How the Sharing Economy Can Benefit Therapists
It’s no secret that over last 10 years, marketplaces have evolved thanks to the technological revolution. Take Airbnb, for example, the website emblematic of the “sharing economy” that matches travellers with people with rooms, or homes, to rent. The San Francisco-based service is now valued higher than major hotel chains, and is the largest platform for booking accommodation in the world, with more than 16,000 rooms available to rent in London alone.
It was only a matter of time before other businesses sought to replicate that success. Vrumi leads the charge for the Sharing Economy in the UK. Launched in January 2015, the website describes itself as the “Airbnb for workspace”. It connects residential properties with professionals who are looking for affordable and comfortable rooms to work in during the daytime.
We caught up with founder Roddy Campbell to hear his reasons for starting the business.
How did Vrumi start? I read somewhere it was because you had a skiing accident?
It’s true, though it was actually a sledging accident. It was 2014. I came home to London with a broken femur. Matthew, my physiotherapist, began treating me in my front room. I asked him why he didn’t rent my room to see other clients. He said he would, like a shot, it would enable him to cut back on clinic work and start building his own practice and earn more money.
And that was enough to prompt you to start the business?
It’s rare you find something that’s a genuine win-win. Most businesses involve persuading people to buy something, often in preference to something else. This was different, and could really help both parties. I wanted to do it because it excited me.
Why do you think Vrumi is good for therapists and other practitioners?
It’s about three things: affordability, comfort, and location. If you use someone's living room to meet a client, the chances are the client will feel more at home. It's also incredibly affordable. On average Vrumi rooms are listed at around £40 a day. I also think the peer-to-peer aspect is a huge plus. When you book a room on Vrumi, you are introduced to the owner straight away via the messaging service - starting conversations, building relationships that prompt you to return to their sofas - people seem to really like the Vrumi community.
Can our therapists rent your front room too?
Alas no! If you walked into the room now you’d find the Vrumi team hard at work! But there are nearly 300 Vrumi rooms just like it on the website.
How do you manage your home life with your colleagues working around you?
My partner goes out to work every day. Vrumi arrives in my dining area half an hour later. An hour before she gets back we pack up, and she can’t see the difference when she arrives home. I think. My children are fairly grown-up: three are at work, one of which lives with me, one’s at school - they come and go as usual. The only material change is that my partner’s dinners may have declined in quality...
Therapists registered on the welldoing.org directory should visit this page for more details.