Interesting employment trends develop when technological disruptions set in, right from the times of the industrial revolution to the sharing economy of today. As peer-economy technologies gain traction; a projected 20x growth in the 5 main sharing economy sectors (music and video sharing, ride sharing, shared accommodation, peer to peer funding and online staffing), this trend seems here to stay! We are seeing innovations in the way people choose to work and find work as well as in ways companies find and groom talent.  An early example of an online marketplace for work, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, showed how easy it was to scale organization’s workforce on-demand. India’s sharing economy player FlexingIt launched this concept to cover management, analytics and finance domains apart from tech and creative jobs. Leading organizations are using services like FlexingIt and Freelancer to build global and right skilled teams for short term projects.

Collaborative consumption is changing mindsets – we are prioritizing experiences over ownership, choosing to share with a growing community over purchasing solely for personal use. This mindset extends to the employment space with more whenever and wherever workers prioritizing flexibility, autonomy and mastery over job security. Some young employees are choosing to exercise their freedom by becoming well-rounded masters of many trades, passions and pursuits while others are choosing to dive into niche skills needed simultaneously by many employers. Experienced employees are quitting long-held jobs to offer their time as consultants in the freelance world where they get to choose their clients, their schedules and locations. The sharing economy is providing easier means for skill development and continuing education.  Ecosystems such as Edureka and Simplilearn benefit both organizations and employees, making up-leveling accessible while removing barriers for companies to build immersive learning and development programs.

If YOU are a business or employer looking to work with top talent in the sharing economy, you would be well armed with our top recommendations:

  • Focus on building a culture that supports remote working – your reach to niche talent increases substantially if your organization is not location and time restrictive
  • Hire freelance experts – creative team members may especially benefit from flexible schedules and uninterrupted focus on their core skills
  • Find a happy medium in employee policies, strategies and tools – while full time employees may prefer stellar benefits, consultants may need flexi-time to be highly productive and freelancers may need membership to a dynamic coworking space for success #hint

If YOU are a job-seeker looking to be your own boss, these tips may help you find your next adventure:

  • Reflect on whether going the ‘gig’ route is a temporary need or your ultimate way of life – while you may be disdainful of safety nets, this type of work comes with its own challenges
  • If you commit to the nomadic or freelancer workstyle, develop a routine that keeps you grounded and professional to help meet work targets
  • Create a strong personal brand- your skill and time may often need a marketing shot-in-the-arm
  • Your work is your value proposition – establish a review mechanism to constantly improve and become sticky over time

The past had companies focusing on the coveted “work-life balance” until research lately debunked this myth. New-age companies must take a leaf out of the sharing economy to provide what is now being termed as ‘work-life integration’; a wholesome way of life with blurring lines between work and everything else. A realistic approach that supports employee growth on both professional and personal goals leads to happier employees and more successful organizations. After all, who doesn’t want to be their own boss – especially if their boss wants it too!