Despite being relatively dangerous, the service industry as a whole doesn’t have a history of providing strong protections for its workers. The gig economy has a similar reputation. With the absence of traditional employee benefits like workers’ compensation, it’s important that equitable replacements are created for gig workers in any sector, particularly those that come with a high risk of injury. As on-demand platforms usher the service industry into the future of work, it’s up to them to make sure that the whole is safer than the sum of its parts.
Liability Insurance can be a tough sell when no one’s explicitly requiring you to purchase it. We buy car insurance because we have to. We buy business insurance when it’s required for a contract. But without a car or a contract hinging on insurance, the absence of immediate value makes it easy to do without. That is, until you’re being sued by an angry bride for failing to capture any photos of her father smiling.
While the gig economy is in many ways a more efficient and productive model, it’s also a less secure one. That’s not to say that engaging independent contractors is a lawless gamble, but rather that enterprises must be informed and intentional when it comes to making sure their workforce is compliant and protected. Read below to learn how!
By now, most people are familiar with the reality of the gig economy and its implications for the future of work. But few know its origin story. There’s a popular misconception that Uber and Taskrabbit stepped onto the scene and, just like that, the gig economy was born. The real story is a little more nuanced. The history of the gig economy is not just a story of 21st century technology, but also of shifting cultural norms and workforce values throughout the past century.
As more and more of the workforce becomes independent, the social safety net protecting employees will have to expand and adapt. Occupational Accident Insurance is a step in that direction. If innovative companies continue to prioritize the humans that make up the gig economy, the Future of Work will be a safe place for everyone.
The contingent workforce values and relies upon agility. In order to take advantage of the on-demand economy, enterprises must be flexible as well. As the workforce becomes faster and more efficient, companies founded upon structured hierarchy and processes will have to adjust the way they go about accomplishing their goals or risk falling behind. Here are four steps to take to ensure that your enterprise has the agility required to harness the contingent workforce:
This summer, Team Bunker headed to Minneapolis for Contingent Staffing 2018. The peer-led conference brings together professionals across the many diverse industries supporting the gig economy. Bunker headed to the conference ready to network, with the hopes of learning more about the contingent staffing industry and how we can play a part within the process.
We had fun sharing our Q1 ‘Thousands of ‘Clarks’ update, and heard that some of you enjoyed it as well!
In our Q1 update, we shared a bit more about Bunker’s mission of embedding business insurance into contracts, and how we use ‘Lois’ & ‘Clark’ as our customer personas. For a refresher on this, feel free to take another spin through that update.
To keep the dialogue going we’ll start to share additional updates, stats and experiences on a more consistent basis —
Here is an update on all things Bunker from Q2 2018.
Over the past decade, bike sharing has exploded in most major cities. The platform made its US debut in 2010, and has since expanded to over 100 bike sharing systems across the country. Their success both owes to and aids in the burgeoning gig economy. However, like the gig economy, it grew so quickly without realizing the unexpected circumstances that could occur when customers are involved.
Bunker is excited about a future of transportation that’s healthy, affordable and environmentally sustainable. We’re passionate about making sure it’s also safe for everyone involved. Collaborative safety ensures that everyone has the protection they need to keep growing, innovating, and moving towards the future.
It is almost impossible to visit a major city in the United States and not see a bike sharing company present. Bike sharing is the new way of renting bikes that allows riders to reserve the bike from their phone, locate the bike, and rent it on an hourly basis. Bike sharing allows people to explore new cities, engage in a healthy exercise, conveniently get to a destination, and all at an affordable price. The convenience bike sharing offers plays into the on demand world consumers are now used to. Not only is bike sharing revolutionizing how people can travel to cities and get around, it’s also changing the way gig-economy workers can go from one gig to the next.
Madison’s new direct flight to San Francisco opens up a world of Venture Capital to the Midwest Technology hub
This month, United Airlines officially endorsed Madison’s status as a burgeoning tech hub with the introduction of a non-stop flight to the capitol of all venture capital: San Francisco.
Madison’s thriving startup industry and endless flow of talented young graduates makes it an attractive city for tech companies looking to expand or relocate. However, many in the Bay area have been reluctant to spread their company across cities that are inconvenient to travel between.
A beacon of innovation in its own right, many are excited about West Coast investors tapping Madison’s supply of creative new ventures. Matt Howard, CEO of Madison’s beloved food delivery app, EatStreet, said the most exciting opportunity is that venture capitalists and employees can now “visit Madison to get a firsthand look at tech companies they may want to be a part of.”
For companies like Bunker who bet on Madison long ago, the connection is as symbolic as it is convenient. The trip will make life much easier for Bunker CEO, Chad Nitschke, who frequently flies between the cities, and more importantly it initiates Madison as a key player in the national tech community.
Under the leadership of Zach Brandon, the Madison Chamber of Commerce understood the value of the San Francisco connection and worked diligently to bring this flight to Madison. Their efforts were celebrated after the inaugural flight at the Zendesk office in San Francisco. Bunker joined in the celebration by consecrating the union between the quintessential tech hub and its promising apprentice with 20 pounds of cheese curds delivered from The Old Fashioned, a staple of Madison community and culture.
If you’re not familiar, cheese curds are a beloved byproduct of the cheese making process. When milk is pasteurized, it separates into curds and whey (ever wonder what Little Miss Muffet was eating all day?). The curds are cooked and pressed to reveal the fresh, flavorful favorite snack of Wisconsinites. Oh, and they squeak.
The hotbed of innovative technology quietly catalyzing in Madison is not unlike the beloved hidden treasure of the cheese making process. This flight will hopefully bring about the national recognition the city has been waiting for. President of the Wisconsin Technology Council, Tom Still, described it as a “coming of age factor,” which will not only boost the city’s reputation, but “helps to spread the word about Wisconsin” as well.
For Bunker and our fellow Madison start-ups, the United Airlines flight endorses a collaborative future between Madison and Silicon Valley, and validates the innovative companies who put Madison on the map. And with just a short flight separating the West Coast from America’s Dairyland, national appreciation for cheese curds can’t be far behind!
As a small business owner, protecting your business is an important priority but today’s litigious environment may expose your business to threats you might not even be aware of. Aside from protecting your business, we fully understand insurance can be a barrier to work because its traditional format doesn’t adapt to the gig economy. The insurance industry is highly regulated and if you asked Bunker’s CEO, Chad Nitschke, he would say it is not exactly the most progressive industry. By 2020, 43% of the U.S. Labor force will be comprised of gig economy workers. This alone speaks to what Bunker has been trying to work towards: adapting insurance offerings for the contingent workforce.
Recently Bunker was featured in Forbes announcing our customized Occupational Accident Insurance product for Independent Contractors needing workers compensation. This customized insurance product allows gig workers to purchase insurance when they are on the job. It is affordable and ensures workers are protected when they are on the job- addressing a major concern gig workers are facing. Dylin Holden, Bunker’s Client Executive for On-Demand and The Future of Work, has a decade of experience working in the insurance industry. Prior to Bunker, Dylin found himself frustrated with the lack of protection for gig workers. After Bunker’s feature in Forbes, we sat down with Dylin to discuss his excitement about Occupational Accident Insurance and what it means for The Future of Work.
At Bunker, we’ve been privileged to speak at a variety of events over the past year, from HR and staffing events to insurance and risk management conferences. This week, we spent time in Las Vegas at the inaugural HR Transform event. The conference brought together HR professionals and technology thought-leaders for three days of knowledge-sharing. Here’s what we learned between turns of the roulette table.
Insurance, a word that has a reputation of an eye roll when mentioned. Add “liability” in front of it and an eye roll quickly turns to a glossy gaze. It’s not hard to understand why; the commercial insurance industry is deeply rooted in PDF documents, slow low-tech processes and poor customer service. All of this leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication, not to mention the industry has not adapted to the workforce of 2018, treating independent professionals like mega corporations.
Bunker's Technology Series
When building a business, there are many different milestones that make up the journey. While financial milestones are obviously significant, team and cultural milestones should be celebrated with equal importance. Over the past few weeks, we have experienced a fantastic company milestone that impacts both our employees and Madison community that we’ve chosen to grow - the opening of our first official office space in Madison!