Getting the Most from Virtual and Remote Teams
“Virtual companies and remote workers are one of the most-underdeveloped assets in business today ”
~ Rebecca Murtagh- Human AI Evangelist & Innovation Coach
Businesses that intentionally built virtual teams or had hybrid teams were not taken seriously, and often excluded from mainstream activity such as small business loans, venture capital, credit lines, awards, etc.
I know this first-hand because in 2001 I founded a digital firm that worked virtually. We were innovating faster than peer companies. Yet, because my team and I worked remotely (which including many sleepless nights), my firm was prohibited from applying for industry events, award competitions, and for some reason considered to be less qualified than other agencies and firms that couldn’t hold a candle to the ground-breaking work we were doing.
My firm went on to win awards and create many “firsts” for clients across the United States, such as:
- The very first long-distance Wifi service for transportation in the world after I read an article about Google providing Wifi on employee transportation between San Francisco and from Google’s Silicon Valley compound.
- We created a complex back-end e-commerce platform and on-demand fulfillment system that automatically burned customer selections onto CD’s from a library of licensed content, as well as the packaging and shipping labels for fulfillment which had never been done. We knew it didn’t exist because when we couldn’t find a system to do it, we created one – all long before AI, machine learning, Pandora, Spotify and iTunes were created and digital integration tools like Zapier existed.
Despite winning awards and all of the amazing work we had done, one local client stated because we did not have a brick-and-mortar office, we were not a real business to him.
That was then, this is now.
Remote companies are not only respected, many are wildly successful.
Successful Fully Remote Companies
Automattic (the company behind WordPress, Vault Press, Cloudup, and others), Buffer, Zapier, Stripe, GitLab, Teamweek, Hotjar, InVision are just a few of the many companies that have learned how to leverage virtual talent to build successful organizations.
How Many People Work Remotely?
The United States leads the world with the highest percentage (66%) of full-time workers employees that work remotely than any other country.
Africa and Australia have a higher percentage of fully remote or hybrid companies than other nations (59% and 60% respectively)
3.9 million Americans worked full time from home or remotely in 2018.
A closer look reveals that in addition to the 30% of full time U.S. virtual workers, 54% of U.S. workers work remotely at least once per month and 48% work remotely at least once per week.
The New Profile of Virtual and Remote Worker May Surprise You
If you think that working remotely means stunting one’s career or earning less, think again.Remote workers earn $100,000 per year 2.2x more often than on-site workers.
Managers and leaders (12%) are now twice as likely to work remotely compared to individual contributors.
The Positive Impact of Virtual Talent on Business . . .
- Employees allowed to work remotely tend to be more satisfied in their job than on-site workers (71% vs 55% respectively.)
- 76% of workers report they would feel more loyal to employers that allowed flexible work.
- 97% of workers report that flexibility would make a huge improvement or positive impact on overall quality of life
- Businesses can save up to $11,000 per employee each year by allowing them to work from home according to Global Workplace Analytics.
Source: Owl Labs, Global Workplace Analytics and World Economic Forum
The Secret to High-Performance Virtual and Remote Team Performance
Performance of remote teams and virtual talent can be frustrating and disappointing unless the right culture is created.
From my many years of experience working with remote teams and virtual talent I believe two key elements must be put in place by leadership.
2 Key Elements of Performance
The two elements I have found to be essential to getting the bests results from remote and virtual talent are:
- Conditions conducive to collaboration.
- Diverse teams.
Do you have a fully-remote company?
Or, does your organization employ virtual talent and teams?
Whether you are new to hiring or managing virtual talent, or independent consultants that work remotely, or whether you’ve been doing it for years, Human AI can be highly effective in elevating the performance of your teams and talent.
Want to unleash the potential in your teams? Explore how Human AI can improve the performance of your team, improve profit and promote sustainable success of your organization.