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Monotasking or Multitasking: Designing for Crowdworkers' Preferences

Lascau, L; Gould, S; Cox, A; Karmannaya, E; Brumby, D; (2019) Monotasking or Multitasking: Designing for Crowdworkers' Preferences. In: Brewster, S and Fitzpatrick, G and Cox, A and Kostakos, V, (eds.) CHI '19: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): Glasgow, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Crowdworkers receive no formal training for managing their tasks, time or working environment. To develop tools that support such workers, an understanding of their preferences and the constraints they are under is essential. We asked 317 experienced Amazon Mechanical Turk workers about factors that influence their task and time management. We found that a large number of the crowdworkers score highly on a measure of polychronicity; this means that they pre- fer to frequently switch tasks and happily accommodate regular work and non-work interruptions. While a prefer- ence for polychronicity might equip people well to deal with the structural demands of crowdworking platforms, we also know that multitasking negatively affects workers’ produc- tivity. This puts crowdworkers’ working preferences into conflict with the desire of requesters to maximize workers’ productivity. Combining the findings of prior research with the new knowledge obtained from our participants, we enu- merate practical design options that could enable workers, requesters and platform developers to make adjustments that would improve crowdworkers’ experiences.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Monotasking or Multitasking: Designing for Crowdworkers' Preferences
Event: 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19)
Location: Glasgow, UK
ISBN-13: 978-1-4503-5970-2
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/3290605.3300649
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300649
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Crowdwork, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Multitasking, Polychronicity, Productivity
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066164
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