The Future of the Economy: The Virtualpreneur

by Terri Maxwell on November 1, 2012

Previously we covered Who is the New Worker, What a Virtualized Workforce Means for the American Economy, and Talent as a Competitive Advantage. Now it’s time to unveil one of the principal transformations of the new world of work movement – the Virtualpreneur™.

One of the biggest income-replacement trends in the global economy is matching professionals with companies who wish to contract them for various projects. These professionals are performing work they enjoy that fulfills a passion, giving companies the type of worker they desire. The term we coined for these workers is Virtualpreneurs™.

Where We Are

It is worth repeating that today the majority of virtual positions are managerial, professional and sales roles – all jobs with more autonomy to begin with. However, talented, passionate workers want autonomy no matter the position. They thrive in a flexible environment, and are willing to go the extra distance. All those “motivated self-starters” wanted for positions are becoming Virtualpreneurs.

While work-from-home positions have grown since 2000, they are even more prevalent today. Just take a look at these statistics:

  • 12% increase in working from home over 5 years – In 2004, 21 million workers did some work at home. In 2011, that number was 28 million. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Nearly 600,000 people have gone into business for themselves since November of 2011. (Intuit’s September 2012 Small Business Employment Index)
  • 38 million home-based businesses in the U.S. generating $427 billion dollars per year. (Work-at-Home.com)

A 2012 study commissioned by Wrike, a collaboration software company, showed that of the more than 1,000 respondents, 83% worked from home at least part of their workday. Even more interesting, 66% believe that their office could be completely virtual in the next five years, showing that companies are embracing the virtual concept more willingly every day.

The Future

The Virtualpreneur will become the hallmark of our future, our economic recovery and subsequent growth. Utilizing home-based work models facilitated by technological change, empowered workers looking for quality of life will start more companies while providing improved services to their customers. Companies will find efficiency, effectiveness and cost savings in utilizing Virtualpreneurs for the new work model of fractionalization, globalization and virtualization.

Well-educated people wanting to build a life that includes work for which they have a passion will start businesses, rather than work for companies. They will choose the work, looking for opportunities that provide flexibility.

Companies wanting to tap into this empowered workforce will learn how to provide benefits that go beyond the traditional and incentives that are based on results. Companies will actually become more efficient utilizing Virtualpreneurs, as they learn to tap into the most sophisticated, educated talent pool available.

The reality is that virtual work is here to stay. It’s global, it’s working, and it’s profitable. Are you a Virtualpreneur in the making ready to join the movement? Or are you already living the Virtualpreneur life? Let us know!

Want to know more? Check out our upcoming book The New World of Work: From Cube to the Cloud. Find out why this is happening, what the new opportunities are, and what this whole shift means for you. Find out more about the book and get more information at www.newworldofwork.com.

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