The English maxim says ‘Sharing is caring’ and if you are a supporter of this principle, not only at the social level but also in everyday life, London is the city for you.
We are aware to live in a sharing economy: house sharing, bicycle sharing and car sharing services are commonly used by everyone nowadays.These services are often subject of controversy because they are becoming a somewhat unfair competition for public and private means of transport and tax-paying hotels and B&Bs and by no means I wish to be the one to determine where the fine line between fair and unfair lies.Truth is London is the place to be when it comes to the new sharing economy and I wish to introduce you three innovative ways of sharing that don’t interfere much with competitors but they rather represent great ideas to support the community and ‘share the wealth’.
Bike sharing in the city centre
Co-working or sharing workplaces and office spaces is now a trendy thing in London and many small companies are choosing to co-exist and share the (expensive) costs of having a business locale.The constant demand for large office spaces, soaring rent costs and the development of technology meant that co-working spaces have spread like wildfire in a few years in the London area and some companies also rent out cubicles within their offices to make ends meet.Some companies are even making a business out of this sharing need and they are creating shared work spaces out of unused warehouses and abandoned buildings.Within the sharing economy, businesses are sharing everything from office furniture to phone lines and even Xerox machines.This is especially beneficial for start-ups and smaller businesses that are still trying to get off the ground.For years cafés have been offering internet connection hence transforming themselves into workplaces and meeting venues for hundreds of freelancers and businessmen and several cafés are now promoting networking events and renting out their locales for business meetings.Also finding parking in the city centre can be both expensive and inconvenient.In order to address this issue, parking businesses are allowing owners to rent out parking spots for cash.A share parking business can be especially lucrative for users located near transportation hubs such as the main tube lines and it can help many workers save money on commuting.
Shared office spaces are common
Given the sharing economy trend, I wasn’t very surprised when, searching for used books stores in the city, I came across a vast choice of places where one can leave a book and take a book for free!If you are unaware, book-sharing refers to the practice of leaving a book you have read and taking one for free in a public place.A sort of unregulated and unofficial barter.It isn’t uncommon in London to dedicate a shelf to share books at the office and many cafés and shops have taken up this initiative.Among the most outstanding initiatives is the one launched through the social media called ‘Books on the Tube’. It is a community founded in 2012 based on the idea to circulate the books that you loved by using the London underground as a sort of mobile library.The only rule is that you are supposed to put back ‘on the go’ the book that you find after you are done reading it so it may be shared among new readers.On their page, the administrators of this association invite the readers to send pictures of the books they find left on the seats of the tube and people can even request a sticker to label the books they wish to ‘release’.Even Emma Watson, the famous actress from Harry Potter films, has been promoting this initiative and she has contributed by leaving some reading material on the train.
car sharing is a daily thing
Last but not least, participating in sporting activities, like skiing and surfing, may be a lot of fun, but it can also be extremely costly.A growing trend in the collaborative consumption economy is renting out sports gear that would otherwise go unused and there are specific shops around London offering this service.As an added bonus, these shops offer equipment owners some insurance in the event that a piece of equipment is lost or stolen in the process.