If you’ve spent any time searching for at-home gigs online, you’ve likely come across the term “microtask.” Essentially, microtasks are small work tasks that combine together to form a larger result. Tasks suitable for microtask work are those that cannot be completed by a single person or small team but that require human workers (because they cannot be computerized completely.)
The bigger project that the microworkers are completing together might be a set of 100,000 catalog descriptions that need to be written or a batch of 1 million photographs that need to be placed in the proper categories. Whatever the job, the point is basically to take a task that one person couldn’t possibly complete and break it into tiny pieces that a large group of workers can quickly get done together.
When you’re talking about microtask work, another term that comes up often is crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the act of parceling out microtasks to a big group- a crowd of workers.
Plenty of large corporations use microtasks to get big repetitive projects done. And microtask brokers have popped up to connect companies that need big projects completed with a pool of eager workers wanting to get cash for doing these tasks.
For at-home workers and people that like earning a little cash in their free time, this system delivers opportunities right to their computers. One big advantage of doing microtasks is that this type of work is extremely flexible.Microworkers can do a few tasks during commercial breaks while they watch TV, spend all day doing a variety of tasks to pay a bill that’s due, or set monetary goals and schedule daily work on microtasks until that goal is met each day.
To get hooked into the microtask gig economy, all you need to do is sign up with a company that coordinates and assigns microtasks to workers. Some of the big names in microtask work include Amazon Mechanical Turk, Crowdflower, and Clickworker.