Uber, Netflix and Airbnb are names associated with the sharing economy — a term which tries to describe the rapid changes in the way we consume goods and services. We rent rather than own, we swap, share, borrow or give away. New technology allows for new kinds of transactions, which in turn influences working life.
New digital services which bring sellers and buyers together are making inroads in traditional areas of business. Most successful of them all is American Airbnb which helps people rent out their apartments. The hotel industry in Finland is fighting back.
Mow the neighbours lawn? Quickly get hold of a skilled handyman? More and more digital marketplaces are emerging in order to facilitate the link between those who offer and those who need services. There are many different solutions, and two of the market’s players predict that things are only just starting.
The Nordic region can become a centre for the sharing economy, which would benefit all of society. But politicians are asleep at the wheel, thinks Charlotte Fischer from the Danish Social Liberal Party. She sits on the Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Congestion Commission and is a member of the regional council of The Capital Region of Denmark.
The sharing economy is a brand new phenomenon which has exploded into fast moving marketplaces with names like Uber, Netflix and Airbnb. It’s all about renting, not owning — be it a car, a boat, a bike or using your own home to make a little extra cash. New online technology creates new opportunities for both consumers and producers, without anyone really knowing the future extent or consequences of this market. The Nordic Labour Journal looks at how the sharing economy is shaping up in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, and how it affects the labour market.
25 percent of workers in the EU have a job which causes them psychosocial problems like stress, according to the fifth European working conditions survey. The results have been analysed in a report by Eurofound in cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. But measuring work environments is considerably harder than measuring unemployment.
The Danish supermarket chain Netto has been nominated for this year’s Danish work environment award for improving its psychological work environment by preparing the group’s 10,000 mainly young employees in how to prevent and handle robberies and violent customers.
For Mathias Schou Sørensen and many other young Danes, a supermarket job is their first step into working life and their first meeting with work environment challenges — of which young people get more than their fair share.
When staff at the surgical ward number 6 at the Karlstad Central Hospital were allowed to spend more time on patients and less on administration, their work environment improved too. They recently won a major work environment award worth 50,000 Swedish kronor (€5,400) for their impressive efforts to improve their work environment.
New Swedish research shows more than one in four young people believe their jobs will have a negative impact on their health. At the same time we are becoming increasingly interested in what makes us healthy at work.
More and more people are exposed to nano particles at work, but few know which types of particles are present or how to handle them. The Nordic Labour Journal visited a Finnish company where safety is everything.
As the workforce ages and the number of young people of working age falls, their chance of finding a job increases. But it is still too early for politicians to sit back and relax. Powerful measures are needed to fight youth unemployment. One solution is to create more apprenticeships.
Finland and Austria are in the vanguard when the EU is developing new ways of supporting young people at risk of becoming unemployed. Finland’s youth guarantee means everyone will get a job, internship or training within three months, and the country’s long-term youth unemployment is the lowest in all of the EU.
An increasing number of young people find work in Finnish industry via apprenticeships. In recent years the forest industry has traded in its own traditional training schemes with other kinds of education — and the programmes are popular.
Few young Danes are outside of the labour market. Improved vocational education should get even more of them into training and jobs.
It is hard to find a better role model for apprentices than Henrik Tanum. He is full of enthusiasm and drive. Right now he is also the face of the Norwegian employers’ organisation Virke, as he is learning the job as their receptionist.
Over the past seven years, Sweden’s Public Employment Service has taken on more and more responsibility for labour market measures aimed at young people. But it has been a challenging task, and municipalities have become increasingly central to getting people into work or training. If they don’t, the cost of marginalisation lands on the municipalities’ desk, and that is motivation enough to do something about it.