Web-based digital labour platforms permit the real-time hiring of labour for myriad tasks, from IT programming to graphic design, copywriting or routine clerical tasks. Groups of workers living across multiple time zones offer businesses the possibility of completing projects at any time, day or night. These ‘invisible’ workers are essential for a range of services often portrayed as automated, from data processing to home security systems. Growth on digital labour platforms has been strong and is predicted to continue to be. Researchers and industry practitioners expect to see the demand for this kind of work grow, not shrink, as automation and artificial intelligence advance.