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Staffing Issues Can Cause Headaches! Thought About Virtual Assistance?

Sickness, annual leave, pensions, national insurance, appraisals, in-fighting – when you come to think of it, are there any upsides to having a permanent staff?!

With employers’ National Insurance standing at around 14% in the UK and all the rules around sickness, parental leave and pensions, employing personnel is time consuming, costly and can be more of a liability than a bonus– especially for a small operation.

Then there’s everything that goes with managing a team of individuals in one location – each with a different attitude and work ethic, personality and goals. It all leads to the dreaded ‘office politics’ which can see your people spending your time and dime trying to score points off each other and enmired in squabbles that have only one predictable outcome – their depressing effect on your bottom line.

Increasingly organisations are turning to the virtual option. A virtual team or virtual office service provides the skills, experience and flexibility you need without any of the long-term commitments. Operating electronically, their entire focus is on the work they are doing for you, without the endless problems and distractions that go with having a geographically-bound group of individuals.

People who work remotely can’t harass each other. They can’t meet at the water cooler and discuss last night’s match for an hour. They can’t leave crumbs and dirty coffee cups all over their desk. They can’t give each other the flu. They can’t turn up late or leave early. They can’t abuse the company credit card or crash the company car.

The entire focus of a virtual team is on delivering the work you have commissioned from them by the deadline you have set and to the standard you expect. And if they don’t, you just move on to someone who will. Because that’s the other great thing about hiring virtual staff – it makes the best talent available to you unrestricted by location. Up until recently companies had to hire within a small geographical sphere or pay top dollar to attract staff from further afield with all the relocation costs and headaches that entails.

Now, the world is your oyster. You might find the skills you’re looking for in Rome or Reijavik, Manchester or Maui. Chances are you might not even know where your virtual employee is based and why would you need to? As long as they keep turning in excellent work on time and to budget it doesn’t really matter if they’re sitting on a balcony with a cocktail at their elbow or snow-bound in a mountain lodge. The communications revolution means they can be just as effective as if they were sitting in cubicles under strip-lighting in your office.

Research shows that virtual teams are more productive and cost less. It also shows that people want to work this way and are increasingly looking for employers who offer it. So, to be an employer of choice in the future – ditch the traditional and embrace the virtual.

Business owner, marketing expert and writer Karen James has always been conscious of answering her calls and as her businesses have grown she has sought guidance from 1stResponse who are experts in their field. When Karen is reassured that her business calls are taken care of, she likes nothing better than long walks with her dogs or weekends by the sea with her grandchildren.

Karen James on Google+