It will be hard to find someone who hasn’t worked in a virtual environment at some point. Back in 2020, Growmotely conducted a survey and discovered some valuable information about the future of remote work. Amidst the sea of data they uncovered, one statistic stood out: even in the early days of remote work: 61% of respondents said that they preferred a fully remote environment. Flexible work environments are growing more popular, and employers are taking notice.
That does not mean every business will adopt this model as it will not fit as well for all companies. There are a variety of pros and cons to a virtual team environment. Let’s explore some of the benefits and challenges both employers and employees can face in adapting to this path.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Work?
If you are already working virtually, then you can likely identify a long list of the benefits. If you haven’t or have only had a limited time with virtual work, here are a few benefits that both employees and employers can experience.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Many employees have a long commute to their jobs, and employers rent large and expensive office spaces. An immediate positive impact of remote work is that employees no longer have to spend money on travel costs getting to and from work. Employers can save tens of thousands of dollars by no longer having to pay for a space that is not a necessity for work to get done.
- Increased Productivity: Working virtually is not what directly correlates to increased productivity from a company. Rather the flexibility and freedom of choice can empower a workforce to be more productive.
- More Talented Teams: Piggybacking off of the last bullet point, employers who show that they respect the time and lives of their employees to allow them to work virtually, full- or part-time will attract more qualified applicants to a role.
Along with the benefits listed above, there are a plethora of tools available to make both the transition and actual virtual work easier. Platforms like Alleo have stepped in to ensure that virtual teams can remain just as effective as in-person ones. Alleo’s digital work hub gathers all of the essential content, combined with live data streams that are put onto an easy-to-use central canvas.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Virtual Organization?
Certain industries will never be able to take full advantage of virtual opportunities, but even the ones that seem like they could benefit can run into some major roadblocks if not implemented correctly.
- Technological Investments: The move to a virtual environment means that teams need a reliable way to communicate and collaborate as they did in the office. These investments can take the form of video conferencing software, laptops for employees, or other home office equipment they could need to complete their tasks. This can become a sizable cost sink that organizations need to consider before going virtual.
- Lack of Culture: Company culture and how cultivating a welcoming and safe environment is paramount has become more of a hot topic in recent years. One noticeable change for teams transitioning to a remote setting is a lack of identity in their company. New hires, especially those who join a remote team, can find it difficult to mesh with their new environment when meeting their team members through a screen.
- Less Structure: Roughly one-third of managers would prefer seeing their teams in-person to ensure everything is on track. This change in structure can cause distrust in both the management and employees of an organization. This is not in reference to those who like to micro-manage teams, but for managers who prefer to have that physical contact to deliver quality end results. Either way, organizations will have to work through these obstacles to keep functional teams.
There are quite a few advantages and disadvantages to having virtual teams, and these lists could run on forever. This leads many individuals to ask, how do you work best in a virtual environment? To avoid obstacles like the ones mentioned above, it is a best practice to meet with leaders within an organization to break down how the transition will work and the expectations for the team. This will limit issues that can arise from a lack of communication.
Alleo: The New Way of Working
Alleo’s innovative technology benefits users and companies through actively engaging all their employees by fostering growth in ideas, opportunities, and innovation. To better understand what Alleo can do for you, contact us today.