The young man who arrived at my house to fold, vacuum and do a surprisingly good job of cleaning the windows was, he said, a physics student. He was just the sort of person that the gig economy is supposed to employ: a time-rich person swapping his free hours for some of my dollars. I might have been exploiting him, but he seemed pretty happy to be there, and the hourly rate for working in my warm, well-lit house was well over what the fast-food delivery companies pay their riders for humping hot-packs of pizza in the rain on dark, busy roads.
How much out-sourcing is too much? asks Jenny Sinclair in Don’t do it yourself, an account of the haphazard way in which she finds herself using the gig economy to hire people to carry out more and more of the everyday tasks in her life.