Sharing or shared economy is on the rise. A Pricewaterhouse study estimates that the “sharing” or “peer-to-peer” economy will explode from roughly $15 billion in worldwide revenues at the end of 2014 to $325 billion by 2025!
The term “sharing economy” was introduced into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. However, there are several names for it: collaborative consumption, peer economy, people economy, and even hippienomics.
JustPark made a list of the most popular ideas in the sharing economy and the top 3 are:
1. Money lending
2. Help with chores/skills
Have you ever took an Uber, shared a ride in a BlaBla car, had dinner at the “home restaurant” of a stranger or booked your holiday stay with AirBnB…? Did you think about safety?
Many say that these services are a grey area. Let’s dissect the initialism HSE:
Globalisation tends to expose the gaps between countries. Developing countries serve as factories for developed countries, big companies outsource jobs, safety standards in global companies differ from country to country… and now, the same job can be done in two ways.
You can own a restaurant, deal with health inspectors, taxes, rent… or you can “Uber your cooking”. Websites such as Josephine or Cookening connect passionate local cooks with hungry local people. For example, Josephine has a vetting process that each cook must complete before they can offer meals on the platform.
Services like Uber or AirBnB are under the attack of authorities; in many countries they are trying to ban them. But they can’t stop evolution – they should think about what they can do to make them better and protect the health of both service provider and customer.
PS: Did you know that Uber started an initiative called UberHEALTH, where they administered flu shots in the cars?
Uber faces criticism for failing to ensure the safety of drivers and customers. There is a website called “AirBnB Hell” that collects issues and risks connected to using the service and real-life stories ranging from bad to crazy.
There are no workplace-related regulations nor unions for these services. Governments should use their legislative and regulatory powers to respond to the disruption created by the sharing economy. Also, a criminal record check and a thorough process of validating a person before he joins a service like these should be mandatory. Privacy and data protection are an issue too.
PS: Did you know that communities thrive from sharing economy services too? For example “The disaster response programme by AirBnB” connects local residents who have been displaced and are in need of urgent accommodations with Airbnb hosts who open their homes free of charge.
The shared economy is a great way to meet sustainability and environment goals. Governments as well as companies should recognise that. Many companies already support carpooling, renewable sources, micro-tasking, crowdfunding, freelancing or coworking and workhubs.
PS: Did you know that according to a study by Cleantech Group, in one year alone, AirBnB guests in Europe saved the equivalent of 1,100 Olympic-sized pools of water while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 200,000 cars on European roads?