The idea of hiring Virtual Assistants (VAs) or remote support professionals was, until relatively recently, an uncertain territory, with most companies preferring their staff to be on-site and physically present day in day out. However, with the many technological advancements and changes in business landscape, the concept of hiring a remote VA over an in-house employee is becoming more of a viable option. Furthermore, due to the global situation brought on by Covid-19, businesses have had to change the way in which they operate and how their staff work. We predict that many companies will continue to operate in this way long after Covid-19 has been beaten, resulting in more companies looking to hire remote staff where possible. However, if you are still uncertain, below are some reasons why it makes sense for many organisations to opt for a remote VA or business support professional over a physical in-house employee.
Increased Employee And Employer Benefits – In a recent study it was found that full-time remote or virtual workers stated that they were happier in their job 22% more than people who never work remotely. The reasons respondents gave for why they chose to work remotely full-time was due to better work-life balance (91%), less stress (78%) and the ability to avoid a commute (78%). However, as well as remote working benefiting the employee, it will also go a long way in benefiting the employer and business as well. A further study into remote working found that 80% of remote employees reported higher morale and 69% reported lower absenteeism. Employees who are happier, less stressed and less likely to call in sick results in increased work ethic and engagement, less hours lost due to illness and a decrease in staff turnover.
Increased Productivity – Workers are finding it harder than ever to be productive in a normal office environment, due to a number of different workplace distractions. In a two year study conducted by Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom, an astounding productivity boost among remote workers was recorded, with them more likely to work a true full-shift, compared to non-remote employees who were late due to commuting, or cut their work day short by leaving the office early for various reasons. Remote workers also found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home which led to a drive in employee efficiency and productivity. Finally, a further study by Owl Labs found that remote workers are also prepared to work longer hours, with figures suggesting that remote employees work over 40 hours per week, 43% more than their on-site counter parts, again resulting in an increase in productivity for the business.
Bigger Candidate Pool – Hiring a VA over an in-house employee can also help to expand the talent pool. The beauty of hiring a remote employee is that you are not restricted by geography, and businesses or employers can find talent across the country. This can be a huge benefit for businesses in smaller towns or those companies who are harder to reach by public transport, where the local talent pool might not only be lacking but previously exhausted. Furthermore, companies who require VAs or remote business support professionals with specialised skills or experience are more likely to find the right person for the job by casting a wider net. For example, a business may struggle to find a VA with a background in social media management, excellent Excel skills and experience of organising large-scale events if they only look for candidates within a 20 mile radius of their base. However, bringing on-board a VA or remote business support professional will make finding this type of skill set a lot more achievable.
Lower Operational Costs – Keeping operational costs to a minimum is always at the top of the every businesses’ agenda. Hiring VAs or remote business support professionals will, in the long term, save you money irrespective of the size of your team. For example, if you are a large business who employs several business support staff, then you will save money even if you only reduce some of the office space by hiring remote staff to undertake these roles. Less staff in the office means a smaller office space, resulting in cheaper rent and less money spent on utility bills, office supplies, snacks, repairs and more! Furthermore, if you are a small company who are all able to work from home, then hiring a VA means you don’t necessarily need to have an office at all. It is a win win situation whether you are a company of 1,000 or a company of 10!