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How the on-demand economy is repackaging classic jobs

Thanks to smartphones, we remain connected to the Internet – and the world at large – wherever we are. We can also access email, messaging, Web browsing and media apps in an instant. This has led to a desire for efficient and fast experiences across the board even when it comes to shopping for goods or services, and that is exactly what has given birth to the on-demand economy.
If you’re not already familiar – and you should be – the on-demand economy is a modern economic activity that has come about as companies focus on offering immediate fulfillment of goods and services. In other words, with the help of digital tools, these companies offer on-demand products that can be ordered and supplied faster than ever before.

The on-demand economy has come about because of accelerating technological innovation and a shift in consumer behavior that calls for instant gratification. It is changing the way many companies do business and supply their customers, but it is also changing the job market.

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Companies like Uber or Pager are changing the way modern industries work. Uber has generated a crowdsourced network of private transporters that offer up their automobiles and services to cart others around. This has lead to a wealth of job openings – mostly freelance.

How the On-Demand Economy Affects the Job Market

Thanks to the on-demand economy, niche markets are able to flourish – provided they embrace the necessary modern processes.

For example, the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys employ a modern on-demand business model to supply their customers throughout the city of New York with bottles of carbonated water. What’s most interesting about the company is that it still uses the same bottles from the 1940s and ‘50s, and it happens to be the last Seltzer provider in the area.

Today, it utilises social media and email channels to service both residential and commercial clients. This is just one form of on-demand servicing.

Airbnb is similar to Uber in that it crowdsources its service providers. It allows ordinary folks to turn their home into a bed-and-breakfast of sorts. That way, when you’re out of town or on vacation, you can stay with a like-minded family. It’s essentially the Uber of hotels. It opens up so many more opportunities and possibilities for those looking for a place to stay, but it also opens up opportunities on the other side: for those looking to make money.

The on-demand economy is without a doubt fueling the freelance market, encouraging more folks to strike out on their own and work from home or out of an office environment. The last time the federal government polled the market in 2006, the total number of independent or contingent workers — which includes temps, contractors and the self-employed — was 42.6-million, or nearly 30% of the workforce. That’s a huge number, but it’s also from 2006. The market has grown considerably since then and the government has yet to tally up the sector again, so we don’t actually know how great it’s become.

One thing is certain: The on-demand economy is on the rise and it is changing the way we live.

Brands Thriving in the New Economy

It still begs the question: What companies are doing well in this economy? What is the requirement for success in today’s market?

To put it bluntly, efficiency and innovation are driving everything these days. Who would have thought years ago that social and crowdsourced companies – like ridesharing services – would be at the top of their game? Heck, who thought that a company like Uber or Lyft would even exist? Well, they do exist and they’re becoming even more popular. Brands like Airbnb, JustPark, Yerdle,
DogVacay, HomeDine, Getaround and many more are opening up their doors to this so-called sharing economy.

It’s all about the communities or networks they use to service their customers and how quickly they can get it done. Every one of these brands has a mobile app that customers can use to order goods or services and it can all be finalized in seconds, from anywhere in the world. Convenience is just as important as efficiency.

It all goes back to the point that we’re hyper-connected to the world around us. Smartphones have changed the consumer landscape, and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Image: Jeff Sheldon

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