The sharing economy, an economic system that involves individuals renting out or sharing their personal property including their homes and cars, has been severely impacted as the wave of COVID-19 ebbs and flows across the world. Popular companies like Uber, Airbnb, bike shares, and a variety of coworking spaces that we are so accustomed to being essential parts of our lives, have been making adjustments and creating new strategies to ensure that their customers feel safe and reimagine how they might adapt to an uncertain road ahead. With so much unknown about what the future holds and how the “new normal” will define our personal interactions and willingness to share our spaces, the galvanic forces exerted over us by this pandemic are demanding us to, at best, read into the tea leaves to make assumptions about the future. Although public sentiment seems unsure, data shows that these businesses are back on track and that people are actually regaining the confidence to use an app to call a car and stay in a stranger’s home for a long weekend getaway. Entering the fifth month of strict social distancing measures for many parts of the world, the lockdown fatigue has kicked in, domestic travel is becoming popular, and for now, the only choice of escape.
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