22 May, 2019
50% of the UK workforce will be working virtually by 2020. Considering the fact that remote work was not even a thing a decade ago, the numbers are startling.
But you might be surprised that having virtual employees actually benefits your business, too.
Read on for 10 reasons your next hire should be a virtual employee.
1. Increased Productivity
It's just a fact. Virtual employees are more productive than office-bound workers.
In fact, in a recent survey, 91% of workers felt they were more productive when working off-site.
Why is this? For one thing, offices are noisy, distracting places. There's always someone in the break room ready to tell you about their newest purchase or recent holiday.
Even going to get a drink or water or visiting the toilet is a chance to bump into someone and get talking. And don't forget the time it takes to actually get back to your desk after getting a cup of coffee.
Small talk and impromptu meetings eat up a surprising amount of workday minutes.
Then, there are the distractions once you are back at your desk. Let's say you are in the zone and making some serious headway in your project. Suddenly, a colleague comes to your desk to ask a quick question.
Suddenly, you've lost your focus. But virtual workers can eliminate all that chit chat and get right to work. They can put their heads down and work uninterrupted for long stretches of time.
2. Lower Overhead Costs
Your office space requires you to have a physical space for each employee: a desk, computer and some amount of square footage.
You also need to have supplies for the employees such as a water cooler, office supplies, toilets, and coffeemakers.
And of course, you also need to pay the utilities and upkeep to keep these things in working order.
Overhead costs are not small for any company. But those who have some in-house teams and some remote workers can save thousands of dollars a year on overhead.
You don't have to supply your virtual employees with a desk, computer, or even brewed coffee. In fact, they use their own internet and phone to connect with you!
All these reasons are an incentive for you to consider a virtual office.
3. Wider Access to Talent
One of the best reasons to hire virtual employees is that you aren't limited to finding talent in your geographical area.
A virtual worker can be in any part of the world. You can access the best people for the job regardless of where on the globe they are located.
When your talent pool is larger, your odds of finding stellar candidates increases. And, if you want to attract skilled, tech-savvy millennials, the flexibility of working virtually is a very attractive feature.
These days, young professionals want and expect flexibility in the workplace. So even if they live nearby, you can attract the best talent with the offer of virtual work.
4. Higher Retention Rates
Everyone knows that employee satisfaction is directly related to turnover rates. Unhappy employees don't stick around, it's that simple.
A survey in 2017 by Deloitte found that 38% of employees plan to leave their current job in the next 48 months. Many of them said they wanted more flexibility and a better work/life balance.
The good news is that virtual employees have a higher satisfaction rate than their in-office counterparts. And that, in turn, leads to better rates of employee retention.
Poor employee retention hurts your bottom line. The cost of losing a trained employee costs your company 213% of that worker's salary. That means that keeping an employee saves you thousands of euros a year.
5. Increase Loyalty
Virtual workers are more loyal to companies than in-house employees. Again, a loyal employee will stay and be willing to put in his or her best effort.
A loyal employee not only saves you the cost of on-boarding and training someone new, but can be a source that finds you new talent.
6. Keep Up with the Freelancer Trend
The future is bright for freelancers. They've popped up in practically every industry. And their numbers keep growing.
Many call today's job landscape the gig economy.
This is a good trend for your organisation. Why? Because you can leverage the expertise of specialists in a particular role and scale on demand.
You can hire at scale when you have the need. And then, you are able to scale back when you don't when your company's growth slows down.
Finding freelance, remote workers is easier than ever. There are dozens of websites dedicated to helping employers find and hire remote workers.
7. Let Employees Work at Their Peak
We all have our peak efficiency times during the day. For most of us, it may not be between nine and five.
The benefit of virtual workers is that they can set their own schedules that work best for them. So if they work best in the dark hours after eleven, they can.
Again, this is another way that remote work boosts productivity.
8. Employees Feel in Control
Employees don't really like having a boss. No one wants to feel like they are a child and has a parent watching their every move.
Working virtually gives your employees control and flexibility. So long as the work gets done, it doesn't matter if they start at nine on the dot or attended a school concert first.
Better work-life balance means a happier, more loyal employee.
9. Better for the Planet
Having a virtual office is much better for the planet. You can make your virtual employees part of your eco-friendly office strategy.
Think of the millions of dollars saved in petrol. Not to mention the millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Hiring virtual employees benefit you, the employee, and Mother Nature. It's a win-win-win.
10. Virtual Employees Save Money
The cost-saving benefits of remote work are not limited to employers. Working from home is good for the employees, too.
They save money on the cost of gas or public transportation. And the cost of wear and tear on their cars.
There you have it. 10 reasons why hiring virtual employees makes sense. Not just for you, but for them as well.
At Hoxton Mix, we're here to help. Get in touch with any questions you may have.