Effective Communication In A Virtual Environment

Communication is essential for a thriving workplace. Virtual organizations need to communicate extensively through email, internet chat and telephone. They must find a way to continuously connect considering there is not the everyday face-to-face contact. It is important that leaders in virtual organizations learn to build trust among them and staff, emphasize team work and encourage open communication.

In addition, there must be an effective and efficient solution to virtual meetings. The Project Management Institute outlines an effective communication approach to overcoming challenges in a virtual environment. Read their article The Virtual Project Manager: Seven Best Practices for Effective Communication.

5 Tips For Virtual Collaboration

Virtual collaboration is the method of collaboration between virtual team members that is carried out via technology-mediated communication. Virtual collaboration follows the same process as collaboration, but the parties involved in virtual collaboration do not physically interact and communicate exclusively through technological channels. Distributed teams use virtual collaboration to simulate the information transfer present in face-to-face meetings, communicating virtually through verbal, visual, written, and digital means. Please read more.

Telecommuting On The Rise

What’s driving these trends? What does the future look like? And, will the rise of telecommuting mean the end of the office? Telecommuting has been on the rise since technology made it possible. Thanks to technology, we’re always connected to work — even when we don’t want to be connected.

The phenomenon appears to be growing. The annual survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management found a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting in 2014 than those offering just about any other new benefit.

As this movement grows, being clear about what we mean by telecommuting is important. What we do know is that telecommuting isn’t limited to one sector of the population. We also know that those who work at home tend to put in longer hours and are often more productive. It works best when a company has developed a plan, including the best technology to use. We also know it can hurt an employee’s promotion chances and that some combination of working at home and in the office seems ideal.

Though not all jobs are compatible with all types of telecommuting, when used properly, telecommuting can be a powerful tool to advance and retain the talent that employers need to stay at the top of their industries.

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

Is This the Year to Make the Leap?

While the number of telecommuters represents only a small percentage of the overall workforce, the trend is clearly on the upswing. If you have dreamed of telecommuting for years, now is the time to get serious about making that transition. The annual survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management found a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting than those offering any other new benefit. With this information on-hand, what are the best industries for telecommuting?

FlexJobs, a job board for those seeking telecommuting, remote or freelance work, just released its annual list of the top 100 companies that are hiring. The jobs run the gamut from senior and mid-level management positions to mid-career non-management posts as well as entry-level opportunities. These jobs exist in several fields including, accounting, consulting, administrative management, sales, information technology, marketing, insurance and healthcare, just to name a few.

If 2016 is the perfect year to become a telecommuter, make the leap!

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.