Virtual employee vs. at the desk employee

When people are asked what they think a virtual employee is they usually imagine a robot that replaces a real person. This is a common misconception. A virtual employee is a  person that differs from a regular employee only because they’re not always physically present in the office. The individual is not required to be office-bound to a specific location.
As an employer, it is important to assess what kind of impact a virtual office environment has on your employees, how this affect the quality of their work/life balance as well as the business? When hiring a full-time virtual employee, you are actually outsourcing the workload to be completed from any place in the world.

You are still able to have full control of what needs to be done. Studies have shown that there’s a positive correlation between a virtual workplace and the effects it has on businesses; it enables greater productivity, higher morale, increased flexibility and may lead to employees working longer hours – all made possible thanks to teleworking.

Companies can choose from a bigger pool of international employees without the restriction of a geographical location and the less time spent travelling to and from work has proven to be beneficial. Companies that take advantage of virtual employees, own the ability to form high performing virtual teams by hiring only the best staff, who are connected through state-of-the-art telecommunication tools.

In this regard, a virtual employee is not only as valuable as a desk-bound employee, but he/she has even more potential of being the better performing employee, especially if considering evolving technology. Allowing your employees to manage their own time, thereby creating a sense of personal and professional freedom, is a big step in the right direction. It raises levels of contentment and improves overall morale. It is however important to hire individuals, who are self-motivated and disciplined to ensure maximum productivity in an unsupervised environment.

Written by International Business Management Intern, Asmeret Woldekidan