Virtual work: It’s not going anywhere
Virtual work has become far more prevalent in the past year. Many industries, where contact was deemed unsafe or impossible, were forced to adopt the usage of remote technologies and project management software so the production of vital goods and services could be maintained—at least partially.
What many businesses found was the traditional office environment was not essential to productivity and over the pandemic was found to be a more efficient use of a company’s resources overall.
Digital marketing and digital brands, after the forced economic experiment that was 2020, are embracing the viability of the digital nomad, the employee who has the technology to fully utilize connectivity and fully manifest their abilities without having to be within the walls of an office.
The numbers have it
A study conducted by Stanford University monitored a group of 16,000 employees from a Chinese company. The study found that when employees were working from home, their productivity rose by a significant margin–13 percent.
The same Stanford study found that virtual work led to a fifty percent drop in turn-over. There were fewer distractions, less stress and, overall, employees achieved greater satisfaction levels because they didn’t have to leave the place they found most comfortable—their homes.
Virtual work is increasing in popularity
Virtual work is not a new concept. Rare and specialized talent has worked from around the globe to solve unique problems, a practice that has steadily increased with the sophistication of telecommunications.
A recently updated Gallup Poll found that 33 percent of U.S. workers surveyed are “always” working remotely, 25 percent are “sometimes” working remotely and 42 percent are “never” engaging in remote work.
The study goes on to state that about half of those workers are concerned about their health and safety if they have to return to a traditional office environment and two thirds of them want to continue to work remotely.
Savings by the truckload
A wealth of studies suggest that employees across many different industries view virtual work as their preferred method of productivity, and the math suggests it could save companies a lot of money—literally, tons.
According to a report put out by The Pennyhoarder, U.S. employers could save up to $11,000 per employee annually by implementing virtual work environments just fifty percent of the time. This study, conducted in 2017, found that across the then current remote workforce, those savings added up to $44 billion dollars; if applied to all workers who could and desired to work from home, the savings rose to a colossal $689 billion per year.
Now, considering the current, massive and sudden shift to virtual work, imagine the resources companies could save and use to expand and enhance the quality of life for their employees.
Our new normal, our new reality, is this—video conferencing, project management software and other remote technologies have evolved the workplace, freeing many positions from the constraints of geography, in some cases making the office an entirely virtual environment. As the potential workforce expands due to digital availability, what will agencies look like in our not-so-distant future, with the most diverse candidate pool in history to pull from?
The past year has demonstrated the absolute validity and utility of virtual work. The data shows that many specialized and skilled jobs can be done remotely. This epiphany has resulted in something potentially game changing for U.S. companies—the concept of domestic offshoring—moving positions from traditional office environments, typically in high-cost coastal areas, to a virtual model physically located almost anywhere.
It is a prospect that raises a lot of questions, which we will discuss in the next blog post.
Epic Search Partners is a digital marketing recruitment agency. The past year, in all of its challenges, has shown us that talent exists and can be pulled from across the country, funneled to your companies from the comfort of some very talented people’s living rooms. We can help you tap a growing talent pool and find those leaders and producers who best fit your company culture.