The evolution of technology has liberated people from the traditional workplace and the normal working day, triggering the rise of Remote Working & Virtual Teams.
Only a few years ago, remote working would be limited to roles such as copywriting or journalism. These roles required limited customer-facing work and were not reliant on the traditional office environment. Most jobs required employees to complete physical paperwork and attend meetings with clients or colleagues in person.
The development of the cloud, laptops and smartphones has meant that anywhere employees can connect to the internet can be their main working desk. We can conduct business meetings thousands of miles apart through video conferencing software and share documents digitally in real-time. The virtual or remote team is a group of people working on joint projects and goals via electronic communications.
Benefits to employees of working remotely
No boundaries & flexibility
You can have 12 hours of time difference with your dream colleague. But if you are part of a global virtual team, there is nothing to worry about. Moreover, people who can control their time become self-sufficient and efficient. Virtual team members are generally more flexible if you compare them to traditional team members. In virtual teams, every remote employee is free to choose wherever to work.
Minimized travel costs
One of the chief benefits offered by remote working is the minimization of travel costs. Having a properly structured and equipped virtual team can reduce, or eliminate, the need for staff to travel between sites.
Flights, train journeys and per diems can mount up fast. Especially for smaller businesses, having a set-up that allows your team members to work from home, or reduces the need to bounce between offices, can have huge ramifications for your bottom line.
Maximized productivity also ranks high on the list of advantages. With a tendency to log more hours and be more focused, a well-managed virtual team can often beat out their office-based counterparts when it comes to getting stuff done.
It also helps that much of the technological kit necessary for virtual teams can significantly bolster productivity due to their intrinsic cultivation of project management and knowledge sharing.
Research by Cardiff University has found that 73% of workers revealed they put in more effort than is required when working from home. The rise of Remote Working & Virtual Teams improves the employment prospects of employees and provides huge value to employers.
Virtual Teams are cost-saving
Virtual teams cost less. Hiring an office, buying supplies, using electricity. Many big global companies built Virtual Teams. In that case, benefits may differ. If the company creates a big virtual team from all over Europe, it will be more cost-effective. It helps cut down the travel time to work. Imagine you are an employer that has 20 employees. If everybody spends at least 1 hour daily on the road, you may lose hundreds of hours.
Enhanced communication with co-workers
Clear communication is the most important aspect of operating a virtual team. You must lay out roles, plans, and expectations with exceptional clarity and be sure your team knows what they’re doing, especially when you can’t see them. Virtual team members may engage in less idle chatter in the workplace but tend to communicate more.
Frequent (and high-quality) communication is essential for virtual teams to work. And while in the grand scheme of workplace contact email ranks as the least intimate, tools available to virtual teams, such as Skype, and Microsoft Teams, offer a more informal, friendly and familiar platform across which team members can collaborate, at least partially removing the relationship-building blockade that email can engender.
Better work-life balance & Increased job satisfaction
As a result of having more time and setting their working day, employees can spend more time with their families, exercising or on a side project leading to improvements in their health, emotional well-being and stress levels. Research shows that remote workers have higher levels of job satisfaction and job-related well-being and are more committed to their company, regardless of its size.
Hiring a Remote Team
Remote Workers should have self-motivation, discipline and the ability to manage their own time. They must also be happy working independently, without the social support that comes from a traditional office, and these are vital qualities to look out for when hiring.
When considering moving to build a remote team, you should look at existing employees suitable for the role and display the right attitude. These employees could help to lead and build a remote team. If a remote team proves to be hard-working and loyal, it is a more secure and stable option.
In a technology-driven workforce, the rise of Remote Working & Virtual Teams is a natural step toward the future of work. Virtual and remote teams can be successful if the right technologies and policies are established. While the benefits of building a remote team are many, it is equally important to recognize the challenges and address them proactively to make it work for your business.