The sharing economy has irrevocably reshaped the way that people consume services. However, new research from Intuit QuickBooks, the accounting software provider, has revealed that sharing economy services aren’t just benefiting us as consumers; more people are using them to supplement or create their income.
While 17% of the British public are now consuming sharing economy services, the research found the 6% are now either relying on them as their primary source of income or turning to them to earn a little extra cash. It revealed that taxi app Uber, handmade marketplace Etsy and peer-to-peer lending service Zopa are proving the most popular avenues for such people.
Taking advantage of the sharing economy certainly offers some significant financial gain. The research revealed that a third of those using it as a money earner are making between £101 and £500 per week, with almost one in five earning between between £501 and £1,500 every week. And 3% are making between £1,501 and £5,000 per week; that’s over £78,000 a year.
Predictably, this is also having a marked impact on people’s working patterns, with the days of the traditional working day appearing to be numbered. An overwhelming 70% of those surveyed by Intuit QuickBooks admitted they would consider working a less rigid working pattern – for example, not having to work set hours, not always having to be present in the office or having the freedom to take on another job or go self-employed – while only 13% currently working a nine-to-five job said they’d expect to be working a traditional nine-to-five role by 2025.
However, while many are embracing the sharing economy, the vast majority are yet to latch onto its earning potential: 64% of respondents said they own but don’t monetise their car, 54% have a spare room but don’t rent it out and 51% have buyable skills but don’t trade them.
“We knew that the sharing economy was taking hold but that fact that 6% of us are already using these services to make money is pretty amazing,” said Rich Preece, Europe VP and managing director at Intuit. “We’ve always had a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit in the UK but these platforms are enabling more of us than ever to explore new income streams and dramatically different working habits. There’s clearly a very strong demand to work and consume on-demand.”
It seems the sharing economy is very much here to stay.