How ‘Shared Economy’ is taking over urban Manila

August 12, 2017

Sharing/Shared Economy, by definition, is the ability to rent or borrow an entity owned by someone else. It’s an economic model that enables you, as a consumer, to temporarily use a vehicle, house, or any item owned by another individual for a price. This business model has proved to be a profitable one, especially in heavily populated urban areas. This is especially beneficial in highly congested cities like Manila, where sharing economy is both an economical and environmental need. The high cost of living (due to hikes in transportation, commercial, and housing fees), and low wages have compelled many Filipinos to avail of shared services in order to cut costs. These shared economies are prevalent in the essential aspects of the Manileños life, such as transportation, home, and work.


Carpool rides and private, shared transportation

The existence of on-demand carpool rides, such as UberPOOL, GrabShare, Wunder, has provided Manila residents a more budget-friendly way of getting around the metro. Apart from being a blessing to the Filipino pocket, these ride-sharing services also aid in pacifying a problem that even the most eloquent of local politicians can’t solve: Manila traffic. Since the services require several passengers to ride a single car with several pick up and drop off points, the number of private cars in the most congested roads can decrease. Apart from helping alleviate traffic, carpool services can keep air pollution to a more manageable amount.


CoLiving spaces

Similar to car sharing, serviced CoLiving spaces are also coming up in Manila. Companies like Space EDSA provide tenants secure and complete housing, without the high rental costs. CoLiving spaces rent out bed spaces with the necessary amenities, like communal bathrooms, gyms, study areas, and dining rooms for less than PHP 5,000 a month. This is often the best option for employees and freelancers coming from provincial areas or foreign countries who are looking for short-term housing solutions, as good CoLiving spaces have flexible rental terms, with a minimum of 1 month rental that can be renewed as needed.

CoLiving spaces also seem to be a less stringent option compared to traditional dormitories, where there are strict rules and curfews. Serviced CoLiving spaces allow tenants to come and go as they wish, while still being able to keep the home secure and well-managed.


CoWorking offices

The CoWorking office is an innovation of the modern office culture. While the traditional, private office will always be needed for big, multinational corporations, CoWorking spaces house many successful small to medium enterprises in Manila. The CoWorking office model has enabled many types of businesses to grow due to the flexible lease terms, and diverse environment. It helps companies manage costs by giving them the liberty to dictate exactly how much space they need to occupy, and charging them for rent, utilities, and maintenance under a single monthly bill.

CoWorking spaces also appear to do well for the welfare of employees, as studies have shown that an open office environment imbibes a sense of fulfillment in workers both personally and professionally. This is due to the CoWorking office being conducive for collaboration and interaction. Shared working spaces are known to build a sense of community among employees, and a harmonious environment always results to a healthy and productive office culture.

While it may not fit the needs of every person, shared economy brings great benefits for individuals and companies that value cost efficiency and environmental awareness. It may not sit very well with individuals that prefer traditional work space setups due to the issue of privacy. The CoWorking arrangement compensates though in community, flexibility and affordability.


For more information and examples of products and services in the shared economy, you may want to read on this post on CoWorking spaces.