The Pros and Cons of Having a Virtual Workforce
Technology has made many amazing things possible. With the incredible speed and robustness of internet communications, we now have the ability to work with teams remotely, making the internet itself our workplace. We can bring people from all over the world together in virtual offices to form a virtual workforce. This is especially appealing to work at home moms who have precious little time in their days for work, but there are naturally pros and cons to this kind of work.
Having a virtual workforce allows you to cut costs significantly in ways that were never before possible. Before the days of high speed communications, there was no other way to work besides getting entire teams together in one place every day. This brings up the need for office space, office equipment, and many other things that turn into a tremendous expense. Operating with a virtual workforce cuts costs significantly, due in majority to the fact that each worker provides his or her own office space and equipment.
Leading a virtual workforce also gives you the option of selecting team members from all over the world. In the past, the pool of possible workers was limited largely by geographic constraints. You couldn’t find applicants from other areas because you simply couldn’t reach out to them. When gathering team members for a virtual workforce, there are no boundaries; you can find the best of the best from any state, city, town, or country.
Scheduling can be a big problem with managing a standard workforce, but in the virtual realm flexibility becomes a much more viable option. If an employee would like to take some time off today and catch up on their work tomorrow, this can be arranged quite easily. This is beneficial to both employees and managers.
Of course, there are downsides to having a virtual workforce as well. Virtual workforces often span multiple time zones, which can lead to certain peculiar difficulties. It may be harder to keep track of hours and establish deadlines when everyone is working on a different clock. Also, if things like video-conferences should ever become necessary, finding a time that works for everyone can be very tricky. These are important things to consider.
You may never actually meet your employees face to face, and there are multiple downsides to this aspect of the virtual workforce. This makes it more difficult to socialize, for one, which often leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation for those working from home. A more serious side of this problem is that it makes it more difficult for employees to hide things, and more difficult for you to hold them accountable. Online services like MidwestHR.com may be able to help you find reliable employees, but managing them is all up to you.
Just like any other working arrangement, managing a virtual workforce naturally has its ups and downs. What’s important for working moms like you is to understand the realities of virtual workforces and be prepared to handle both the good and bad that come with the territory.
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