Flexible employment vs remote talent Feb 20, 2019
The idea of flexible employment has become an undeniable reality in today’s business world. More than any other type of workforce, the number of flexible workers has increased drastically in the last decade.
To be clear, flexible employment is where your employees are able to work flexible hours, and away from the office – such as at home, at another office or even while on leave. Remote talentis employing or contracting individual workers or teams who are not local and don’t work directly for you – they could be overseas, interstate or even in the next suburb. The employment contract may also be both direct and indirect; the talent might be employed part- or full-time, as an individual freelancer or group of freelancers, or you may contract a company to provide the workers individually or as a team.
In-house staff has been the employment model for so long due more recently to the limits of technology, but also for cultural and historical reasons. Direct employment of local staff continues to be the preferred choice for notable reasons including easier training, simpler communication and better team building. In many countries there are tax and also other incentives for hiring locally and permanently. From a business point of view, flexible work arrangements for your staff are adjustments that can be accommodated not only without hardship to employers, but with improved productivity and efficiencies.
On the downside, recruitment remains a difficult and time-consuming process. According to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of employees will fail within 18 months. This can be particularly detrimental to small and medium businesses. There are also greater overheads; expenses such as rent and utilities can be large upfront and ongoing costs. Further, finding quality talent can be difficult – particularly in businesses requiring very specific skills. Relocation costs can also be substantial if your business requires talent not available in your state or country.
While many companies have adopted flexible employment as a partial and even full mode of employment, many are still only toying with the idea of adopting remote talent – perhaps unsure of how viable and productive it can be.
Companies may have even tried using remote teams but have had a poor experience – it can be hit and miss. Since remote working technology is still relatively new (and under utilised) there also remains limited availability of talent, and a freelancer or remote team may have other clients (and are therefore not concentrating fully on your business).
However remote talent is proven to be both productive and beneficial.
With minimal paperwork required to onboard remote teams and freelancers, they can hit the ground running. The arrangement is obviously ideal for short-term projects with clear deliverables, but is also good when your business needs talent urgently.
There is a low level of commitment for companies hiring freelancers. If the talent is not the right fit, there is no obligation to keep them longer term. Your network of contractors can be refined over a short period of time.
The growing freelance workforce means that you can source an expert from just about any field. Since freelancing professionals are responsible for their own development and upskilling, you can contract talent with the most up-to-date expertise. Using an outsourcing company means that there is someone searching for talent for you.
If you are ready to consider leveraging whole remote teams, there are a host of benefits.
A remote team offers the reliability of an established team working full-time and exclusively for you without the overheads. The processes are more efficient with distributed teams able to work across time zones.
Unlike people working in an office setup whose absence and non-commitment can result in low productivity, virtual talents tend to be more reliable and productive when it comes to task completion.
Another great benefit for companies employing remote workers is that they have a wide scope of top talents from all over the world. You can hire when needed, and contract them for as long required.
In order to achieve all the aforementioned benefits, a few things are required including an accommodative working culture and a high level of transparency between the company and the remote workers.
Of course the right arrangement for business growth is highly variable. Often the best solution is to find the ideal balance between in-house and outsourced staff. Many businesses are tapping into personal and reliable remote teams, working harmoniously with your in-house team.
SBA Business would be happy to discuss the outsourcing possibilities available to you.