The sharing-economy has opened a new door of ways to provide a service. From renting a room provided by people in different cities, to lending items in an area when needed, being able to buy and sell any products online, using your own car as transportation (Uber), and many more platforms online that are constantly being developed for this purpose.
Recently, another sharing-economy platform has been developed that targets hard-working students that could benefit from a flexible side job. This online platform allows people to sign up to become a babysitter for a tourist that come into town for a few days and want to have a night to enjoy themselves. A benefit of this is that the parents can choose a sitter that will speak the native language of their child, preventing language and communication barriers. Perhaps, you would like to choose a babysitter that could help teach your child the second language that he or she is already trying to learn. This is a new an innovative platform for the sharing economy that can benefit busy international students who are looking for part time work, as well as allows for parents to take some time off and enjoy the city they are in. This platform is new and is a great new tool to access a part time job. However, trusting your child with a foreigner can sometimes be unsettling. That is why background checks and interviews are needed within this sharing-economy platform. What about others? Do they use background checks or safety check for Uber and Airbnb?
This definitely is a benefit to the sharing economy, it has produced a lot of job opportunities as well as an easier way to access rides, babysitters, and rooms. However, when something goes wrong who’s fault is it? Is it the person providing the service through the platform or is it the company that has created the platform? Of course, using these platforms come at your own personal risk. On most of these platforms there is a rating system. For Airbnb for example, you don’t want someone staying in your apartment that has no rating yet, and vice versa, do you want to stay in someone’s apartment that has no rating as well? You sometimes just may have to take that risk if you are desperate, and maybe the photos seem credible? But how do you really know? This is a risk you are going to take; it can either go very well or can go horribly. In my personal experience, a problem has never arisen using Airbnb.
Yes, these companies have created a platform for people to make a little extra cash…. But what about those that have those job as a living and not just as a side job, for example certified car companies that have built up a list of customers over the years. When Uber presented themselves it became much easier to just go to the app to call an Uber rather than scheduling one in advance. Yes, the sharing-economy does provide a service and jobs but if this becomes more influential because of easy online accessibility, what happens to those other people that rely on those jobs? I guess it could just go back to evolution, and survival of the fittest. This is a very contentious subject as job markets and companies are constantly expanding, reshaping and reorganizing. Despite the ethical concerns of sharing-economy platforms, they definitely provide an easy and accessible business opportunity for expats, travellers and those looking to accommodate for the every changing travel industry.
Written by Daniella Janis