Homes are now wired more than ever before, and people are comfortable sharing their lives online. This makes the transition to a virtual workforce both logical and profitable, saving employers and employees a lot of money while also empowering individuals to create more balanced lives for themselves.
3 Reasons to Work in Virtual Teams
Saving Money = Win-Win
In the long list of recent reasons to work in virtual teams, health and safety are likely followed closely by financial impact.
An early report in 2011 entitledWORKshift Canada: The Bottom Line on Teleworkestimated the overall savings of telecommuting just two days per week could total over $53 billion a year. After a year of monumental migration to remote work and working from home, San Diego-based Global Workplace Analytics revealed a typical business could save an average of $11,000 per year for each employee working from home.
Just think what this could mean for companies that hire a virtual workforce. They could eliminate most, if not all, of the costs of office space, office equipment and human resources while increasing employee retention and productivity.
Employees can save money, too. Many workers, especially in major metropolitan areas, commute to work. Couple cost cutting there with home office deductions and the savings add up. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that employees working virtually could save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year by working at home half the time.
If all the workers who could transition to working virtually actually did, they could significantly reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, along with local infrastructure costs.
In 2020, we have seen reductions in vehicle emissions, paper and plastic waste, and power usage, leading to significant short- and long-term cost savings for the public sector.
Saving money for employers, employees and governments and helping to save the world? That’s a win-win-win-win!
Perhaps the most attractive promise of a virtual team is the empowerment of individuals and their communities.
Perhaps the most attractive promise of a virtual workforce is the empowerment of individual workers and their communities.
Long nine-to-five days are made longer with commutes. Plus, the inflexibility of the traditional workday takes a toll on individuals who have to juggle or completely put personal and family obligations on hold.
The nine-to-five schedule harms productivity, too. Research shows that most people’s biological clocks make themmore alert and productive at different times during the day, and almost all workers have long periods of low-productivity during the nine-to-five workday. Allowing an employee to choose their own hours, while saving time on commuting and other activities preparing for the workday, can add up to increased productivity.
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On a grander scale, working from home can revitalize rural communities and transform the economy. So many people now overcrowd cities looking for work while leaving behind their small towns to grow older and bleak. And, with the surplus of university graduates today, even small towns are bursting with untapped talent.
The power to employ people in those areas not only gives companies a new source of talent, and employees a greater level of satisfaction, it also boosts the economies of rural areas and keeps cities from becoming as congested.
Whether it’s for the company or the worker, forming virtual teams offers a powerful new model for modern business and lifestyle; a model that can save money, empower individuals, help the environment and transform communities. And because the transition to hiring a virtual workforce is likely to become the norm, it offers the boldest companies a potential competitive advantage. That’s a powerful idea that should hit close to home.
Forward-thinking companies are managing virtual teams. It’s time you did, too. Keep up-to-date on all our virtual team content on our LinkedIn page.