The Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has a lot of positives: it allows customers to share information, increase the efficiency of their assets, get cheaper rides and a whole lot more of services that without technology it would be impossible to obtain.

Just a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable to lend your home for the weekend or getting into a car with a stranger. But the simple ‘trust’ factor that an application gives to its user allows us consumers to purchases such services. Companies live Uber, AirbnB or Glovo are the epitome of the rise of the sharing economy.

However one of the main challenges caused by the rise of technology combined with the reduction of labour barriers is the income levels might not be able to sustain a person who uses such services as their primary source of income. Most of us think of AirbnB as a way to obtain some extra revenue or of Glovo as a way to get some extra $$ during a uneventful weekend. However due to the simplicity with which money can actually be made on such apps, people are switching to these services as their primary source of income thus putting added pressure on the management of these companies to increase salaries and enhance benefits.

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But there is also a clear difference between companies like AirbnB and Etsy versus Lyft and Uber: one is simply leveraging of an existing asset whilst the other one is actually leveraging the time of the worker. And it is this difference that is the key to understanding the problems relating to worker benefits: if it’s your own asset with no opportunity cost, little can be complained if not salary/money is drawn. However is time is your most valuable resource and your employer is not at par with the market, then the issues are only starting…

 

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