IT contractors could see the benefit of sharing economy

IT contractors are seeing the benefits of the sharing economy, according to Andy Chamberlain, the Deputy Director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

In a recent article for the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/feb/17/sharing-economy-freelance-landscape, Chamberlain went on to explain that, for IT contractors, an example of the sharing economy could be the ability to share an office through innovative ventures, such as Spacehop, www.spacehop.com where you can rent a home office space for as little as £10 a day. Within the wider world, endeavours such as Uber and Airbnb are both examples of the sharing economy and its ability to revolutionise the way we work and do business.

The sharing economy is also predicted to undergo rapid growth in the coming years and to be worth £9bn by 2025. Within the recruitment world, this sharing economy opens up new ways for contractors to find work, via online platforms that did not exist until recent times.

In the article, Chamberlain explains how contractors are using online platforms to market their skill sets to find and win new contracts. This "digital network", as Chamberlain calls it, it a useful way to connect clients and contractors.

However, this digital network is not a replacement for the traditional recruitment industry, rather it is a complementary service. Last year, there was a 30% rise in spending by UK businesses looking to hire online, so companies are clearly willing to invest to find the right talent for their business.

As the sharing economy's already active agents expand, we predict even more new recruitment models will emerge in 2016 and beyond and the sharing economy will facilitate these changes. After all, who could have predicted the huge and rapid success of Uber and Airbnb?

The sharing economy does present advantages for IT contractors, if used wisely. "The sharing economy model is increasing efficiency and lowering the costs of doing business," according to Chamberlain. And no one can argue with that key benefit.

Matthew Fleet-Jones

Contract Services Director

View Profile