The Gig Economy meets The Sharing Economy
Tijana Momirov is a software engineer, product manager and founder of StartupSetup where she helps founders start their startups, all in a remote, agile and super lean way leveraging the gig economy. She’s been a full time nomad since 2010 and loves blogging and giving talks about nomadic lifestyle, managing remote teams, future of work, the gig economy, productized services and more.
Technically speaking, it is. You find a place to sit with your laptop, get on the WiFi and start working. Can that be anywhere? What else do we need? Can we trade gigs while sharing resources? Should we opt for a coworking hub or a peer-to-peer network?
Where do we work from?
I’ve started working remotely back in 2010, travelling the world all year round – the nowadays popular digital nomad lifestyle – and worked from pretty much every kind of environment possible: airbnbs, hostels (lounge areas, or even the bunk bed itself), camps, a van with solar panels, beach bars, coffee shops, airports and finally coworking spaces. Everything has its’ pros and cons, and it also depends on the type of work you do (I’m heavy on the conf calls). With the number of people who work remotely growing, the options are popping-up. People who once were happy to work from home, started seeking more professional environments and joining coworking spaces. That was fine until the new trend left many of those shared offices empty – as the coffee shops, shopping malls, libraries etc. became more open towards accepting remote peeps. Apart from the tropical coworking spaces, most of those in the cities look like the office we’ve escaped from. These free alternatives to coworking spaces are often in more interesting settings.
In any of the locations mentioned above, what are we really looking for?
What do we need beyond a desk and internet connection?
Short-term speaking, that’s simply to get productive. This is often measured in your actual output of the day, the number of items on your ToDo list you marked as done, and similar. What people like calling getting the s**t done. In order to achieve that, you’d need the basic comfort (good chair, light, temperature, music, beverage – I for one get super passive when it’s cold and the natural light is limited) and no distractions. Unless you are in a very crowded hostel or airport lounge, this is actually not that difficult to get.
However, long-term speaking, we need to:
- change the environment
- build our network
- keep on learning
- stay up-to-day with the trends
- get feedback
- validate ideas
- have fun and make friends
All the communication and collaboration tools, fancy chat rooms, high quality video conferences, super active forums and professional social networks – still can’t make up for the lack of an inspiring discussion, with a fellow warrior in a cool new ambience. This is especially important for freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners. Unlike remote employees, they don’t have a structure to follow and need a lot of creativity, insights and validations in order to decide on the next step.
Can we trade gigs while sharing resources? Should we opt for a coworking hub or a peer-to-peer network?
As the gig economy (freelancers offering expert services) is booming, the shared economy (sharing resources) is becoming part of our daily lives as well. Recently I’ve come across Remoters.co, that seems to combine the two concepts. The platform lets you search for the remote professionals in your area, in terms of the area of your work as well as your current geographical area, and book a coworking session at their place. You and your pal would share the space, internet and possibly other resources (food, printer, podcast gear, camera etc.) while working remotely on your own thing. In addition, everything listed from 1) to 7) would happen naturally. In a new, comfy environment – you’d add a social aspect to your work and learn many new things.
Facilitating the peer-to-peer connection among remote professionals, Remoters.co looks like an interesting alternative to coworking spaces.
Looking forward to following the development of this new platform.