In case you haven’t opened your eyes lately, you may be surprised to find that there has been a recent workplace revolution going on. Between changing lifestyles and the immense technology innovation, the age of online work is upon us.
More and more companies are choosing to hire out online work, paying freelancers to take over projects that were once dedicated to in-house, full-time hires. If you haven’t yet opened your eyes to this transition, now is definitely the time. Between the costs of hiring full time people and the growing reluctance of top talent to work in a 9-5 setting, it will soon become the norm to outsource work to virtual freelancers.
More and more businesses are choosing to hire online work. Even large businesses are beginning to get their feet wet in the online work age. Small businesses in particular are mostly manned exclusively with online hires from all over the globe. It is the age of online work – an age where it is common for people to work from home, work the hours they want and make the living they desire.
History of Online Work
Freelancing has been around in some form since the time of sellswords at least. From the 1800s up until about 25 years ago, the term mostly applied to writers and artists. When the internet started to develop, professionals from all different industries began to turn to online work. In the beginning, online work was really only a reality in big cities where reliable internet connections could be found. But today, with internet accessible to nearly everyone, the landscape has changed. Almost anyone can conceivably find work online if they want to.
The online freelancer of today’s world has an arsenal of technology at their fingertips. Between video conferencing capabilities, cloud based file storage and smart phones, it is possible to work from anywhere in the world … without ever stepping into a physical office. As technology continues to improve, this trend will do nothing but continue.
And it isn’t just technology pushing this trend. There are benefits to both the freelancer and the hiring company.
Benefits of Online Work
More and more of the younger generation is valuing work/life balance above all else. This generation doesn’t want to spend hours commuting to work. When they can earn a living through online work, they are adding hours to their day. These are hours that can be spent with family or friends.
Online work also makes people happier because expenses are lower. They do not have to pay for mileage, toll, or wear and tear on a vehicle. They also do not have to maintain a professional wardrobe and accessories.
Benefits to the Business
One of the best benefits for a business that chooses to hire online is being able to source quality talent. Instead of having access to only the competent candidates in the local area, they can access talent from across the globe.
Freelancers who work from home are able to manage their own time and deliver high quality output. They themselves are business owners, responsible for maintaining good reputations to continue getting clients.
By hiring out online work, you will bring together a group with different backgrounds, cultures, and outlooks, which benefits a business immensely when there is a unique problem to solve.
Costs to hire online and maintain these relationships are much lower than with in-house hiring. The average business can save thousands of dollars per hire per year with online work compared to in-office work:
- The number of absences without leave and sick days are greatly reduced.
- Expenses associated with office space are reduced or eliminated.
- You can hire freelancers to work on an “as-needed” basis or a specific number of hours per week.
The Future of Online Work
While “work from home” used to be an elusive term generally reserved for those who were about to lose regular employment, it is now quickly becoming the norm, especially for the millennial generation. As technology continues to improve, more businesses will embrace the idea of online work and reap all of the benefits that remote work brings to the table. Working from home isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
There are now several online hiring platforms that take all of the guesswork out of hiring online. They vet candidates and help businesses find the right fit. These platforms make it easier for both freelancers and businesses looking to outsource. It is truly a win-win situation.
How We Need to Adapt to Online Work
When it comes to being a part of a remote workforce or hiring online, not everything is equal. While there are many strategic benefits to virtual hires, everyone has to adjust accordingly.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. This cannot be stressed enough. The caveat to working online is that everyone misses out on 70% of nonverbal communication – facial expressions, voice tones, and eye contact. Communicating the smallest things are a must when working from opposite sides of the world in different time zones, cultures and languages. This is why virtual companies use everything from email, Slack, Skype, and Whatsapp to keep in regular contact in an informal manner. It allows everyone to have some of the nonverbal communication and connect with each other in a more natural way so that not as much gets lost in translation.
As we turn to more and more virtual work, trust is another factor that cannot be underestimated. Business owners won’t be able to run across the hall to check in on hires. They may even be working while you sleep. The absence of trust will crush a virtual setup. Freelancers need to be able to trust the rest of the people working on a project, as well as the client. Trust in both directions will be extremely important as the age of online work progresses.
Virtual hires need a company culture, too. In fact, culture is more helpful for online work than it is for in-house hires. Because freelancers are likely spread across different cities and even countries, everyone must share similar values and work ethic if they are to be successful. Culture must be exhibited by both business owners and every single hire.
The age of online work is upon us. If you haven’t noticed, it is becoming far more normal now than it was even a year or two ago. With the technology advancements that are popping up each and every day along with the desire to have more control over work/life balance and work hours, this trend is going to do nothing but increase over the foreseeable future. If you have not yet embraced the idea of either working from home or hiring virtual assistants to help grow your business, now is the perfect time. It has never been easier or more accessible to find, interview and hire the top talent from across the world.
If you are ready to jump on the bandwagon and hire out online work, head on over and create an account at FreeeUp today. The process is easy and the freelancers are top-notch.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.