Jul 222013
workers in a building site

Tim Fung, the co-founder of Airtasker, has been previously been interviewed on this blog about micro tasking service’s mission to change the workplace.

With the news that that Airtasker had gone into a partnership with employment site CareerOne it seemed Tim might be a good guest to kick off the first video for the Decoding the New Economy YouTube channel.

During the interview Tim describes the motivations behind starting Airtasker, how he sees the relationship with CareerOne evolving and the benefits of operating out of a co-working space.

The Tank Stream Labs working space is an interesting setup – based at the bottom of Pitt Street in the heart of Sydney’s financial centre, it’s not in the more edgy areas on the city fringes where the rest of the town’s workspace are located.

Being away from the hipsters and grunge doesn’t seem to have hurt Tank Stream Labs as the space has now expanded to a second floor of the ten storey office block. The roll call of tenants is quite impressive too.

For Tim being in the workspace has been a great benefit for Airtasker.

There’s always the thing about sharing knowledge and more obviously there’s a lot of great contacts that everyone shares.

Airtasker’s relationship with employment site CareerOne is an interesting development that sees the joint venture between News Limited and Monster move into the crowdsourcing field. It also gives job hunters an opportunity to find short term work while looking for a more permanent role.

People are looking for more hours of work but equally businesses were coming to CareerOne and saying ‘hey, all you do is full time work’ and that’s only one piece of the employment puzzle.’

For CareerOne it really allows them to build up the full spectrum – all the way from tasks to part time to full time and be a one stop shop for employment.

How that works for CareerOne remains to be seen, but for Airtasker and Tim it validates their business model along with exposing their service to a wider audience.

With the workforce evolving and the trend to informal, casualised employment; services like Airtasker and the US Task Rabbit will take a more prominent role in workers’ careers. While it’s debatable on how desirable or stable such employment is, it’s the reality of a process that started in the 1970s.

Tim takes a more sanguine view of the challenges facing workers in an informal employment market.

What I’m sharing on Airtasker is my free time. Currently we have this pool of literally tens of thousands of hours of people sitting around saying ‘I’d love to have a job’ and that’s an underutilised resource.

Airtasker in many ways is one of the new breed of middlemen creating markets where one didn’t exist before. The service is an example of how new ways to communicate create opportunities to connect buyers and sellers.

Services like Airtasker are part of the future that’s very different to the world we or our parents grew up. It’s going to be interesting to see how society and governments evolve around the realities of today’s workplace.

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