Successfully Transitioning To A Virtual Organization

Virtual offices will become increasingly more common in the Twenty-First Century.  The word “virtual”, though it is clear, comes from the expression “virtual reality.” A virtual company resembles a normal traditional company with the exception of where the staff is located. A virtual office in this era of cost-cutting can save you a great deal of money. Transitioning to a virtual office isn’t difficult with proper planning.

To learn what companies are doing to effectively transition to virtual work, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) interviewed HR professional and researchers in U.S. based and global organizations. There are several factors that influence the success of a virtual environment including: leadership, team work, collaborative technical tools and motivating the staff. Once an organization has fully transitioned, there are many ideas and tips to efficiently managing a virtual team and virtual meetings. read SHRM’s article Successfully Transitioning to a Virtual Organization: Challenges, Impact and Technology.

What’s the big deal about telecommuting?

The workplace has changed dramatically in regards to telecommuting. Most of this is due to technological advancements and the entrance of millennials into the workforce. Businesses have realized that telecommuting can lower their overhead, and that employees have been vastly more productive working away from the office.

However, as with any huge company decision, telecommuting is a “big deal” and has its pros and cons. The debates around open vs. closed office spaces are continuing to heat up as you’ll read from this Forbes article “Five Things You Need To Know About Telecommuting” read more

A New Year! Telecommuting in 2016

A new year and possibly new changes in the way we work. Should you consider a telecommuting environment? The number of telecommuting jobs continues to rise for employees in the United States during 2015, and there’s no sign of stopping in the new year. Most companies have begun to offer telecommuting as a perk. This allows employees to avoid long commutes, have more control over managing their schedules and spend more time with their families, making workers a lot happier. It is a sense of freedom.

According to a 2009 Forrester report, by 2016, 43% of the U.S. workforce — 63 million people — are expected to work from home; 34 million people already do. This trend is driven by a number of factors, including professionals’ desire to have control over their day-to-day work life. Many large companies track and report the efficiencies and benefits they gain from remote work policies. It’s much easier to recruit and retain great talent when you are giving employees what they want while helping them excel at their jobs. More and more people want the freedom to decide where, when, how, and with whom they work. Do your best to provide that freedom.



Who Benefits from Telecommuting?

In a struggling economy, telecommuting offers a beneficial alternative to traditional work for both employers and employees. Organizations that employ telecommuters see benefits across the board. Growing companies demand a way to keep productivity and employee retention rates high while keeping overhead costs low. Telecommuting may be the answer. Though telecommuting does have some drawbacks, its benefits far outweigh its negatives.

People worldwide are telecommuting for various size companies.  For the employee, this means spending less on gas, no more business casual office attire, and working in a comfortable and quiet workplace. Employees wake up for work and commute just steps away to their home offices. Commuting enables the worker to avoid the stress and dangers of rush hour traffic and reclaim many hours of time that weren’t even being compensated anyway.

When telecommuters are on the clock, you often see that they are “working” but some are shuffling papers in an effort to look busy. This type of busy work and other office distractions lose money for companies across the country. Experienced teleworkers manage their time efficiently and work in a comfortable, distraction-free environment.

There are a variety of other benefits for the employer.  If you run a small business or organization, keep reading to learn how telecommuting can improve the overall efficiency and quality of your company, making it more eco-friendly.

  1. Increased Productivity – Contrary to what many organizations believe, research has shown that telecommuting actually increases productivity among workers. Improved productivity leads to more efficient operations which allows you to be more environmentally friendly.
  2. Higher Retention Rates – Finding and recruiting quality staff is time consuming. With telecommuting, your employees are satisfied and are more likely to stay with your company long-term. Again, studies show that employees who are allowed to work remotely, are happier than those who aren’t. This level of employee happiness can save you a significant amount of money in the long-run by reducing costly employee turnover.
  3. Competitive Edge – Due to the difficult process of recruiting, organizations need an edge over the competition in order to hire and keep exceptional talent. That’s exactly what telecommuting offers.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness – Believe it or not, employees aren’t the only people who see telecommuting as a benefit financially. Employers reduce costs associated with the office itself–the size of the office, the furniture, the electricity used, the cost of heating, cooling the office space and other overhead costs.

In conclusion, employers should begin exploring telecommuting for their work environment as an option.  You can embrace cloud-based productivity and collaboration platforms such as Google Docs, Office 365 and Dropbox, and even online tools like Skype and Facebook that enable communication.


8 Rules To Make Telecommuting Work

Far too often, we hear about the negatives of telecommuting but there are many more positives. If implemented and managed properly, telecommuting could be beneficial for the employer and employee. Statistics show that nearly half of U.S.-based companies currently have employees who telework, or work from outside the office. When companies offer the option to work virtually, managers are concerned about actual time spent on the clock and productivity level. There are many tools and information readily available that can prepare companies. Understanding when and how to use the essential tools, you too can make telecommuting work for your company. Please read more.

Virtual Human Resources

A virtual organization is a network of organizations that make it possible to be flexible with various resources and is created to meet the dynamics of the market. It consists of individuals working out of physically dispersed work places, or even individuals working out of mobile devices and not tied to any particular workplace. If we look at the distinction between a traditional organization and virtual organization, we know that every organization requires a team to carry out its activities. The driving force is the virtual team where members interact primarily through some combination of electronic communication systems. The need for virtual teams is increasing, particularly in global organizations. However, virtual teams cannot work successfully without personalized trust relationships with Human Resources Management. These relationships are normally established through face-to-face interaction and socialization. In a virtual environment, it is important that Human Resources establish criteria when hiring the virtual staff. In addition, they must create activities that will help them get to know the virtual teams. A white paper by InterCall does a great job of outlining trends and insights on hiring. Please read more

What this CEO learned going virtual

Do you have plans to take your company virtual in the near future? One of the many benefits of going virtual, is the ability to recruit the best workers no matter where they live. Companies are not limited by candidates who live or will move to a specific city. Cost is also a factor. Virtual companies can save money by leasing smaller offices or foregoing an office entirely. Additionally, companies can save on salaries by basing their pay on the lower costs where remote employees live. Of course, telecommuting is not a new idea. Companies of all industries and sizes have endorsed working from home to a certain extent. In the article from CNBC, a CEO talks about their experience going virtual. Please read more