How the sharing economy bids for Christmas cheer

A burst of thousands of Christmas job requests include getting a Santa statue delivered from Melbourne to Sydney, unpacking 250 hams and individually bagging them for gifts, installing Christmas lights and dressing up as Santa.

There have been hundreds of other gig platform job requests for the assembly of trampolines and cubby houses and for cleaning, gardening, catering and bar staff.

Elizabeth Maher used Airtasker to put up  her Christmas lights.
Elizabeth Maher used Airtasker to put up her Christmas lights.Credit:Janie Barrett

Some of the more unique requests include one recently posted on Airtasker which said: “Would like to make 14 simple Xmas tree ornaments from my grandmother’s skirt/s to give to all the great grandchildren to hang in the Xmas tree as a reminder [of] her…” Task budget $50.

And this one: “I am looking for someone to sew me a plush snowflake by Christmas.” Task budget $38. Another request involved unpacking 250 hams from boxes “and then put into ham bags for Christmas gifts”.


Tim Fung, co-founder of Airtasker said the online jobs platform is “pretty crazy this time of year”.

The number of jobs posted in the last two weeks is 60 per cent higher than it was mid-year.

“It is a heavily seasonal upswing around Christmas time,” he said.

“We have seen over 3000 Christmas jobs posted in the last couple of weeks.

“People have also been preparing for summer with pool cleaning, window cleaning and gardening.”

Elizabeth Maher who lives in Sydney used Airtasker to put up her Christmas lights.

“I’ve had them mow my lawn occasionally,” she said. “I’ve only been using them in the last year or two.

“There is a rapid response whenever I put anything up. I probably give a little more than I would pay a regular handyman.”

Elizabeth Maher used Airtasker to put up her Christmas lights.
Elizabeth Maher used Airtasker to put up her Christmas lights.

Dr Moira Scerri from the UTS Business School has researched the sharing economy and found that most jobs are located in cities and posted by people in higher socio-economic groups.

Most workers bidding for the jobs are in lower socio-economic groups and living in outer suburbs.

“They are either travelling far to get work or as an add on to their existing job,” she said.

Dr Scerri said gig platform workers are broadly separated into two groups. One includes people who have invested in equipment, such as a truck, who tend to specialise and bid for the same type of jobs. Others perform a range of different labour-intensive jobs including cleaning.

Some people use the platform to source a variety of tasks as part of a bigger project such as selling a house.

“So they are using the platform for project management rather than just individual tasks,” she said.

“There are people who are using the platform to reduce their co-ordination efforts to get a photographer, cleaner and gardener.

“What we can infer by that is people are using project management for a much bigger project such as selling a house.

“If you think of Christmas as managing a project it is possible for someone to get on and say I need someone to cook, a cleaner, a handyman and co-ordinate all those tasks through one platform.”

Dr Scerri said she had found little evidence of community building through online platforms.

“Whilst we call it a sharing economy, there was no evidence of any community,” she said.

“We didn’t see the same poster and the same worker having a history of work over a period of time.”

Dr Scerri said it appeared a poster who liked someone’s work would often stay in touch outside of the online platform.

Deliveroo said demand for its dedicated business service for catering and corporate functions increased in recent weeks with demand for delivery riders to service Christmas lunches and other events.

A spokeswoman for Deliveroo said its largest order in 2019 was more than $2000 for a Christmas lunch in Sydney. A Melbourne-based business spent $500 on breakfast.

“Aside from corporate catering, while many independent restaurants shut down during the period, the platform sees a significant spike in KFC orders on Christmas Day perhaps due to the those who follow the modern-day Japanese tradition of eating KFC for Christmas day dinner. Burgers and burritos are the highest-selling items during the period,” a Deliveroo spokeswoman said.

Deliveroo said it was providing riders with financial incentives and vouchers to work on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Dozens of businesses were also offering customers large discounts.

Popular Christmas jobs posted online:

Trampoline or Cubby house assembly 702 posted tasks

Christmas light installation 514 posted tasks

Catering/bar staff 514 posted tasks

Santa duties 52 posted tasks

Source: Airtasker

Most Viewed in Business

Source: Thanks