Collaborative consumption of labor: an overview

The relationship between employers and employees is reforming continuously. It is becoming less transactional and more about sharing and collaboration. According to the 2017 PWC study, 60% of survey respondents from India, China, Germany, the US, and the UK believe that very few people will have a stable, long-term income in the future.

Why should businesses consider collaborative consumption of labor? 

Shared labor and the gig economy are becoming more popular, as they promote mobility and bring resources from where there is surplus to where there is a need. This can in turn help overcome the labor shortage, stabilize the workforce, promote efficient use of underutilized resources, and reduce layoffs.

How do the workers stand to benefit? 

Contingent workers get to work on their own terms by choosing their work, their work timing, and sometimes also providing other resources that are required to render the service. Gig workers use digital platforms to find customers that look for their services, while cloud workers make requests online using online job markets and take on freelance roles.

The role of peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms 

Certain online platforms mediate this by bringing together people who are looking for a particular service and resources that can provide this service. Contingent workers can now work on demand via these platforms that delegate and outsource work. These platforms provide special features that foster social trust and give jobs to those who need them, making resource utilization more efficient.

Looking for resources online makes it easier for you to find talent which otherwise might be challenging to source locally. Gig work also happens to be less expensive and can help you get your work done faster.

While P2P platforms have the potential to be highly inclusive, some socially excluded groups are unaware of digital labor and fail to participate. The primary reason for this is the lack of ability to utilize technology. According to a paper on employment and social affairs by the European parliament, most of the workers who are a part of the collaborative economy happen to be highly educated and are underemployed or self-employed.

Settling set backs  

Privacy concerns

Since the on-demand economy requires both the workers and consumers to share their data without any legal framework to protect it, privacy becomes a huge concern. Zoho Workerly is compliant with the GDPR and helps manage consent.

Lack of clarity on employment protection laws

Since temp workers are not technically employees, there is a lot of confusion around minimum wage laws, the rules that govern employment agencies, and what insures worker safety and security. Generally, agencies become the employer on record and are liable in case something goes wrong. In order to bring clarity to these issues, Workerly provides options for the agencies to define their terms and conditions.

Taxes and payments

Getting regular payments remains a huge concern for temp workers. Workerly helps you streamline this by generating time sheets and invoices for all jobs performed by temps. Workerly's integration with Zoho Books also provides you with different invoice templates, which can be customized and used for sector specific taxes.

Safety and security

When strangers come together on a platform, it is important to establish trust by providing ultimate safety and security. Beyond using user reviews and feedback, it might be beneficial to conduct a thorough background check on all temps before hiring them. Zoho Recruit's integration with Checkr eases this process.  

In conclusion  

The collaborative economy is a fast growing trend that clearly has unique benefits that other employment modalities may not offer. However, the processing and implementation of this kind of labor needs active intervention and refinement. If handled correctly, the shared economy has the potential to work in favor of businesses, workers, and consumers.

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