How We’re Thinking About The Future of Work

At Airtasker, we’re conscious that our platform is part of the debate around what work will look like over the "How We’re Thinking About The Future of Work"

How We’re Thinking About The Future of Work

At Airtasker, we’re conscious that our platform is part of the debate around what work will look like over the coming decades.

That’s why we’ve made every effort to be open and as transparent as possible when it comes to questions around our growth, values and future intentions in building the Airtasker marketplace.

We’ve spent the last five years of our lives thinking about how to build a marketplace which will best serve our community members and would like to take this opportunity to clear the air and share some of our perspective.

We exist to create more new jobs for Australians

The vast majority of the jobs on the Airtasker platform are brand new jobs that simply wouldn’t exist in the traditional framework of work. For the most part, we’re creating brand new industries from tasks as simple as removing spiders from homes, as fun as making halloween party costumes or as quirky as providing early-morning motivation for getting fit.

For more established industries, such as cleaning or handiwork, we’re making it faster, simpler and easier to post tasks and find someone to complete them. We’re seeing this ease of use add to the overall amount of work in these sectors – creating new jobs for new workers as well as more jobs for existing industry professionals.

There’s plenty of fear out there about the rise of automation and how robots and other forms of technology intend to replace jobs for humans – we believe Airtasker is actually combating this problem by leveraging each and every person’s unique skills. We believe that creating Australian jobs is absolutely part of the fundamental value we create, not just the by-product of providing a good service for people to outsource their tasks.

We want Airtasker Workers to earn more, not less

On Airtasker, a percentage service fee is charged on the total value of all tasks completed. The more Workers on the platform earn, the more revenue we earn as a business. This revenue keeps our platform running, helps us build new features and spread the word about Airtasker (which in turn helps to create more new jobs).

Whilst a percentage fee can often sound like a more significant figure compared to platforms that advertise lower-sounding offers like “$20 per lead” or “50 cents per click” or “$500 per listing per year” – we believe that the “you win, we win” model provides a much fairer solution and is generally much cheaper (as a percentage of total amount earned by the Worker). This model also ensures that we’re always aligned with the Workers – we’re not incentivised to generate low quality website traffic or send the Workers weak leads that probably won’t result in a sale.

Some people have also suggested that Airtasker might be triggering a “race to the bottom” in terms of the price that people are willing to pay for certain tasks. We don’t want this, as it doesn’t benefit you and — due to our business model — doesn’t benefit us.

In order to prevent a race to the bottom, we have always maintained a “many-to-one” quoting system in which only the Job Poster sees each of the prices offered by the Worker. The Workers don’t see each other’s pricing so won’t undercut each other.

So are we seeing a race to the bottom? In the chart below, you can see that our own internal data shows quite the opposite. As more members with more unique skills have joined the platform, the overall value of tasks has increased year-on-year.

average-agreed-task-price

We believe these prices increases are a result of our trusted review system which now hosts more than 350,000 customer reviews based on real, verified transactions. Our experience is that when it comes to services, most Australians emphasise the quality and reliability of the Worker rather than simply choosing the lowest price.

We’ve also seen that top quality, reliable Workers are able to command higher rates. In the chart below, you can see that the “spread” between the price suggested by the Job Poster and the amount that Workers are actually paid has increased over the past years – well regarded, high performing Workers are earning more.

post-offer-task-price

We’re a marketplace for services, not an agency

Our Future of Work research showed that 63% of Australians agree that “the flexibility of working for yourself would make up for the lack of certainty or predictability of the work”.

That’s why we built Airtasker as a marketplace for independent Workers to work directly with their own customers (Job Posters) rather than an agency or an employer. For Workers on Airtasker:

  • We do not tell you what to do – we don’t define what services you can provide – you agree this directly with the Job Poster
  • We do not tell you when to work – you are completely free to choose when and from where you work
  • We do not tell you how much or how often you work – there are no shifts or minimum number of hours that you need to fulfil

Perhaps even more importantly, we also don’t control how much you earn. You are free to offer any price that you choose to complete a job.

This freedom to choose how much you earn is really important because:

  • There are many ways a Worker can complete a task. For example, if the task is to “assemble 4 IKEA stools and 4 IKEA desks” then one Worker may choose to assemble each stool and desk package which might take 2 hours, whilst another Worker may choose to create a small assembly line making all the stools, then switching to making all the desks which might take 1.5 hours.
  • Some Workers have skills or equipment that allow them to complete a job faster or with a higher degree of quality compared to others. Using the same example, if a Worker carries their own pocket drill or has previously assembled the specific stool/desk model then they might only take 1 hour to complete the same task.
  • There are many individual circumstances that might affect a Worker’s chosen pricing. Again, using the IKEA furniture example, if one Worker lives in the same apartment building as the Job Poster whilst the other Worker needs to travel for 1 hour just to get to the Job Poster’s home then it’s only fair that each Worker can offer a different price for getting that job completed.

Further, this freedom in pricing also allows the Worker to factor in their own individual costs – for example the Worker may wish to factor in additional superannuation payments, the costs of their own additional insurance policies or other costs such as paying for specific motor vehicles or equipment.

These freedoms and flexibilities are what makes Airtasker an open marketplace platform and quite distinct from the structure of an agency or employer. That said, we absolutely believe that the full-time or part-time employment model is a really great model for specific roles – we employ more than 40 permanent full-time Australian staff in roles such as customer service, software development, product management, marketing and office admin.

But for many jobs, this traditional model of employment simply doesn’t make sense. For example, if you paint your house every ten years, you probably don’t need to employ a full-time painter, right?

So where to from here? We won’t pretend to have all the answers in relation to how people will work in the future. It’s a broad question.

But one thing’s for certain: the way we work is changing. Fast. So we’re going on this journey together and building a platform which we hope can respond to what at least some people are looking for in a job.

If you’ve got thoughts on the future of work or how Airtasker can improve please let us know here.

Airtasker Hits 500,000 Members

Airtasker now has over 500,000 Members Five years ago, Jonathan and I founded Airtasker on the back of a simple "Airtasker Hits 500,000 Members"

Airtasker Hits 500,000 Members

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Airtasker now has over 500,000 Members

Five years ago, Jonathan and I founded Airtasker on the back of a simple errand. Little did we think that an idea we came up with while we were moving house would grow into company that touches almost every major city in Australia, provides work for thousands, and helps everyday Australians get more done with their day.

Today, we’re announcing a new milestone in our journey. After years of solid growth, Airtasker has finally hit half a million members.

It’s a huge achievement for us and our team. Airtasker’s growth has been exponential since it’s humble beginning in February 2012. On average Airtasker added around 10,000 members a month in 2014. In 2016, it’s typically adding close to 25,000 new members per month.

Meanwhile, the number of tasks posted on Airtasker has also exploded. We hit a new record this year with over 30,000 tasks posted in March.

It’s remarkable to see that some of our members have woven their use of Airtasker into their everyday lives.

Mulgrave removalist and Kiwi expat, Muss M. has done a whopping 557 tasks through Airtasker in just five months. He’s achieved a five star rating for his work every time and is yet to cancel a job. To an extent, the platform serves as a key growth channel for his business. It’s a story we’ve seen repeated time and time again for SMBs across the country.

We’ve also been heartened to see some members stick with us from the very beginning. Kevin Liew is one of them. He first joined in February 2012, and since then has completed a wide variety of tasks from dressing up as a mascot to forming part of a greeting party for an overseas traveller arriving at the Airport.

The way our members harness the platform still continues to astonish us. We’ve seen people arrange fake dates, ask for newspaper clippings to be sent abroad, organise parties, mind pets, model for fashion shoots. The list goes on, and grows more diverse each year.

We’ve learned a lot from building this vibrant and successful marketplace. And we a keen to see it grow and reach new heights. We are also keen to leverage that knowledge in some future projects we are working on. But that’s an announcement for another time.

Five interesting facts about Airtasker’s community

– The majority of Airtasker members (28%) are aged between 25 and 34. However, the majority of Airtasker’s most active members are aged 18-24 and over 45.

– There are slightly more female members (51%) than there are male members (49%).

– In descending order the cities with the most Airtaskers are: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide.

– The majority of jobs on Airtasker (29.6%) revolve around Home and Garden work.

– There is an average of 4 offers per posted task on Airtasker.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 5.55.27 pm

10 Amaysim Tips For Curing Frigophobia

Think snow, ice, cold, winter… Do those words give you goose bumps? Well it sounds like you’ve got a fear "10 Amaysim Tips For Curing Frigophobia"

10 Amaysim Tips For Curing Frigophobia

Tips for the cold

Think snow, ice, cold, winter… Do those words give you goose bumps? Well it sounds like you’ve got a fear of coldness or not so commonly known as Frigophobia. This phobia is not just a fear of the cold but also cold things such as ice blocks.

The easiest but also most financially impossible fix would be to move to a warmer climate, such as South Africa or here in Australia. It may not drop to freezing by European standards, many Aussies would still complain that it gets too cold and don a beanie as soon as it drops below 20 degrees.

So instead of putting on multiple layers of clothes we’ve come up with a few suggestions to get you through winter this year.

1. Hot food deliveries
From soup to curry, think of your favourite winter dishes and now imagine that rather than going to the effort of shopping and cooking, why not get a food delivery.

Better yet, a cheeky 3pm hot chocolate delivered to your office means you can beat the cold and your 3pm slump in one hit!

2. Deck out in fun winter gear

sleeping bag suit

Face the cold in something hilarious like a sleeping bag suit (above) or maybe an outrageous onesie. You and your mates could get a theme going and even host a stay-in games night.

3. Stock up in advance – winter is coming

stockpile food

If there’s a special deal at your local supermarket, take advantage of the sales and stock up non-perishables such as frozen vegetables and tinned soup just incase you need to make an emergency meal.

4. Be prepared
It’s a good idea to get your home fixed and prepared so that you can relax in the coziness. Here’s a quick checklist for you to run through:
– Clear gutters
– Fix broken roof tiles
– Ensure chimneys and flues are clear
– Check for mould
– Clean and maintain heaters, clothes dryers and vacuums.

Or get one of your handymen to do it for you!

5. Celebrate
Whether it’s Christmas in July or just a night by an open fire with marshmallows for s’mores with your friends. Take time to spend it with the people that make you laugh.

6. Organise wardrobe

winter clothing wacky airtasker

While it might be sad to say goodbye to the summer shorts and singlets, there’s nothing better than starting a new season with a clean and organized wardrobe. Go through your items one-by-one and if you can’t layer it, pack it away or better yet, throw away things you haven’t worn in the last year.

7. Don’t forget your wheels!
Your car protects you from the cold when you have to leave your cozy house so it’s important to make sure that its maintenance is up to date. It’s worth getting it checked over, especially if you’re looking at a long drive or heading to the snow. A few other things include:
– Inspect your tires
– Replace your wipers
– Check your windshield washer fluid

8. See a show
Whether it’s festival or stand up comedy in your local pub. It’s proven that laughter and happiness is the best remedy for most things.

9. Get your tax prepared
Just the mere thought of dedicating a whole weekend to your tax return is enough to make you stay rugged up in bed and watch the box set series of Breaking Bad. But if you approach it in a gradual process it won’t be as labour intensive.

Step 1: Gather and organize receipts
Step 2: Download the online tax pack
Step 3: Get an Airtsker or a tax accountant to take care of it for you.

10. Stay connected

amaysim

Keep in touch with friends, family, or even your housemate in the next room via Amaysim who offer the most flexible and cheapest rates.

How To: Use Online Outsourcing

The relatively new concept of online outsourcing is being discovered by more and more small businesses everyday, pioneering an exciting "How To: Use Online Outsourcing"

The relatively new concept of online outsourcing is being discovered by more and more small businesses everyday, pioneering an exciting new segment of the human resources industry which is experiencing phenomenal growth.

For years now, we’ve been using communication channels like noticeboards, newspapers and even online classifieds. Well, the new wave of online outsourcing being led by startup companies like Airtasker, Freelancer and 99Designs has simply taken the existing model and put everything in a one-stop-shop solution to get the right person for the job making it faster, easier and more efficient.

So why should your business use online outsourcing?

Here are a couple of reasons why online outsourcing will be a must for most small businesses moving forward:
1. Money – the cost of hiring and firing has become too expensive, especially through temp hiring agencies. Online outsourcing is low cost as the freelancer receives most of the money that you pay.
2. Time – your business doesn’t have time to post an ad, wait for responses and interview candidates to find a temp resource. Online outsourcing allows you to post an ad, choose someone and have the job done within hours.
3. Skills– need an expert in a special type of logo design, cleaning or gardening? Online outsourcing allows you to tap a much wider pool of talent and sort through the candidates quickly by looking at actual feedback data like reviews on previous jobs.

So you’re probably thinking “this sounds great in theory, but how can I use online outsourcing in my everyday business?” Well, here are a few examples:

International outsourcing (eg. 99 Designs, Freelancer, Fiverr)
Probably the oldest form of online outsourcing is the international marketplace for ‘virtual’ tasks like designing logos etc. that can be completed remotely who may be located in India, China or anywhere else in the world.

Hyper-local outsourcing (eg. Airtasker, Zaarly and TaskRabbit)
As the internet is now the norm in our everyday lives, the location of services is becoming more and more important. Using location technology available in most devices, sites like Airtasker (in Australia) and TaskRabbit or Zaarly (in the US) can help small businesses connect with “Task Runners” or freelancers in their local area.

This type of “hyperlocal” outsourcing is perfect for tasks that require a physical presence like house cleaning, a car wash (in your own driveway) or a quick delivery.

Local online outsourcing (eg. Airtasker, Zaarly and TaskRabbit)
While global outsourcing marketplaces like Freelancer have provided many small businesses with really useful assistance on virtual tasks, outsourcing a task to someone in another country can present it’s own challenges due to the language, culture and the time differences. Therefore we’re seeing more and more tasks posted on Airtasker that can be completed online or by phone, by someone in their city or in Australia to complete their task.

Outsourcing Pros and Cons

As with any new business technology, it will take some time to get the most out of online outsourcing – be patient – online outsourcing technology will continue to improve to make your life even easier.

But wait! Check out these common outsourcing mistakes to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap.

Insurance on Airtasker

What types of insurance is available to the Airtasker Community and how does it work?

Insurance on Airtasker

We’re an online marketplace that connects the local community. Or more simply – we connect people who need tasks done with people looking to help out and earn more.

But there are three things that people from all walks of life want from any community they become a member of:

Trust, quality and safety.

That’s why we’re constantly looking at ways we can improve on this with features such as reviews, badges and of course – insurance.

Here on Airtasker, we’ve got two different types of insurance available to members:

1 – A third-party liability policy provided by CGU Insurance
2 – An income protection insurance policy provided by Roobyx

Our insurance partners have provided the content below to split out the different types of insurance to help you get a better understanding.

Airtasker third party liability insurance

 Please note: nothing contained herein is general or personal advice. Furthermore, it is declared and agreed that nothing contained in this summary should be understood to be an express or implied condition, term or exclusion which forms part of the Insurer Policy terms and conditions or be relied upon in the event of a Claim. Please contact Airtasker for access to the Certificate of Currency and/or Insurance Policy Schedule and/or Policy Wording for information as to the specific coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions afforded by the Insurer in the event of an incident, occurrence or Claim. Please also note that each Claim is subject to an Excess payable by the Airtasker Worker – full details of the Policy, its coverage and exclusions including the applicable excess details are available on request by the Airtasker Worker.

 

The Airtasker Insurance Policy from CGU Insurance covers the Airtasker Worker for their liability to third parties for personal injury or property damage whilst performing certain task activities. Learn more about Airtasker’s Insurance provided by CGU.

How does this work for Job Posters?

If an Airtasker Worker is liable for injury to, or damage to property of, a Job Poster or someone else as a result of performing covered activities, Airtasker Insurance can help to cover the liability of the Airtasker Worker. Please refer to the Help Centre for more information on how Airtasker Insurance works for Job Posters.

How does Airtasker Insurance work for Airtasker Workers?

Airtasker Workers are primarily responsible for the work they carry out under a Task Contract and may be liable for consequences that result from their activities when performing a task. Airtasker Insurance is intended to cover the liability of the Airtasker Worker to the Job Poster or anyone else for injury or damage to property. Please refer to the Help Centre for more information on how Airtasker Insurance works for Airtasker Workers.

Do excesses apply and who pays the excess?

All claims made under the insurance and for which the policy responds are subject to an excess that is payable by the Airtasker Worker. Airtasker Workers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the applicable excess that applies for any actual or alleged demands for compensation against them. Please refer to the Help Centre for more information on excesses.

Content provided by Modern Risk Solutions Pty Ltd which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of PSC Connect Pty Ltd (Australian Financial Services Licence AFSL 344648)

Airtasker income protection insurance

If you’re an Airtasker Worker, this insurance policy has been designed to empower your freedom to work as and when you choose with less worry. Provided by Roobyx Pty Ltd, it helps you keep earning income for a period of time if you’re injured and that results in a loss of work (depending on the level of cover you selected).

You can choose the type of cover and benefits to suit your task activity.

How does this work when your earnings change on a weekly basis?

This insurance policy lets you put some of the money earned when you complete tasks towards an income protection insurance premium.

The insurance premium can go up or down depending on your task activity. The premium is calculated weekly – based on what you’ve earned in the previous week. This means you can work as much or little as you want and helps you to maintain that all-important flexible work/ life balance.

Roobyx offers While You Work Cover for just “flexible work” injuries, or, 24/7 Cover for all injuries other than those related to any of your other jobs.

While You Work Cover provides insurance protection to cover a loss that results from an injury while you’re completing a task on Airtasker.

24/7 Cover provides insurance protection to cover loss that results from an injury around the clock. It’s important to remember this policy does not cover any work activities other than for Airtasker or other nominated platforms.

How does the claim process work?

  1. Fill out the claim form and lodge it with a doctor’s certificate.
  2. A Roobyx Claims Manager will either accept your claim or contact you for more information.
  3. If successful, you’ll get weekly benefit payments every fortnight in arrears. This means that the earliest you’ll get payment is 14 days plus your waiting period after you are unable to work.
  4. You’ll start getting payments after the waiting period. This’ll continue until you’re able to start working again or until the benefit period runs out, whichever happens first.

The amount you get from a claim is calculated out by averaging out your earnings over the 10 weeks before the date of the injury which resulted in you being unable to work on Airtasker.

What happens to my income protection insurance if I stop doing tasks?

Not a problem! If you stop earning you can keep the insurance going and keep paying a small weekly fee. Or you can cancel the insurance, then simply re-apply when you start up again.

Are there any additional charges?

Yes – please be aware that Roobyx does charge a small admin fee which gets added to the premium you pay. The admin fee is $1.50 per week ($1.65 incl. GST) to cover Roobyx’s basic admin costs.

Learn more about income protection insurance provided by Roobyx.

Content above has been provided by Roobyx, a trading name of YourCover Pty Ltd (Australian Financial Services Licence AFSL 461299)

10 Start-up Productivity Tips

Most productivity advice is complete rubbish and if you’re working in a startup like me, you’re probably laser-focused right now "10 Start-up Productivity Tips"

Most productivity advice is complete rubbish and if you’re working in a startup like me, you’re probably laser-focused right now on a bunch of “super important” things like growing traffic, driving sales or optimizing landing pages.

But in the past few years, I’ve found myself going through periods in which I was working hard for long hours, but not necessarily being smart or moving as quickly as possible towards my actual goals. Productivity for a startup guy (or girl) is like fitness for a golf player or a chess master – it’s not going to directly improve each stroke or move, but it’s 100% proven to be critical to performance over a given period.

With that in mind, here are 10 genuine tips that will help you to get the most out of yourself and your startup this year.

1. Set goals you can smash
Don’t be tempted to construct a huge plan to conquer the world every day and then get frustrated when you can’t tick anything off. When you first get in every morning, write down five to-dos and then get them done. Repeat tomorrow.

2. Take startup news with a pinch of salt
Just like your Facebook feed, listening to what’s going on in startup land by reading Tech Crunch or speaking to founders that are “smashing it” all the time, can make you falsely believe that everyone is winning everyday. Maintain your perspective.

3. Take time to get in shape
When you’re at your desk punching out copy, code or emails, taking a break to eat a proper lunch or go for a run seems like the last thing that will help your startup. But having the “discipline” to take a break and maintain yourself will make sure you’ve got the energy and drive to do more important stuff later.

4. Spot your goal post, then sprint hard
Set a dedicated time to assess your goals and define a key metric that you want to grow. Then set your plan and run at it hard – focus and don’t think about the bigger picture again until the next assessment time – whether fortnightly, monthly or quarterly.

5. Keep looking up
Concentrate on what success looks like and how you’re going to get there, not what the possible steps to failure are. When you find yourself looking down at the ground, snap yourself out of it – there’s always a route up!

6. Spring out of bed
In the morning, try to jump out of bed as quickly as possible and run in to a cold shower. It’s good for discipline, routine and does a way better job of keeping you alert than coffee.

7. Use smart outsourcing tools
Don’t let people power, skills or your location stop your growth plans. Whether it’s product testing or promotional staff hired via Airtasker, content creators found on Freelancer or a professional recruiter engaged on Recruitloop, use trusted platforms to connect with the people you need to get the job done faster, cheaper and better.

8. Don’t ride every wave
Keeping your eyes fixated on your hour-by-hour performance statistics can be another big distraction from being productive. Every business goes through ebbs and flows that can affect your mindset so set a schedule for checking traffic/sales/downloads and stick to it.

9. Find a passion
Find something that you really enjoy doing that isn’t working on your startup. This will help you escape the grind every now and balance out your life – you should be able to completely let go of business for at least an hour a day. These are the times that you will come up with your best ideas.

10. Let your team mates fail
Startup teams are small which means everyone needs to specialise and be responsible for their own area. Don’t be a control freak and try to get everything done in a certain way – trust your team mates to get things done and make their own mistakes.

If you’ve got questions, or want to accuse me of “fluffiness”, let me know in the comments below.

We’ve raised $2 million to take Airtasker global

Hey guys, We’ve got some really awesome news to share with you. Today we announced that we’ve received $2 million "We’ve raised $2 million to take Airtasker global"

Hey guys,

We’ve got some really awesome news to share with you. Today we announced that we’ve received $2 million from Exto Partners, BridgeLane Capital and some amazing angel investors from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

We’re super excited about bringing on this new round of funding which we’ll be using to improve the Airtasker experience for you – our community. Here’s what we’re working on: Continue reading “We’ve raised $2 million to take Airtasker global”