If the terms “gig economy” or blockchain payment solutions” do not make sense, then you’re not alone. Most Wyoming small business owners don’t realize how quickly technology is changing the way we work – most notably with “on-demand” workers and new payment processing technologies – and how to use them to grow their business.

According to a 2016 economic study, much of the job growth in the last 10 to 15 years has occurred in the nontraditional gig workforce, pointing to the increased growth in workers employed in the gig economy from 9.3% in 1995 to 15.8% in 2015.

Employers embracing remote freelancers means they have more options to pick and choose from.

“From the globalization of commerce, to the innovation economy, companies around the world are looking for flexible talent,” said Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer in a 2017 Business News Daily article.

“Everything also really points to more technology-driven needs and there is not enough talent in the places people would like to hire and not as many businesses that are looking to hire permanently. They want more flexibility to try to be faster to market and retain more flexibility in how they build their teams and their organizations.” Galit said.

Workers will benefit from this arrangement as well through greater flexibility, being their own boss, achieving better work-life balance, less stressful work environments, opportunities to learn and advance, find more meaningful work, better pay or side income and greater empowerment.

The Business News Daily aslo quoted Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, who said this about workers and their attitude towards the gig economy: “What people want is changing. They are working longer, learning more, and seeking a better balance between work and home. Not everyone wants to engage only as a full-time employee, and organizations don’t always want that either.”

By incorporating more on-demand workers, who work remotely on a short-term basis from anywhere in the country or world, companies may be able to overcome the perennial problem of finding the right worker for the job.

Given Wyoming’s extremely low unemployment, and the difficulty finding good employees, the state stands to gain by tapping into the vast talent pool of the worldwide gig economy.

According to this article highlighting gig economy trends for 2018, payment methods built on blockchain technology can make the payment of gig workers, wherever they are located, a simpler and faster process.  Transactions across national borders will become easier via digital currency like bitcoin, which can easily be transferred to a digital wallet, allowing freelancers to get paid regardless of their location.

By helping business owners understand the gig economy and technologies like Blockchain and remote/virtual work, the Wyoming SBDC can help companies integrate these tools and help them expand their business in the 21st century economy.

About Mike

Mike Lambert is the manager and first employee of the Wyoming SBDC Network’s Market Research Center.  In over 15 years Mike has built an information resource for Wyoming businesses that is unique in the nation.  The MRC specializes in providing any Wyoming business with access to advanced marketing information that was previously available only to a few of the largest corporations.  Mike’s individual expertise also includes marketing, product management, product development, international trade and export.

 

When he’s not in the office:

Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and grandkids, reading or woodworking.

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