combined into large datasets. These are later used for training machine learning algorithms and AI systems. In short, a distributed workforce contributes to building technologies of the future.
Micro-tasking has become an important aspect of the gig economy, providing a way for people to earn money by performing simple, quick tasks that require little upfront investment in time or training.
Examples of Micro-tasking Platforms
The micro-jobs are typically offered on online platforms, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), Clickworker, or Google Task Mate. People can sign up, do simple tasks, and get paid in return. However, some of these platforms are still in their beta version and have limited offerings. Others may have entry requirements or location restrictions, meaning that some people can still not access micro-work opportunities.
Some platforms try to involve blockchain in their systems. One of them is JumpTask, a marketplace that offers small tasks for people to get paid in cryptocurrency. However, the platform currently has a limited number of functions, too, meaning there is still work to be done to make micro-tasking more accessible.
There are mainly two reasons why micro-jobs benefit both workers and businesses. On the one hand, people get access to additional ways to boost their income without specific skills or knowledge. This can be especially true for low-income earners who might benefit from such work opportunities.
At the same time, companies benefit too. Outsourcing micro-tasks to a global workforce allows businesses to develop innovative technologies that will eventually help to produce higher quality services, which will support economic growth.
Micro-tasking is a new type of freelancing in the gig economy. As a growing field, the gig industry is set to provide new opportunities for people to earn money flexibly in the modern economy. Although having its limitations, the micro-task sector is projected to have benefits for workers and businesses in the long run.