Businesses Going to the Cloud: Will the Virtual Workforce be More Common in the Future?

Do you work from an office or at home? Work is dynamic and the responsibility it brings just becomes more complicated by the day. The traditional office space is no longer as ideal for occupancy as it used to be years back. Perhaps this is due in part to the growing mobility of people. Before, you could not accomplish your job responsibility when you weren’t in your office post. But this has become a thing of the past since the introduction of virtual work space.

Last summer, Silicon Valley became a crowded freeway when a tech giant Yahoo decided to drop telecommuting for their employees. Yahoo claims it has a good motive to end it. But while Melissa Mayer head of Yahoo may be making news for her in-office policies (which remains an issue open for argument), the fact is, Yahoo is like a fish reeling upstream on the virtual workforce and telecommuting argument.

Image courtesy of David Joyce via FlickrImage courtesy of David Joyce via Flickr

The Future of Virtual Workforce

Simply put more and more people and companies think they are saving better with virtual workforce. According to Daniel Rob, the VP of Business Development at Binfire, an online project management software, virtual workforces create bigger opportunities of getting more talented people to work for you despite being in different geographic locations, at the best price possible. He also notes that the flexibility of this doesn’t limit work hours to just 8-10 hours a day but to a round the clock operation.

With globalization happening faster than ever and technology rapidly moving at the rate it is, more businesses are looking to get better quality work done quickly, without having to manage in house employees in order to complete the task. The prospective cost savings for your company are just the tip of the iceberg. That a mobile workforce is shaping up to be the next big trend in HR is not a question anymore. The uncertainty on its effects on employees’ productivity however remains high. Here are three important pros and cons to consider before employing the virtual workforce in your organization.


1. Opportunity to be a home-based worker
Working from home makes employees more productive and satisfied. It also lets employees evade a demanding commute. It is so basic to implement such a work from home policy. You just need an internet connection for access to company emails and files from your computer.

2. Lower costs of office space expenses
Sixty percent of allotted office desks are vacant during the normal work as working from alternate locations grows even more popular. As a result many businesses are responding to this occurrence by rationalizing their office spaces. Employers understand that with more employees able to work efficiently from home, the need for a spacious office room is not anymore as immediate.

3. Less time put to waste
You owe Wi-Fi and data plans an awful lot. You can use them to work during waiting periods and falling in line. Smart phones and tablets have made once impractical times of idle time perfect instances to answer emails and make necessary work related calls. These save you the time and energy to feel annoyed from not having the resources to do tasks that you could do during a long waiting game.


1. Inability to set boundaries
You can access your email through so many devices making it feel normal to reply to emails at any time, even when you technically should not be working anymore. By doing so, you fail to form a limit between your work hours and your private time. It makes your work invade your personal space and time. Setting an expectation that you are on call any time of any day can destroy your work-life balance.

2. Poor choice of substitute work settings
Some workers find unrestricted places too noisy for accomplishing tasks. But if your co-workers or team members decide to meet there, it is difficult to refuse. Internet access in public places can also be unsafe, revealing private business information to anybody using the network.

3. Disengaged from organizational culture
Although a virtual workforce is excellent in many aspects it does not compare in terms of building a strong company culture. An office setting creates a way for employees get to know each other and ascertain with organizational culture.

Why Virtual Workforce fits both start-ups and huge businesses
The virtual workforce might be an attractive prospect for both established and startup businesses. While many startup companies feel the need for ‘hands-on approach’, the reality is many startups are broke for both money and ability.

Virtual workers can present a rejoinder to this problem by helping employers bridge the skills gap. Since workers come in from anywhere, employers are no longer hindered by their location. Virtual workers are often cheaper than their flesh-and-blood counterparts.

Established businesses on the other hand have all the resources necessary to put virtual practice into play if they wish to experience a different work environment that offers the same kind of benefits.

There is no right or wrong answer when deciding if you should embrace a mobile workforce. Although weighing the benefits and drawbacks with respect to your business objectives is important when considering putting a virtual workforce into practice. With a growing number of technologies that make it likely, it is definitely a practical option.

By Kimberly Grimms

Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends. She uses the information to create viral and useful content. She mostly addresses young professionals, educating them easy to digest content about business, online marketing, social media management, and even technology.

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