Airtasker: How Gig Economy is transforming the workforce

Introduction

Airtasker, which was founded in 2012 by Tim Fung and Jonathan Lui, headquarters in Sydney, Australia. The company offers users an online platform and allowing them to outsource daily tasks. In such marketplace users explain the task and devise a budget, then other members of the community can bid for the task and get a reward after completing it.

Airtasker works on a innovative model which changes the workforce of the nation. It is a transformative business model which changes the work scene.

Business Model of Airtasker

HOW AIRTASKER WORKS

Airtasker, an Australian company based in Sydney, was founded in 2012 and is now growing. It allows users to outsource daily tasks to skilled workers. Based on the rating and review system, users can assign their tasks to the optimal workers, while workers can choose to bid for their preferred task. Airtasker has full authority over all payments between the user who posts the task and the worker who performs it.

 Covering an insurance by CGU, up to $10 million of insurance is provided to protect task executors in Airtasker market from liability for personal injury or property loss to third parties while performing tasks.

 The operation process on Airtasker begins with posting a task, setting a recommended payment and any other details of the task, while other members of the community can post their preferences and intentions as well as acceptable amount of payment. According to the profile, business record and rating of the applicant, the user can select the optimum person to complete the task, after which the two parties will be allowed to conduct private communication and deal with the payment. Joining Airtasker is free for both task posters and applicants, except taskers will encounter a 22% service charge and GST billing when the task is completed. In addition, according to the membership rating system, silver, gold or platinum tiered taskers will receive a 20%, 18% or 15% reduction respectively, when they make no less than $1,000.

Company Development History

 

COMPANY DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

 

The launching of the company was followed by the funding of $1.5 million (Airtasker, 2020). The high level of funding project showed the high barrier of entry into this industry for high financial funding is needed. In order to better compete in this industry, the company did horizontal integration through the acquisition of rival company. This allowed for greater market share of Airtasker which put it into a better competitive position within the industry. Partnership is also present in the company development for it allows the business to grow with related industry partners. The partnership with CareerOne therefore showcased the company motive to increase company exposure.

MILESTONE OF AIRTASKER

 

Airtasker have raised up to $50 over million over the past 8 years in business operation. The large financial backing and investment of the company allowed for greater input into company operation and expansion. The form of investment and financial support allowed company to gain competitive advantage through building of company infrastructure and expansion into different countries (Airtasker, 2020). The high level of investment into the company also showcased the prospect of the company with motivation to become a household brand of Australia. Given the investment from major companies including NRMA, Shanghai-based Morning Crest Capital and Seven West, this also means that major companies are taking up shares within the business. The taking up of the shares will come in exchange with funding for company development and support from these multinationals. With the high level of investment into the business, this also shows the recognition of these investors onto the future prospect of the business.

REPORT BY SARAH KIMMORLEY: AIRTASKER JUST RAISED $22 MILLION, AND NOW IT WANTS TO BECOME AN AUSTRALIAN HOUSEHOLD NAME

 

“Airtasker has a highly scalable online platform that simplifies the end-to-end task process and provides a rich and valuable data platform, which is a strong competitive advantage.” Seven West Chief Executive Tim Worner.

 

The Airtasker Network

The Business model of Airtasker is new and innovative. Being one of the first in the industry, the website and mobile application allowed for the matching between the consumer and the freelancer. The competitor within this industry is rising due to technological development and competitors includes Upwork, freelancer.com, Bark, fiverr and others. With the target group of consumers who use mobile and internet technology, there has been a rise in the potential consumers with the coming of the 5G era. While income of the company comes from the commission based per job, this allows the company to earn from both the contractors and the consumers per job that are being successful on the platform. Partners of the company includes the individual and independent contractors. They are also the resources of the company which provide the key comparative advantage for the business. Ownership started from co-founder of Jonathan Lui and Tim Fung and shares are being diverted to various investments companies including and not limited to Seven West. The company is an Australia based company and therefore subjected to the law and regulations of the nation. However, the regulation toward the workforce are still lacking due to the nature of it.

 Changing the Workforce

Airtasker is a form of gig economy business model which is changing the workforce and has transformative effect. Airtasker works on a unique and innovative model which is linked to the gig economy. A gig economy is an unregulated economy framework wherein transitory positions are normal, and associations recruit autonomous specialists for transient duties (Gunasekara, 2011).

THE GIG ECONOMY HAS ARRIVED AND IS HERE TO STAY! 

Flexibility is the key to stability (the growup group, 2019)

The gig economy is being base on independent contractor and the matching between the client and the workers are done on the online platform (Prassl & Risak, 2016). This allows for flexibility for both the client and the worker. The client gets to choose who can do their job and also having a wide range of choices easily on the website as there is the bidding process. The workers also have the choice of when to work and for what is the price that they want. This provided numerous benefits for the workers of this new era. In the current modern society, flexible working is being preferred by many. It gives the flexibility of the workers to work during their free time. It also allowed for extra income earned (Stewart & Standford, 2017).

 

THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO SEEK TO BECOME INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND ENGAGE IN FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE.

Despite the advantage that Airtasker has provided in terms of flexible work where the workers can work as and when they like. Gig economy also have their form of disadvantage in the workforce. this means that there is the disintegration of the connection between the employer and the employee (Holley, 2014). The form of connection is based on flexible work relationship instead of the traditional form of employment relationship. The concern of worker’s rights becomes the issue of discussion for Airtasker. The ‘gig economy‘ utilizes advanced stages to sidestep a considerable lot of the normal duties and expenses of work (Rawling, 2015). The uncertainty arises when the workers are independent contractor and are working with the company on a project basis which is one off. However, the relationship is still long term for the workers depend on the platform to make money despite not having formal employment relationship. This means that the worker’s rights such as wages, working conditions and basic worker rights are not being in place (Sundararajan, 2016). Law and regulation in the workforce are lacking in the gig economy for that the law and regulation are protecting of the traditional workforce of formal relationship. This therefore needs new law and regulation to be in place for protection of these increasing group of workers (Goodwin & Maconachie, 2011). Associations, business, and government all have a task to carry out, long haul. Then, direct commitment between these new firms and laborers’ promoters can likewise assist with alleviating the dangers presented to work guidelines by advanced plans of action, by tending to administrative holes.

 

TRADE UNION BODY UNIONS NSW, REPRESENTING 600,000 WORKERS IN THE AUSTRALIAN STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, HAS CALLED AIRTASKER A “

In the pursuit of the Union in NSW, Airtasker is being associated with poor working condition and low wages which is a form of exploitation (Minter, 2017). The union urge for changes in the current working relationship of workers and these gig economy platforms. The understanding encourages the presentation of some essential assurances with respect to suggested paces of pay, security, protection and question goal (Ellem & Shields, 2004). Notwithstanding these securities, labourers at Airtasker eventually need the presentation of genuinely enforceable work guidelines. The workers need to come under the protection under the Fair Work Commission and WorkChoice of Australia’s regulation. This means that changes need to be in place for the law and regulation (Hardy, 2012). The current workforce environment is changed due to the rise of gig economy and companies based on temporary and independent contractors.

 

 

Conclusion

Airtasker is indeed a new and innovative business model which works on freelance and independent contractors to complete the job. Together with many tech giants in the gig economy such as Uber, Airtasker has changed the workforce outlook of the society. This has caused a major transformation to the traditional workforce. Despite the advantage introduced by the Airtasker in the form of gig economy, it has raised concern on the rights of the workers. Therefore, new regulation and law needs to be in place in order for the transit of the workforce.

Reference

Ellem B and Shields J (2004) Beyond the ‘will to unity’: theorising peak union organisation and agency. In: Ellem B, Markey R and Shields J (eds) (2004) Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency. Sydney NSW: Federation Press, pp. 32–53.

 

Hardy T (2012) Enrolling non-state actors to improve compliance with minimum employment standards. Economic and Labour Relations Review 22(3): 117–140.

 

Holley S (2014) The monitoring and enforcement of labour standards when services are contracted out. Journal of Industrial Relations 56(5): 672–690.

 

Lunn, E. & Collinson, P. (2018). Boring chore? Airtasker or TaskRabbit could help – at a price. Retried from: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/mar/10/boring-chore-airtasker-or-taskrabbit-could-help-at-a-price

 

Goodwin, M, Maconachie, G (2011) Minimum labour standards enforcement in Australia: caught in the crossfire? The Economic and Labour Relations Review 22(2): 55–80.

 

Gunasekara, C (2011) Independent contracting in low skilled, low paid work in Australia. International Journal of Employment Studies 19(1): 50–69.

 

The Growup Group. (2019). The gig economy has arrived and is here to stay!. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/growup-technologies/the-gig-economy-has-arrived-and-is-here-to-stay-3d4f9b25508c

 

Prassl J and Risak M (2016) Uber, Taskrabbit, and Co.: platforms as employers — rethinking the legal analysis of crowdwork. Journal of Comparative Labor Law and Policy 37(3): 653–690.

 

Rawling M (2015) Regulating precarious work in Australia: a preliminary assessment. Alternative Law Journal 40(40): 252–256.

 

Minter, K. (2017). Negotiating labour standards in the gig economy: Airtasker and Unions New South Wales. The economic and labour relations review.

 

Stewart A and Stanford J (2017) Regulating work in the gig economy: what are the options? The Economic and Labour Relations Review 28(3)

 

Sundararajan, A (2016) The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-based Capitalism. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

 

Kimmorley, S. (2016). Airtasker just raised $22 million, and now it wants to become an Australian household name. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/airtasker-just-raised-22-million-and-now-it-wants-to-become-an-australian-household-name-2016-6