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Instawork Reviews: Legit Way to Earn $30/hour? Expert Analysis

Is Instawork Legit? A Review of This Gig Economy Site

Gig economy platforms are becoming increasingly popular for people looking to earn extra income on a flexible schedule. One such platform is Instawork, which connects businesses with workers for short-term jobs. But is Instawork legit? In this review, we'll take an in-depth look at what Instawork is, how it works, and whether it's worth your time.

Instawork Sign Up

What is Instawork?

Instawork is an app-based platform that offers flexible, short-term jobs in areas like events, hospitality, warehouse, and fulfillment. Businesses can post jobs through the Instawork platform, and workers can browse and apply for jobs that fit their schedule.

Some of the positions available through Instawork include:

  • Event staff
  • Food service
  • Warehouse associates
  • Delivery drivers
  • General labor

The company was founded in 2016 and is based in San Francisco. Instawork operates in major metro areas across the United States and Canada. They aim to provide flexible work opportunities for those looking for temporary or part-time jobs, as well as help businesses staff up during busy periods or for short-term needs.

How Does Instawork Work?

For Businesses

Instawork provides businesses an online platform to post and manage short-term jobs. Businesses can post jobs for free and only pay a fee to Instawork once a worker is hired. This gives businesses an on-demand way to staff up for busy periods without the commitment of permanent hires. The flexible model allows businesses to scale their staffing up and down as needed based on demand.

Businesses can post jobs like bartending, waiting tables, retail associates, warehouse help, and more. They can then review applications, interview candidates, and hire workers for shifts ranging from 3 to 8 hours. Instawork handles all payment processing for the workers so businesses only need to pay the hourly fees to Instawork.

For Workers

Workers can browse and apply for jobs in the Instawork app or website. There are two main types of jobs:

  • Entry-level jobs - These require minimal screening and can be applied to directly. They include general labor, event staffing, fulfillment, etc. Workers can typically start applying and working for these jobs right away.
  • Skilled jobs - Jobs like bartending, serving, or cooking require approval by Instawork before applying. Workers need to verify relevant experience and qualifications. The approval process typically takes 3-5 business days as Instawork reviews the worker's application and background. Once approved, the worker can apply for open shifts for those job types.

Once approved for jobs, workers can select and apply to open shifts. After being hired for a shift, the worker clocks in and out through the Instawork app and gets paid through Instawork's system. The flexible, short-term nature of the jobs allows workers to earn money on a schedule that suits their needs. Workers can pick up shifts around their life and other responsibilities.

Instawork Payment Process

One of the most important factors in evaluating a gig platform is how and when workers get paid. Here is how Instawork handles payments:

  • Instawork pays workers directly, not the hiring business. This ensures workers are paid reliably without relying on businesses to pay them.
  • Payments are deposited weekly on Wednesday for the prior week's earnings. Workers see payments in their bank account within 1-2 business days of the deposit.
  • Workers must provide banking details for direct deposit payments. Instawork does not issue paper checks, so direct deposit is required.
  • There is no minimum earning threshold to get paid. Workers get paid for all hours worked, even if it's a small number of hours in a week.

This ensures workers are paid reliably and quickly after working shifts. There are no games where workers have to ask to be paid or wait for minimum earning amounts before getting paid. Instawork's direct payment model is one of the most appealing aspects for workers.

Instawork uses the payment details provided by workers to deposit earnings directly into their bank account. They handle all tax withholdings and year-end tax forms for workers as well to simplify the payment process. Workers receive pay stubs through the Instawork platform to view details for each pay period.

How Much Can You Earn with Instawork?

Earnings potential with Instawork depends on your location and experience level. According to Instawork, workers earn $12-25 per hour on average. More skilled positions like bartending can earn up to $35 per hour. Instawork sets wage ranges for each job based on the local market rates in your metro area. Workers cannot negotiate pay rates and are paid the amount offered for each shift by Instawork.

Earnings are driven by the number and length of shifts you work. Full-time Instawork users report typical weekly earnings of $300-500. But because shifts are flexible, it can supplement part-time income or work as a full-time job. The more shifts you are able to work the more you can earn.

For those looking to earn substantial income, Instawork may not be the most viable sole option since there is no guarantee of consistent work or hours. However, as a way to generate supplemental income with flexible work, the Instawork model provides opportunity. Workers can work when they want for as long as they want, with no minimum hour requirements.

Is Instawork Available in Your Area?

A major limitation of Instawork is that it's only available in certain metro areas. As of 2023, Instawork operates in over 30 major cities in the U.S. and Canada:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Inland Empire, CA
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Memphis
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Orange County, CA
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Raleigh
  • Sacramento
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle
  • Tampa
  • Washington DC
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Montreal, Canada

So workers need to be in one of these metro regions to effectively use Instawork. Those outside the service area won't find relevant jobs. Instawork plans to continue expanding to new cities, but for now, you must be in one of the existing metro areas. Some cities have more job opportunities and higher pay rates due to greater demand and cost of living.

Pros of Instawork

  • Flexible schedule and shift-work. You can work when you want and as little or as much as you want.
  • Good hourly pay rates for short-term work. Pay tends to be a few dollars per hour higher than typical part-time jobs.
  • Reliable weekly pay process. Get paid fast and reliably with no hassles.
  • Variety of job types and industries. Choose from many roles including events, hospitality, fulfillment, delivery, and more.
  • No minimum hours required. There are no requirements to work a certain number of hours. Work as much or as little as you want.

Cons of Instawork

  • Only available in certain metro regions. If you live outside the service area, you won't have access to Instawork
  • Need to be approved for skilled positions
  • Jobs not guaranteed - need to continually apply
  • No long-term job security

Is Instawork Worth It for Extra Income?

For those looking to earn extra income on a flexible schedule, Instawork provides a legitimate option. The ability to work events and shifts on your own schedule makes it convenient for supplemental income. Just keep in mind that it requires continually applying to open shifts, so income isn't guaranteed.

For anyone needing the stability and benefits of permanent employment, Instawork would be better as a side opportunity rather than a full-time job. But as a way to pad your income month-to-month with shift work, Instawork delivers a lot of upside for workers in the right metro regions.

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