Based on peer-to-peer sharing of resources, the sharing economy, or collaborative consumption, is also finding its way into the workplace.

Streamlining and cost-cutting oblige

The sharing of time, goods and services in the B2B environment is proof of the spread of the sharing economy or collaborative consumption.

In terms of work organisation, a growing trend in France involves recruitment agencies that specialise in providing part-time employees for companies that wouldn’t have the resources to hire such staff directly. Unlike temping agencies, the staff have permanent contracts with the agency but can work for two or even three companies part-time.  This means employees can work full-time, by having several part-time contracts, whilst the company meanwhile can source particular skills for a given period of time.

In terms of workspace organisation, a number of large corporations in the late 80s hit on the idea of replacing permanent offices with hot desk-type set-ups, which a number of workers found cold and impersonal. A more sociable alternative is the new co-working space trend, whereby workers have access to temporary workspaces which are livelier and friendlier than anonymous cubicles.

The sharing of technology resources is also another example of changing models of consumption in the professional sector. Similarly, pay-per-use, SaaS and public cloud-hosted infrastructures are manifestations of this new, more cost-effective economic model.

Innovative collaborative and sharing

A number of new forms of collaboration to create products and values are emerging and facilitating a shift towards enterprise 2.0.

More and more companies (private, public and research organisations), for example, are sharing skills and resources. Open innovation, which involves purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate innovation”, is seen as a means of boosting R&D and knowledge sharing, based on the principle of open data.

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding  offer a wealth of opportunities to start-ups and entrepreneurs seeking knowledge, resources or funding and are revolutionising traditional models, thanks to sites such as 99designs, the world’s largest crowdsourcing platform for design, or Kickstarter, a funding platform.