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Is the Sharing Economy Good or Bad?

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The Sharing Economy has grown vastly in the last decade and many companies are adapting to this new style of business. Take for example Airbnb or Uber who have become the leaders in their industries solely based on sharing, but is it a good or bad thing? 

Well it depends on your point of view: a user, a host or a worker. So let's dive in to see the pros and cons of each.

User

One of the most common forms many of us have encountered is ride sharing. Whether you prefer Lyft or Uber, it's quite convenient. Even when it comes to items or skills such as needing a writer for your business or a hand with chores. Many companies such as WriterAccess or TaskRabbit can help accomplish just what you need. I know we have used outsourcing companies to complete tasks here at Near Me and it has been great. These simple tasks that come at a low budget help keep our business moving forward.

 

Do you still book hotels? Well I know I rarely do (unless it’s Las Vegas) with the option of Airbnb, it’s a no brainer. Having a whole house with all the necessities and privacy of your own home for the same price? It’s tough to compete with that. Especially if you go on trips with family or a group of friends, an Airbnb is the way to go. While some may prefer a hotel over an Airbnb, my experience as a user is that it depends on the type or trip you are planning.

 

Now there are also risks involved when becoming a user of the service such as items being vandalized, broken or stolen. Take for example if you hire a tasker to fix your plumbing at your home, you are taking the risk of letting them into your house but also trying to repair your issues. While they do have profiles that list prior experiences, it is not a forsure thing they can handle the job. Just like anything out there, we must take into consideration the risks prior.  

 

Here are just a few things you may consider as a user in the Sharing Economy:

 

Pros:

  • Option to buy, rent, or swap
  • Cheaper goods and services

 

Cons:

  • Possibility of vandalism
  • Items may break or be stolen

 

Worker or Host

Working in the Sharing Economy industry, I may be a little biased as I love it. The traditional clock in when you get to work, clock out for lunch, and clock out when going home is out the window. The trust and flexibility working this way is hard to beat. For me, working here at Near Me, the opportunity has been more than I could have asked for. While I still have the same duties and responsibilities as a normal job, the work/life balance is much better.

 

With other companies such as ride sharing or task oriented jobs, you really are in charge of your own job. Take for example if I was a Lyft driver, I could turn on the app for when I want to drive, whenever and wherever. If I only wanted to work 3 hours this day and 2 hours the next, I could rightfully do so. The amount of hours and rides you do determines how much income you make. While this may not be a full time gig (even though I have heard people do), it is a great and easy way to make some extra cash.  

 

Now working in the sharing economy, there are some downfalls as well. For example not all companies offer workers compensation if you get hurt on the job or even health benefits. We all know how expensive that can be unless you are still on your parent’s plan or if you are under the age of 26 (lucky me!). There are some companies that do offer these so don’t get me wrong. If you find the combination of both, don’t hesitate!

 

Pros:

  • Extra income
  • New opportunities
  • Community building
  • More flexibility

 

Cons:

  • No workers compensation
  • No benefits
  • No stability

 

At the end of the day work should be fun and exciting to go to, not a drag to wake up and dread the day before it has even started. The sharing economy may just be the place to find your niche, make money, and more importantly enjoy your life! As for me, I believe the sharing economy is a good thing and helps restore the balance between having to work and living your life to the fullest.

Topics: Sharing Economy

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