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From Coworking to Hiring, Subscription Models Take Over How We Work

Subscription Models Take Over How We Work

As subscription models become the norm across all aspects of consumers’ day-to-day routines, recurring payments are becoming core to people’s work lives.

Coworking app Groove launched its subscription program Tuesday (Jan. 23), for instance, offering on-demand, one-hour collaborative sessions for $18 per month or $120 per year, connecting solitary workers to others looking for accountability.

“At Groove, we believe that even when people work alone, work shouldn’t be lonely,” Groove Co-founder and CEO Joshua Greene said in a statement. “The most important part of Groove is the supportive community of humans that has coalesced around the app. Officially launched, we can continue to focus on our community with an eye on the longer term.”

Plus, the software that workers need to complete their day-to-day tasks is increasingly only available via subscription, where once consumers could purchase such tools a la carte. Take, for example, Intuit.

“We are more than two-thirds of the way through a three-year transition for customers that remain on our license-based desktop offering to a recurring subscription model,” Intuit Chief Financial Officer Sandeep Aujla told analysts on the company’s last earnings call. “In conjunction with our business model transition, we also raised prices across multiple desktop products this October, consistent with our principle to price for value.”

Subscriptions are also taking a greater role in the interpersonal aspects of work, such as networking and hiring, with LinkedIn seeing its paid services such as its Premium subscriptions contribute to revenue growth. LinkedIn reported an 8% increase in revenue in parent company Microsoft’s last earnings report.

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella shared on a call with analysts accompanying the report that LinkedIn’s “Premium subscription sign-ups were up 55% year over year.”

Overall, consumers’ work lives are becoming increasingly digital, according to PYMNTS Intelligence’s report last year, “How the World Does Digital: Daily Digital Engagement Hits New Heights.” The study, which drew from a survey of more than 17,500 consumers in 11 markets that account for 50% of the world’s GDP, found that the work pillar of people’s lives is continuing its digital transformation.

The more consumers tap digital technologies in other parts of their lives, the more they engage digitally with work. A 10% increase in digital engagement for travel activities corresponds with a 5% increase in digital engagement at work, and a 10% increase in digital shopping activities is linked with a 4.5% digital uptick in work.

The software subscription opportunity is significant, given how much of consumers’ days are spent working. A PYMNTS Intelligence study of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers in July for the How We Will Pay report found that consumers spend 5.04 hours of their average weekday working, a greater amount than they devote to any other activity on these days, and 1.2 hours of their average Saturday or Sunday doing the same.

The rise of subscription models in work life is transforming the way individuals collaborate, access essential software tools and network. As consumers increasingly engage with digital technologies in their daily lives, their digital engagement at work also rises. The amount of time spent working presents a substantial opportunity for software subscription services.