What is a ‘sharing economy’? The answer is pretty straightforward: people with a service or product to offer share it with other people in the community, for a small fee. Sharing economy has been around for a long time before people even knew about it – think Bed & Breakfast, Paying Guest accommodation or good ‘ol even carpooling.
However, the term ‘sharing economy’ only come into prominence in the last decade of the 20th century with the dot-com boom and the rise of e-commerce. So what are the advantages of a sharing economy? Read on to find out!
Less ownership. More access
One of the biggest reasons people participate in a sharing economy is because they want to own less. With houses becoming smaller – think matchbox and Mumbai – , living costs becoming higher and the breakneck pace of modern life, owning things isn’t as attractive as it used to be. People now prefer renting houses,even furniture, even clothes!
And it isn’t just about the money. Minimalism and slow fashion with their ideas of “less is more” have really shown people the advantages of participating in the sharing economy.
Living it up on a budget
Another excellent benefit of the sharing economy is that it allows people to experience a lifestyle of their liking. One, it costs less. Two, it lets you have everything you need to live better, right here, right now.
Want that plush recliner? Go online, and rent it!
Want to experience local culture when you travel? Homestay is the way to go!
Boon for small businesses
The sharing economy has really been a boon for small business owners or those workers employed in the gig economy. It has really opened up certain sectors like hospitality and transportation by allowing newer entrants to thrive, increasing competition.
Building a community
In an age where people are increasingly isolated and individualism reigns supreme, one of the underrated benefits of the sharing economy is the sense of community. Sharing common resources means you will be more careful about how you use it. For instance, carpools are a great way to connect with colleagues or folks who travel the same route.
Awesome benefits & great service
With social media and the internet, companies now have access to instant feedback and individual reviews, which means more user-friendly products, tailored services and prompt, anytime service.
Openness to innovative technology
Ownership is one of the biggest barriers to promoting sustainable, efficient technologies. Whether it is electric cars, power-saving appliances, innovative furniture or living space solutions, the sharing economy is one avenue that allows people to try a new technology and promote its usage.
People are more willing to try out an innovative furniture design if they are renting it, as they have the option of returning the item, instead of being saddled with it during ownership.
Less pressure on the environment
One can’t stress this enough. The sharing economy is better for our environment! The benefits of using ride-sharing services or bicycles are self – evident.
But the benefits are just as powerful when it comes to clothes and furniture. Doesn’t it make more sense to rent out the wedding suit that you only wear once? Instead of buying it and letting it rot away in a far corner of your cupboard?
Ownership is linear – use and throw – but rental is circular. So the bed or washing machine that you rent doesn’t go to the landfill after you return it. The rental company refurbishes the product, making it as good as new, and puts it back into use!
Cool, right? So that’s 7 brilliant reasons to root for a sharing economy. So, take that homestay, cab service and furniture rental for a spin. We are sure you’ll love it!