Online contestant specialist work

06 syyskuu 2018

Platform work is a form of employment that uses an online platform to enable organisations or individuals to access other organisations or individuals to solve problems or to provide services in exchange for payment. Eurofound identified 10 different types of platform work prevalent in Europe as of 2017. Three of the 10 types were covered in an in-depth study of working and employment conditions. These, together with two additional ones, are also discussed in a policy brief highlighting the key issues arising in platform work as well as first solutions to tackle them.

Online contestant specialist work is high-skilled online work where the client selects the worker by means of a contest. Workers performing this type of platform work must prove their skills by carrying out part or all of a task before knowing whether they will be selected as winners and paid. This type of platform work is especially prevalent for creative tasks. Well known examples include design contests such as 99Designs and GoPillar as well as data analysis contests such as Kaggle and ideas contests such Jovoto.


Overview of the characteristics that constitute online contestant specialist work

Source: Eurofound 2018

Format of service provision

Format of service provision refers to whether the work is performed online or offline (on-location). As the label suggests, online contestant specialist work is organised and delivered online. They can be delivered from any location in the world as long as there is an internet connection.

Form of matching

The process of allowing clients and workers to find each other is not much of an issue for contest platforms. In contest structures, an open-call format is used to broadcast an opportunity to contribute to a wide audience. This strategy depends on participants to search for or otherwise find the open call and self-select for participation.


In platform work generally, selection can be made by the client, worker, or the platform. In contest specialist work, the selection is made by the client, who determines the winning entry.

Scale of tasks

Platform work can involve tasks on a wide ranging scale of duration and complexity. There may be large, long-term projects, as well as micro tasks. The scale of tasks in contest specialist work depends on the contest, but usually involves larger scale tasks. There are contests in which participants compete to provide the best title for a novel, which may take only a few moments to think of and enter. However, there are also design contests and highly complex contests in data analysis or innovative idea generation that require a long-term investment of time on the part of the workers.

Skills level

A given task may require low, medium, or high skills. This refers to the traded tasks and not necessarily to the skills that the workers possess, since it is not uncommon that highly educated individuals carry out simple tasks through platforms. Contest specialist work usually requires high skill levels as tasks can be complex and can involve professional or specialist activities.

Selected working conditions in online contestant specialist work

Overview of selected working conditions in online contestant specialist work


Online contestant work


99 Designs, Jovoto

Autonomy and control


Work intensity and working time quality

Physical environment

Social environment

Career development and prospects

Online contestants have much control over when they work and how they work and usually participate in contests when this fits in with their other work or activities. As payment depends upon winning the contest, it is unpredictable similar to the traditional creative sectors, but this is exacerbated due to more intense international competition.

Particular for online contestant workers, tight deadlines can result in high work intensity and stress.

There are positive indications that online contestant workers may use the experience they gain and the skills they develop through platform work to build their business contacts or their portfolio to start or enhance a self-employed or freelance activity.

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Lisää uusi kommentti