TaskRabbit

In September 2017 the Swedish company Ikea bought TaskRabbit to be able to help customers assemble the furniture they buy at Ikea (Swisher, K., & Schleifer, T. 2017). Even though Ikea bought TaskRabbit, the company will keep operating on its own under their former CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot along with their former staff  (Morgan, B. 2017).TaskRabbit was founded in 2008 by Kevin Busque and Leah Busque. In 2016  Brown-Philpot took over the job as CEO from Leah Busque, after working as a Google executive (TaskRabbit). Formerly known as RUNmyERRAND, TaskRabbit is an online two-sided marketplace that connects people to help each other get things done. TaskRabbit has two customer segments, people who want to perform a task and people who want to outsource a task. Anything from buying groceries, doing laundry, furniture assembly, house cleaning can be outsourced (Kuttner, R. 2013).The platform currently has an overall of 50 to 200 employees with its headquarters located in San Francisco, California. The independent amount of workers who use the platform are approximately 60,000. (TaskRabbit) Humankind has been sharing things for a long time and with today’s technology, the sharing economy is growing more rapidly (BRON).  A sharing economy is a form of a digital economy created to share human, physical and intellectual resources online (Langley, P. and Leyshon, A. 2017). The sharing economy can be seen as a marketplace that makes it possible to transfer underutilized resources (Koopman. C,. Mitchell. M,. & Thierer. A. 2015) and it solely depends on a customer to customer (C2C) interaction (Schor, J. B., & Fitzmaurice, C. J. 2015). This arising form of economics makes new opportunities accessible for people who want to earn more on top of their salary. Aside from this advantage, this sector does prevent employment regulation (Aloisi, 2016). As a result, there have been some discussions about which labor laws contractors face when being part the sharing economy and whether there should be an employment relationship. This paper will make use of a qualitative research approach to find out if it is important to set labor laws and to which extent there should be an employment relationship. This will give an indication of what can be improved in the sharing economy and especially at TaskRabbit. To be able to do so this paper will do a literature review based on academic articles in combination with news articles. In the second paragraph, the theoretical framework, the concepts of TaskRabbit will be explained further, to provide a greater understanding of how this company contributes to the sharing economy. In the discussion section, the research question will be answered and a second research question will be drafted relating to labor laws in the sharing economy. Finally, this paper will be summarized in the conclusion and the research question will be answered.