In 2017, only 2% of full-time staff worked remotely – but surveys project that by 2027, 50% of work in the United States will be completely remote. This led Forbes to poignantly ask the question, “Are We Ready For A Workforce That is 50% Freelance?“, but while they cite great statistics on this emerging trend, to truly answer the question you need to ask someone in the trenches, working with virtual assistants on a daily basis. You don’t want to get left behind, do you? Watch the highlights as they discuss why you should gear-up and prepare for the next wave of the future.
Meet Liam Martin: the Co-Founder of Time Doctor – a next-generation time-tracking software for virtual companies. His inspiration for developing it was his own experience working with remote & virtual staff, and it should be no surprise that he’s structured Time Doctor as a virtual firm also – with over a hundred virtual staff in locations across the globe.
You can implement Liam’s vision for virtual staffing in your own business when you hire a a MyOutDesk Virtual Assistant. Schedule a Double My Business Strategy Session today and find out how!
A Distributed Model is The Best Way to Go
Liam Martin says that Time Doctor has about 100 remote employees from 32 different countries and says that they believe it is truly the best way to work. Future projections aside, Martin’s example is based on real-world experience being successfully implemented in his firm on a daily basis – and its the harbinger of a fundamental shift in labor not seen since the industrial revolution that completely re-imagines our view of the workplace.
In Martin’s view, modern business is fundamentally moving towards a paradigm shift in how work is done, he believes that ultimately this will lead to a more sustainable corporate model that leverages the global economy to reduce costs, increase productivity, and ultimately assist staff in finding their optimal roles, regardless of location.
Remote Workers Save Businesses More Money
The transition from on-site to virtual staffing will take some adjustment. It’s likely that you’re at least a little bit attached to running an office and having all your staff physically present every day – and virtualizing those staff may lead to some initial anxiety. However, the cost-reduction & increase in productivity from virtualization will help assuage that anxiety, along with increasing your revenue and helping you become more productive in today’s marketplace.
Outsourcing to virtual staff costs less that in-house employees, but it’s not the only benefit to going virtual. Most large scale studies show that remote workers are 20% more efficient, regardless of wages than those working in an office and more importantly, retention is 30% higher. This is a massive deal because every time you replace someone within your company, it costs you up to $36,000 in combined hiring, screening, and training expenses. The increase in retention alone with virtual staff is a major cost-saver.
How to Transition
When you’re ready to begin seriously thinking about virtual assistant services, try to work from the premise that your team or staff is 10,000 miles away. Set-up your systems and processes in such a way that it works regardless of the location of your employee. This way, whether you are hiring in-house or virtual won’t make a difference.
A “virtual first” approach to business processes can be beneficial in a number of ways. Keep in mind that “remote” staff don’t necessarily have to be overseas, so virtualizing your business process is also an excellent way to bolster communication & boost productivity between in-house employees working in geographically separate locations.
In a real estate broker, for instance, having all your data stored in a cloud-based CRM allows staff in various branch offices quickly & easily find, update, and share data on leads, listings, sales & the status of deals in the pipeline – and also provides that data in real-time to sales agents working in the field. On top of that, it opens the door to hiring a real estate virtual assistant who may be located overseas who can then access, update & share that information just as easily as staff in the USA can. Virtualization of business processes is a win-win for everyone!
Moving from Entrepreneur to Executive
One of the more challenging issues for many business owners & entrepreneurs isn’t virtualization itself, but the psychological barrier to “letting things go” and delegating tasks to subordinates. Delegation isn’t easy to accept at first, because it leads to anxiety about quality & timeliness – but try not to let your emotions interfere with delegation, and realize that it’s a necessary & important step in business growth.
Remember, delegation in itself is a job role – you’re moving from “solo-preneur” to “manager”, and it’s a completely normal transition in role as your business grows. The amount of work you need to delegate is in many ways a measure of your success – and also an indicator that you need to shift your focus from yourself to fostering people to help you build your business with you.
Measure your priorities – do you want to feel good about yourself, or do you want your business to grow? Figure out which tasks to delegate by pinpointing your biggest “time suckers” each day, and identifying the dollar productive activities that you really need to focus your time on. Once you have a list, figure out which ones only you can do, which ones can be digitized or automated and which ones you can delegate to a virtual assistant.
So – are we ready for a workforce that is 50% freelance? The answer to that is a resounding “Yes”, and in order to remain competitive it’s worth taking steps now to virtualize processes & delegate tasks in order to be ready for a transition to a world in which location is not directly tied to job role. Schedule a Double My Business Strategy Session today and learn how to achieve virtualization in your own business!