As the old saying goes, many hands make light work. This is becoming more apparent as more people outsource their routine tasks. Service providers like tax consultants, cleaners and hairdressers have been an established part of everyday life for a long time now, but for most people it is unusual to outsource laundry or shopping – for now.
It’s a situation you’re no doubt familiar with: arriving home from a long day at work to piles of laundry and an empty refrigerator. But you still have plans with your friends, want to go to the gym and don’t fancy cleaning up anyway. Besides, you don’t even know what you want to eat. The main thing is, it’s not always the same. A lot of us are in the same boat, especially in the younger generation.
Fun is most important in life
According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the average working time of employees – full-time and part-time – in Germany is 34.9 hours per week. This puts German employees below the European average of 37.1 hours per week. Colombian employees work the most in all OECD countries with 47.7 hours per week, Dutch employees work the least on average with only 29.3 hours per week.
Despite this, men and women under the age of 25 want to work just 25 or 28 hours a week respectively, according to the German Institute for Employment Research. This is because leisure time and having fun are considered the most important things in life to the younger generation.
People have to manage a wide range of professional and personal obligations, which complicates everyday life and means we often find ourselves short on time. Employers and society require us to be flexible, which leads to mundane tasks becoming more and more of a burden. Therefore, it is even more important for undesirable tasks such as laundry and shopping to be completed as easily as possible.
Outsourcing unpleasant tasks
Outsourcing is nothing new in the world of business: It involves shifting the company’s value chains to specific suppliers, thereby shortening the value chain. Through this process, qualified and specialized suppliers are able to improve processes and make them more efficient. Why not use these advantages in our everyday lives? Think about what you really don’t enjoy doing or what you’re not good at. Instead of slogging away at it, why not leave it to someone else?
Outsourcing everyday tasks really taps into the spirit of time. Services and tasks that are part of everyday life are handed over to external service providers, meaning that you can enjoy a relaxed, carefree evening or weekend. Maids and tax consultants have long been doing tasks that people could do themselves, but now there are more and more start-ups and companies that have caught onto the trend of everyday outsourcing and want to – and can – make your life easier. Here’s a selection:
Pick-up & delivery of groceries
Grocery shopping is a chore everybody has to do, but it takes a lot of time and effort. Instead of physically going to the store, you can visit the app or website of your favorite store or delivery service and order your food online, either for pickup or delivery.
Home meal kits
Do you love to cook, but often feel uninspired when choosing recipes and don’t have the time to shop? Suppliers of meal kits like Hello Fresh or Marley Spoon offer a healthy alternative to home delivery services. Once a week, the ingredients for specific dishes and the recipes to go with them are delivered to your home in exactly the right portions. After just 30 minutes of cooking, you can enjoy your meal.
It’s an all too familiar scenario: The piles of laundry are growing, while the clothes in your closet are disappearing — it’s time to do the laundry! But you don’t have to do it yourself. For example, the Persil Service is a convenient parcel-based dry cleaning and laundry service that uses Packstation, post office branches or a preferred address – including pick-up from your home. Persil Service returns everything freshly washed, dry cleaned and ironed in tried-and-trusted Persil cleaning quality.
Whether it’s a tradesman or a cleaner, good service providers are always in demand for all types of tasks. But finding them is a tedious task in itself, so why not gather all service providers together on one platform? On Helpling and MyHammer, you can simply select the service you’re looking for and receive suggestions. Thanks to the simple rating systems, you can book your chosen cleaner or tradesman straight away.
Shopping is exhausting — especially when you don’t know what style suits you or what’s in style right now. Stitch Fix has the answer. After you’ve filled out a style profile, a personal stylist will handpick pieces to match your taste, needs and budget, which will then be mailed to you.
Get your food delivered, drive around the city or send important documents easily across town: The South-east Asian company Grab is there to help you with your transportation needs in almost every situation. Grab even helps with cashless payments with their own payment system. Users can simply choose the service they need via the app. With availability in 79 countries, Uber is also on the rise in everything relating to transportation. The US-based company offers cheap rides and food deliveries with its platform Uber Eats worldwide.
If you’re the type of person who prefers ordering “all-inclusive” packages and feeling pampered 24/7, then you will love having a virtual assistant. They can arrange your doctor’s appointments, bring your car to the repair shop, or make dinner reservations for you. Platforms like Fancy Hands or Task Rabbit offer assistants for all kinds of tasks. All it takes is sending a quick message and then you can consider your mission accomplished!