Benefits of Remote Working from an All-Virtual PR Agency
Covid-19 sent the business world into a frenzy as employees in numerous industries were required to work from home, many of them for the first time ever. According to Gartner, 88% of organizations encouraged or required their employees to work remotely during the pandemic. Importantly, Gartner anticipates that about 25-30% of the workforce will continue to work remotely multiple days a week in the coming months or years, due in part to a decreased fear of productivity loss as well as the obvious benefit of cost-savings. Twitter, Facebook and Apple have already announced they will allow employees to work from home permanently.
But initially, many people struggled with adjusting to remote work. Using Zoom and other remote working apps on a daily rather than occasional basis felt unnatural. Some workers had trouble staying focused and productive inside a home office, and many felt disconnected from team members they were used to interacting with face-to-face.
As an all-virtual agency, we have a unique perspective on how to make the remote-working model work well. We see that it benefits our employees, our business and our clients — but it’s not without its challenges. There has to be trust on both sides of the equation. Here are the main benefits of going all-virtual, and a bit of advice for those of you considering adopting this model longer term.
Employees enjoy a better work-life balance. Working from home enables people to spend more time with their families and pets, and create a schedule that better fits their personal needs. For example, fitting in a workout is easier if they can avoid a long commute. If a child needs to be picked up early from school or is home from school because of illness or another reason, they don’t need to rearrange schedules or leave work early. This eases the stress and pressure on employees to manage two aspects of their lives effectively, and can lead to better productivity and morale at work.
Because remote working removes the stress of long commutes and being away from home for extended periods of time, employees may be healthier. They can fit exercise into their schedules more easily, and can incorporate healthier foods into their diets. Finally, they save money on transportation costs and food, and can retain more of the money they earn.
Employers benefit from cost savings and positive employee morale. The virtual model drastically reduces administrative and operational overhead. With employees working at home, less office space is needed, eliminating the high costs of space rental and all the associated expenses: office manager salaries, physical space rental and maintenance, office furniture, office and datacenter equipment, and so on. Some insurance costs are eliminated, as well. By reducing overhead, employers have more money to invest in hiring quality talent.
Providing a flexible work environment may also reduce employee churn. Harvard Business Review surveyed over 1,500 U.S. workers and found that 96% of employees said they need flexibility at work. Giving employees flexible work options creates good will and inspires loyalty, which reduces tunover.
Clients/customers benefit from having access to a happy, healthy, well-paid team of seasoned professionals. The ultimate benefit of a remote-working model falls to the clients or customers of the virtual company. Employees who are well paid and enjoy a good work-life balance approach their work clear-headed and enthusiastic, and eager to make a difference with a job well done. Because employees can work from anywhere, customers have access to the best talent, not just local resources. The cost-savings of a virtual model trickle down to the customers, as well — less overhead for a company providing a product or service means lower prices. In short, when executed well, the virtual model is a winning model for everyone involved.
Ironing Out the Wrinkles
As with any new way of doing business, remote working will challenge businesses that have been accustomed to working in physical locations and having in-person interactions with coworkers on a daily basis:
They’ll need to learn to stay connected, communicate and collaborate effectively from afar.
They may need to implement new technology solutions to enable remote-working processes and functions, or beef up cyber security to protect company and client data.
Employees will need to find ways to reduce distractions that can occur at home, and some may struggle with focusing and staying productive out of an office environment.
These adjustments can take time, and meanwhile, profitability may temporarily wane. In the long run, however, the benefits will outweigh the initial setbacks, and everyone can benefit.
Virtual from Day One
For some businesses, adjusting to working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic created panic and culture shock. For Waters Agency, it was, for the most part, business as usual.
Waters has been a completely virtual agency since its inception in 2017. The all-virtual model frees us from the constraints of a physical location, and makes it possible to bring on board the most talented, experienced professionals, regardless of location. When the pandemic hit, for us there was no need to rethink or adjust how we work with clients or with each other — all the systems for a productive and impactful remote-work setting were already in place for every member of our team. Our virtual agency model also allowed us to expand across the U.S. and overseas swiftly and with ease, so we can serve more clients across the world.
We’ve been virtual since the beginning and, as such, have already ironed out the wrinkles of remote working. And we have systems and processes in place to make the virtual model seamless, secure and productive. Our clients benefit from being supported by a staff of talented professionals who love their jobs and are grateful for the flexibility and good pay they receive. For Waters Agency, the model works — and it works well.
To learn more about how leveraging our services to build brand awareness and reputation for your organization, contact us today.