The Role of the W-2 Worker is Changing: The Rise of the Virtual Class

March 18, 2019

By Brad Stevens

With 57.3 million or 36% of the American workforce in the freelance economy, there is a seismic shift influencing how work is getting done. The days of having to hire more W-2 workers to grow your business are quickly becoming numbered, as we are moving into a global economy that will require businesses to leverage virtual assistants and freelancers in order to strategically grow and remain agile in an ever-changing landscape.  And interestingly, it doesn’t necessarily mean the replacement of a W2 employee but elevating them from a “doer” of tasks to a strategic manager of lower-cost, faster external resources. This can dramatically increase overall output and ROI per hour of effort by the W2 employee. The other interesting by-product is this also typically translates into the W2 staff being able to focus on what they enjoy most which is also likely their “highest return on time” to deliver value for the company. In other words, they get to do what they love that also is the best use of their time and thus can create a more positive overall culture.

When you examine the growth in remote workers worldwide, some eye-opening statistics begin to emerge, such as in Europe the rate of freelance growth has outpaced employment growth, making it the fastest growing employment sector for the past 15 years. And, similar trends are being observed in other parts of the world, like the Philippines, where the average virtual assistant who is often college educated can make 3–, 4–, or 5 times the minimum wage in their country and generate as much income as their country’s top lawyers and doctors!

So, what does all of this mean for American-based businesses?

The exploding growth of the global freelance and virtual on-demand workforce market is giving businesses, of all sizes, unprecedented access to millions of talented, experienced, and proven workers at their fingertips – for a fraction of the cost of hiring even a single W-2 employee. That means rather than hiring a dedicated, full-time social media manager, you can outsource the work to a freelancer for a fraction of the cost. Need research done for a new market opportunity? You can have a college-educated strategist in Bangkok Thailand who speaks perfect English assemble a 50 slide powerpoint deck  in 5 days for $200. What about all the layers of what I call “operational clutter tasks” that are are not the best use of a full time staff’s skills. Have a $5 to $7 an hour college-educated Virtual Assistant in the Philippines take it over. Similarly, getting websites, video editing, graphic design, 3D images or professional marketing writing done no longer requires you to partner with an expensive marketing agency or spend weeks and high dollars searching for an in-house copywriter. Instead, you can outsource these tasks and hundreds more, within minutes.

By equipping a W2 employee with this arsenal of on-demand talent and unique strategies translates into a far more agile employee and company overall.

Time-consuming processes like email management or following up with customers to pay their overdue accounts can easily be outsourced for as little as $5 to $7 an hour. This represents a massive win-win, as you’re able to position your current employees to perform more strategic tasks, while having a low-cost virtual assistant tackle your outstanding accounts receivables. This is exactly the strategy one of my clients took to almost instantly eliminate their need for a line of credit, build out a complete tactical (and remote) team, and grow their profits. They hired a virtual assistant to focus solely on accounts receivable, allowing their CFO and accounting staff to work on budgeting and cost-savings measures. Not only were they able to implement a more effective collections system, but they also saved more than $500,000 in just 6 months, all by being able to leverage virtual assistants and reposition their employees to do more high-level strategic work. They didn’t have to fire or hire a single W-2 employee to generate these amazing savings. They simply hired a virtual assistant and freed up the organizational and administrative “clutter” their employees were continually bogged down with and their business is now on track to have one of the best years in their decades-long history!

Tapping into the growing freelance and virtual assistant market enables businesses – startups, small, and even medium-sized businesses alike – to gain instant access to the proven resources they need to grow – and grow fast. The type of growth that was only achieved by the large Fortune 500 companies who could afford to invest in resources to explode their growth. Now, even a small mom and pop shop can hire a team of remote freelancers, handling everything from marketing, to lead generation, to social media, to email management, even to website development to start expanding their business on day one – for less than you ever thought possible. The key is to know where to look to find the most reliable and skilled freelance, virtual assistant and overseas firm talent and how to train them to completely run and manage your tactical processes using new low cost and innovative strategies.  For more information on the exact 3 steps you need to start tapping into the virtual assistant and global on-demand, low cost labor market, click here.

About the Author

Brad Stevens is a lifetime entrepreneur having built multiple businesses in domestic and international markets. His current company is BST International, an advisory and education firm offering entrepreneurs and small business unique approaches to scale and agility with technology tools and outsourcing to the low-cost, on-demand virtual workforce. Connect with Brad on LinkedIn by clicking here or visit

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