Virtual employees are changing the modern business model. In this article, we explore the benefits of hiring a remote workforce, as well as the things you should take into consideration when doing so.
In the age of memes and Instagram, the switch to a virtual workforce is becoming more prevalent and appears to be the future for many companies. There are many benefits to this style of a workplace for both employees and employers. There are also some points to consider, such as collaboration, data sharing and security, as well as the possibility of a blended company of virtual and in-person employees.
Read on to explore more about the shift the workplace is going to take and ways you can adapt your hiring strategy to it.
5 Benefits of Hiring Virtual Employees
There are many financial, health, and productivity benefits of assigning work online. Employees and employers reap the benefits of this business choice. Below, are just a some of the more notable benefits of moving your workforce online.
1. Increased Productivity
Having a flexible schedule increases the morale of employees and gives them a sense of freedom and agency in their lives that going into a physical office often does not permit. The sense of boosted morale also increases productivity in virtual employees. Responsibility for the work that must be accomplished changes hands from the supervisors who watch over the office to make sure employees are doing their job and arriving on time to the employees, who must meet goals and expectations on their own.
2. Room for Growth
Often expanding the employee count also means expanding the office space to hold more employees. The cost of upgrading and expanding a space is saved by delegating some of the work to online employees. This allows the employers to save time and money searching for a new space and also gives them the access to many talented employees who may not be available to work the typical 9-5 hours.
3. Happier and More Loyal Employees
Allowing workers to work from home or from wherever they choose allows them to have flexible schedules for their work and personal lives. It allows them to create their own time frames according to company-set deadlines and to make up time if they need to attend to an appointment that they normally would have to request a whole day off from work for.
4. Reducing the Overhead Costs of a Business
The overhead costs of a business are reduced if a business chooses to opt for a larger switch of hiring predominantly online employees. It may take more time to see the benefit of not having to pay the rent on an office building or for the utility bills if you still have a physical office location. There is also the option to blend a business to downsize an office space to have fewer employees onsite and more online that would see this benefit.
5. Better for the Environment
Working remotely cuts the need for a commute, which saves energy, fuel, and prevents pollution from being added to the air supply. A smaller office space will require less energy and therefore will create less waste. Utilizing online communication software can also reduce the need for business travel and similarly reduce energy and pollution. Less paper, supplies, and equipment would be needed for virtual employees as well.
3 Things You Should Consider When Implementing a Virtual Team
Along with the benefits of virtual employees, there are also points to consider before making the switch. It is important to analyze the possible concerns and how they could affect a business according to its specific needs.
Collaboration is an important factor in teamwork in the workplace and also still possible for remote workers! Collaboration tools for virtual teams are plentiful and have many different uses. There are many that allow instant and clear communication among remote team workers, such as Slack for instant text-based communication or Zoom for easy conference calling. Other helpful applications include Github, a smart software development tool, and World Time Buddy, that allows you to sync up the different locations of team members to find a time that everyone can meet!
2. Data Sharing and Privacy Concerns
One of the main considerations for running many employees online is how data sharing will be handled in order to keep the appropriate information private for clients and the company. Storing confidential company or client information on employees’ remote computers can be a big risk because there is a higher chance of it being leaked accidentally due to the lessened security on remote computers. There are software options along with employee training that can greatly minimize these risks.
3. Blending Brick-and-Mortar with Virtual Employees
Blending the two worlds of work together is often a starting point for many companies to explore the benefits of a virtual team. Companies may have a physical building and begin to expand by hiring remote workers so that they can make more money and not output any additional overhead costs.
An example of this blended business model is WeddingWire, a Washington D.C. based wedding and event planning company has openings for remote workers who still are required to come into the office. It allows employers and employees to have weekly check-ins and communicate ideas and receive feedback that may be lost over the internet.
Virtual Employees as the Next Wave of Business
As companies begin to increasingly rely on the internet and technology for their business operations, more employees are being hired remotely. There are many benefits and some concerns to consider when hiring remote employees. Virtual employees are more cost-efficient, more productive, and better for the environment. There are also the risks of client and company data privacy, collaboration accessibility, and the process of blending the virtual employees with the already existing office employees.
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