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Future of Work: The Gig Economy with Ania Smith, TaskRabbit CEO

Task Rabbit CEO Ania Smith joins Washington Post Live (Video: The Washington Post)
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One of the biggest structural changes to our workforce has been the rise of the nontraditional, contract or short-term workers who make up the gig economy. Ania Smith, CEO of TaskRabbit, joins Washington Post Live to discuss how the gig economy will shape the future of work.

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“We are in the midst of just unprecedented change. Everything from, obviously the pandemic, but also just the economic crisis, inflation, the war in Ukraine. There’s just a lot going on and the world is changing really fast, faster than I think we’ve seen in decades. And so, that has had a profound impact on the way we want to work. And what that means for companies like TaskRabbit or other marketplaces, is that we have a lot of demand both on our client side, but definitely on our tasker side. People who want to do independent work, who want to use their skills to really work how they want and where they want and when they want and to get paid what they want. And so, as we have seen this trend, we’re expecting that to continue because people are really taking a moment, stepping back and thinking about what they want in their lives. And the autonomy that we allow our taskers, to essentially be able to work how they want and when they want, has been really helpful to them.”- Ania Smith (Video: Washington Post Live)
“When we talked with people, we learned that yes, today they’re looking at their lives and how work fits into their lives a bit differently, perhaps than two years ago. So, gig workers were already on the rise before the pandemic and the pandemic just accelerated the trend. And so, a lot more people feel comfortable in becoming independent contractors. They are thinking about how to design their lives to be more intentional. And to be more able to fit what it is that they do for a living around the core of what their lives are. And so, we see that trend continuing going forward.”- Ania Smith (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We have a lot of perks for our taskers, whether it’s discounts with other providers. Whether it’s coaching abilities so that they can learn more on how to become a better tasker. I think, as I mentioned before, in terms of bigger and broader benefits, we need to work together with governments, both state and local, to really design a program that’s helpful for all gig economy workers. So, for example, when they move between platforms, they can carry those benefits with them because the nature of the work itself means that many of them are doing work on multiple platforms. And so, there’s a lot more work for us to do. At TaskRabbit we’re very focused on trying to provide the best environment for them and we do that primarily by helping them to earn them money that they have set at the rate that they have set.”- Ania Smith (Video: Washington Post Live)

Ania Smith

TaskRabbit CEO