How to Go About Training Virtual Employees
It seems that a workforce that telecommutes rather than coming into a physical office location each day may be the way of the future, and there are many benefits for the forward-thinking company that opts to hire a virtual staff. There’s no doubt about the financial savings that come with such a move. When employees work from home a company can lower the cost of leasing office space, including associated expenses like utilities, insurance, security, and more. But an added bonus is that employees working from home often do so as independent contractors. Some even start their own LLCs or S-Corps. This means that you may not have to offer benefits (like health insurance) in addition to a salary. And although you could pay more in wages for such employees (who have the onus of covering their own taxes, social security, and so on), the expense hits the books differently than your standard payroll, inferring some financial perks when it comes to filing your own business taxes. The only real trouble you might run into when hiring a virtual workforce revolves around providing them with proper training.
Luckily, there are a few options for the company looking to train their workers remotely. If you don’t necessarily want to manage the task on your own, it turns out that you can hire a company that specializes in offering such solutions. Yes, you can hire an outside vendor to train your virtual workforce for you. They can not only take your company policies into account when training remote workers to meet your virtual needs, but they can also teach whatever programs are required to manage your workflow and help you find the software solutions that allow you to interface with and manage employees from afar. Of course, you might not be keen to pay someone else to do this for you, in which case you need to consider how you might handle the training process.
In truth, it’s not that much different from your average employee training program. In fact, it could be a lot easier. For one thing, you might create a set of online tutorials that allow employees to get just the training they need (or expand their repertoire to other areas, should they so choose). These could be textual, audio, or video recordings and the best part is that you only have to create them once. Then you simply post them to an FTP where new employees can access them, or return to view them any time they need a refresher. You might even have quizzes at the end to ensure that all new employees have received and absorbed essential materials. And you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to training them to use software. You could also offer useful courses in time management, prioritization, and self-motivation when working in a non-traditional setting (i.e. at home).
And of course, the virtual space offers you an excellent way to provide your remote employees with ongoing educational opportunities such as upper training online computer training, seminars, and even access to online components of conferences or trade shows. You might balk at the concept of training your workforce in cyberspace, but you’ll find that there’s a lot to love about a process that doesn’t require you to host in a physical space. And the benefits will only multiply over time.
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