Future of work: 6 things to know about the on-demand sharing economy

Future of work: 6 things to know about the on-demand sharing economy

The on-demand sharing economy is gaining momentum, touching your workplace and expanding your buying options. Here are six trends to note:

1.Spread to conventional jobs. The same on-demand technology that we use when we book our Uber is rapidly spreading into conventional jobs. The platform Expert360 initially offered management consulting jobs. They now also offer a broad range of functional and project roles. Similar platforms are Cahlia and The Freelance Collective. Disrupting the commission model for recruitment and replacing it with an ‘on-demand’ approach is the platform Recstra.

For those used to working as a corporate employee, this is work at its simplest and purest; a day’s work for day’s pay, without having to weigh into the corporate guff. Some people use these platforms to earn money between jobs, and then find it becomes their preferred way of working. For employers, they are a source of pre-screened short-term talent who can hit the ground running.    

2Focussed target marketing. Female-only Shebah ride-sharing sharing service offers an alternative to Uber. It is firm on its 'female driver only' rule, copping nasty vitriol from some Uber and taxi drivers. It takes only female passengers and children, with the aim of providing a safe environment for drivers and passengers.

Cahlia, the management consulting / freelancing platform is also only for female talent.

Kindershare is a niche sharing platform for parents sharing children’s equipment, so when you travel, you don’t need to buy a chunky portacot. Simply borrow one from a neighbour.

Focussed platforms like these help us do business with like-minded people with a similar lifestyle. We can share concern for the issues we have in common (for example, women’s safety for the Shebah community, gender equity for Cahlia). 

3.Curated experience. The popular and long-standing platforms are now bloated with listings which can make it difficult for buyers to find what they want to buy and sellers to stand out. Etsy, the art and craft platform, has competition from ‘curated’ platforms such as Hard to Find. Airbnb is attempting to manage the ‘overwhelm’ problem with its ‘Plus’ range of elite properties.

4.Aussies going global.  Kudos to successful Australian platforms going global, like Airtasker into London and Spacer into San Francisco.

5.Rapid growth.  New marketplace platforms are being launched into the Australian market each week. Some are Australian start-ups, others are overseas platforms increasing their reach into Australia. Some bring new value to the Australian market, others are ‘me too’. The latter are likely to struggle to carve out a point of difference versus incumbents and build their two-sided marketplaces. We have too many flatmate finding, pet care, craft sales, child minding and influencer platforms. Please, launch something else.

6.Consolidation.  We are seeing consolidation between similar Australian platforms, such as Spacer buying Parkhound and UrbanYou buying Home Hello. This reduces unnecessary market fragmentation and strengthens successful players, enabling their further expansion.

Like all new business models, there are some rough bits in the on-demand sharing economy. However, looking at the macro trends that underpin it as well as the global experience, the on-demand sharing economy is only going to continue on its upward growth trajectory.

 At IncomeConnection we take the impartial bird’s eye view in order to help people find flexible, purposeful sources of income in this exciting new world.

Melinda Livingstone is the founder of IncomeConnection: matching people seeking an income with opportunities to earn an income from the growing on-demand sharing economy. Previously; she has 20 years experience in superannuation, investments and financial planning. She writes and speaks on the on-demand sharing economy and the opportunities it provides.


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