Flexibility vs remote talent Aug 12, 2019
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.
But the number of flexible workers has increased drastically in the last decade, making it an undeniable reality.
The difference between remote and flexible
Flexible employment is where your employees are able to work away from the office – such as at home, at another office or even while on leave – and/or with flexible hours.
Remote talent is employing or contracting workers who are not local (they could be overseas, interstate or even in the next suburb) and don’t work directly for you. The employment contract may 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.
Direct employment is still important
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.
Companies are still hesitant about remote workforces
While many companies have adopted flexible employment even partially, many are still only toying with the idea of adopting remote talent – perhaps unsure of how viable and productive it can be. If this is you, our article on how to start outsourcing can be found here.
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 there is still limited availability of talent, and a freelancer or remote team may have other clients (and are therefore not concentrating fully on your business).
Why move towards the partial remote work model?
Nevertheless, remote talent has been proven to be both productive and beneficial. Yet recruitment remains a difficult and time-consuming process, particularly detrimental to small businesses. According to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of employees will fail within 18 months. 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 currently available in your state or country. There are also greater overheads; expenses such as rent and utilities can be large upfront and ongoing costs.
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.
With minimal paperwork required for on-boarding 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.
Freelancing professionals and services providers 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, and the growing remote workforce means that you can source an expert from just about any field.
The benefits of a remote workforce
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 these 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 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.
How SBA can help set up a remote working team
SBA Legal Solutions (SLS) would be happy to discuss the outsourcing possibilities available to you. We provide Australian-trained legal professionals based in Melbourne. Our sister company SBA Legal Process Outsourcing offers an onshore and/or offshore outsourcing services for all processes required by both in-house legal departments and legal firms.