The motivations and experiences of the on-demand mobile workforce

On-demand mobile workforce applications match physical world tasks and willing workers. These systems offer to help conserve resources, streamline courses of action, and increase market efficiency for micro- and mid-level tasks, from verifying the existence of a pothole to walking a neighbor's dog. This study reports on the motivations and experiences of individuals who regularly complete physical world tasks posted in on-demand mobile workforce marketplaces. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with members (workers) of two different services. The analysis revealed the main drivers for participating in an on-demand mobile workforce, including desires for monetary compensation and control over schedules and task selection. We also reveal main reasons for task selection, which involve situational factors, convenient physical locations, and task requester profile information. Finally, we discuss the key characteristics of the most worthwhile tasks and offer implications for novel crowdsourcing systems for physical world tasks.

Teodoro, R., Ozturk, P., Naaman, M., Mason, W., Lindqvist, J. (2014), 'The motivations and experiences of the on-demand mobile workforce,' in: Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 15-19 February 2014, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.


  • Research publication, Case study-worker
  • United States
  • Yes
  • professional services, household tasks
  • On-location client-determined moderately skilled work, On-location platform-determined higher-skilled work
  • Gigwalk, TaskRabbit
  • motivation for platform work, worker demographics, autonomy and control, income
  • English
  • Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (Publisher)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2014
  • Subscription
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