The effects of a long commute both in mileage and time can be detrimental to your organization’s ability to attract, hire, and retain top talent. Virtual teams allow for work to be performed at any time, from anywhere, thus increasing revenues, productivity, and morale. Keep reading as we make a case for creating part- or full-time virtual teams in your organization.
According to data from the January 2016 report from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, the number of employees who work from home has grown 103% since 2005. While the employee population only grew by 1.9% from 2013 to 2014, the number of employees working from home-based offices grew 5.6%. The rapid increases in remote or virtual work teams is, in part, the result of the incredible ease of online conference, messaging, and file sharing platforms such as Skype, Dropbox, Slack, and many others provide. These varying platforms and programs allow team members from anywhere in the world to collaborate and work together seamlessly and efficiently, whether from the office or from the comforts of their own homes.
We are seeing an increasing number of organizations that are working almost entirely with remote teams and forgoing the structure of a more traditional office space. This change has greatly expanded the organizational ability to hire top talent from literally anywhere in the world, which not only dramatically increases their ability to readily find the best fit for various active positions, but to also be able to have work completed virtually around the clock, pending team member locations. The elimination of a commute has also yielded a significant reduction in absenteeism, while increasing rates of retention.
It is estimated that 50% of all jobs in the United States are compatible with telecommuting, either some or all the time. Virtual teams include so much more than coders, web designers, writers, and customer service representatives. Nearly all types of work can be done remotely when both the worker and the organization have the appropriate program applications needed to communicate, complete work, and share the work that has been completed. Many organizations are realizing that remote teams are the key to finding the most qualified talent to address specific needs, regardless of geographic location.
There are several advantages to creating a partial or full-time virtual work program.
- Increased productivity – It is a common myth that people who work from home perform very little work. However, the opposite can often be true. Most people who work from home all or some of the time frequently report increases in focus and productivity.
- Decreased absenteeism and tardiness – Long commutes, both in time and distance, can be the most stressful aspect of your team’s work day, especially in heavily populated metro areas. Working from home eliminates this stress, saving 100% of the time and stress spent on this effort, which maximizes both the time and focus needed to successfully and smoothly complete the projects at hand.
- Increased customer service – The ability to bring on staff, regardless of geographic location, can enable work to be performed and concerns to be immediately addressed nearly around the clock.
- Decreased overheard costs – Office space can be expensive. Most virtual teams simply require a phone, laptop, and internet connection. It can be more cost effective for organizations to provide any necessary devices and stipends required to secure office supplies and absorb any internet costs associated to work functions.
Virtual teams could be the answer to any of your organization’s talent attraction, procurement, and retention woes. In the final article of this series, we will share best practices for establishing and managing virtual teams.
Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital. As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki. Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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