Crowdworkers’ motives to take up crowdwork

One of the issues I explored as part of the survey of crowdworkers was their motives to engage in this form of work.

Specifically, the participants were presented with a list of 16 motives synthesised from crowdwork literature and asked to select all motives that applied in their case.  Participants were also given an opportunity to indicate any other motives not included in the list.

Findings (Figure 1) suggest that the key motives are to earn supplementary or main income, with crowdwork tasks considered fun and a fruitful way of spending one’s time while earning money. Also, being their own boss and having control over their own schedule were indicated relatively frequently as reasons to take up crowdwork. Few crowdworkers appear to engage in this form of work due to inability to find or perform traditional work (10% and 4% respectively).


Figure 1. Crowdworkers’ motives to engage in crowdwork (n=182)

Comparing the responses of microworkers and online freelancers (Fig. 2), more online freelancers report crowdwork as their primary source of income corraborating findings from previous studies of crowdwork.

Also, we observe that considerably fewer online freelancers than microworkers report crowdwork tasks being fun as a key motive, but considerably more online freelancers cite being their own boss, having control over their schedule, following their passion, having more choice of the projects they can do, and earning more through crowdwork than they could through traditional work as key reasons to take up crowdwork.


Figure 2. Online freelancers’, OF (n=15) and microworkers’, MW (n=167) motives to engage in crowdwork 

Other motives indicated by the crowdworkers included:

  • “As more people use [crowdwork platform] to find people for project work, the network effect almost requires that I use it; it is an important source of work referrals.”
  • Learning skills and gaining work experience”.
  • “I just finished my studies and am currently searching for a traditional (part-time) employment in addition to crowdwork, mostly for insurance reasons.”
  • “In [my country] the incomes from traditional work are terrible“.
  • “It’s best online earning platform I’ve found so far.”



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