Yolo Economy: what it is and what change it will bring to work

The Yolo Economy is a current of thought that is revolutionizing the labor market. The translation of this acronym You Only Live Once, is very easy to translate but how to put it into practice?

This term became popular in 2011 thanks to the song “The Motto” by Canadian rapper Drake, if you love rap I suggest you listen to it, but what is this philosophy really about?

In this article, you will discover:

  • what is meant by Yolo Economy
  • who is affected by this phenomenon
  • what the change is due to and how it translates
  • where this revolution is taking us and the reactions of companies
  • the importance of digital and new opportunities
  • the work of the digital freelancer.

What Yolo Economy means

Beyond the simple translation, Yolo Economy is a real mindset, a voluntary choice of change, and a desire to take risks to broaden one’s horizons and create a better future within reach of one’s needs and aspirations.

This current of thought is spreading rapidly among ‘Millennials’ who find it unsatisfying to work to produce and consume and are looking for experiences that they can value and that enrich them.

Companies thus find themselves interfacing with people who are disconnected from the classical concept of work, dependency, and hierarchy and are clamoring for flexibility, working from home or, better still, on the move so that they can manage their increasingly undefined work and life schedules independently and manage stress better.

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What is the change with the Yolo Economy

The pandemic with its restrictions has left a deep, indelible mark on everyone and has prompted many to ask themselves many questions about their expectations. During this period of enforced shutdown, people have in fact questioned themselves deeply about their existence and as the New York Times writes in an interview with Cristina Wallace, a professor at Harvard Business School, ‘we have had the opportunity to evaluate whether the life they are living is the life we want to live’.

Experimenting with smart working, and acquiring new skills has empowered workers to challenge themselves, learn how to manage time, and untangle themselves between meetings, calls, and a thousand commitments. Covid was a shock, it reshaped the priorities of people as human beings and also of companies that have to find new strategies to cope with the crisis, remain well positioned in the labor market, and at the same time support employees and collaborators.

Certainly, 2020 has been an important year, but it has only brought to the surface something deep and latent, a new way of thinking about work, the Yolo economy because this desire of young people is present and characterized in a generation that feels the company traditionally understood as something obsolete and not in line with the times. And times do run fast! For many, the idea of going back to the situation of a year ago is not at all appealing; in fact, globally 40% of workers intend to leave their jobs to look for one more in line with their feelings (source: New York Times).

This is the fertile ground on which the Yolo economy is founded, the willingness and propensity to take risks translates into a desire to put oneself out there to create something personal that allows for better time management and often results in self-employment or freelancing.

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The Yolo Economy revolution at work

You have to think that the Yolo economy will be part of your present but certainly also part of your future. Its cornerstones are mainly these:

  1. flexible hours
  2. less traditional workplaces
  3. more purposeful and interesting work
  4. more desire to focus on one’s passions.

If you feel that you need your own space, that you need to manage your schedule and work independently and autonomously, that you feel ready and strong and really want to get involved, then you are the first to believe in the Yolo economy revolution, don’t wait.

How you only live once impacts work

People feel bolder they have the strength and resources to invest especially in self-employment.

It is more satisfying to achieve the month’s goals by visiting a Greek island, being immersed in nature while regenerating during breaks or simply avoiding wasting hours in traffic. Dissatisfaction leads employees to demand more from companies.

A new awareness has developed, a search for well-being even in the working environment after months marked by anxiety and worries. According to the New York Times, of those surveyed, 46 percent felt under stress and 23 percent even stated that they no longer felt able to do their jobs.

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Conclusions: areas to start from

The sectors that according to trends have an increasingly important weight in this transformation are in fact digital, e-commerce, information, logistics, and healthcare.

Projecting oneself to the web, rethinking and developing new ways of communication, and encouraging e-commerce based on ‘Made in Italy’, a sustainable economy, are just examples of the opportunities that lie ahead for a true Yolo economy.

If you aspire to true independence, nothing is more rewarding than building a personal reality to develop at your own pace, with the possibility of sharing your aspirations online to help influence others and contribute to change.

Revolution is possible but are you ready?

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