The majority of Entrepreneurs work more than 40 hours per week and are available, or in the office, virtually 24/7. This is not to point out that being a ‘work-a-holic’ often goes along with the job description for most successful business owners, but being available whenever the need dictates has become a more productive way of accomplishing more goals in a given day, week, or year. This ability is sometimes directly related to conducting international deals as it relates to the time difference of “normal business hours”, yet even those that primarily do business locally utilize these zealous productive traits. Of course none of this would be possible without the progression of technology which now fully and reliably supports a 24/7 work schedule, and since technology has yet to master being able to allow us to be two places at the same time (TuPac and Michael Jackson aside) working with virtual tools is not just a convenience, but a necessity for success. It’s safe to say that virtual working, is working.
A decade ago working “remotely” was more like “remotely working”, where employers and clients were still hesitant about the freedom, independence and reliability of a company or its employees, today “flex” jobs are much more mainstream and even favored to a business with set hours of operation only. Multi-tasking has been under attack for decades, and like wine, one day its good for you, the next day it’s not, and there’s no avoiding the need for this skill when working virtually. Not everyone can or wants to work remotely or even off-site because of the distractions and lack of supervision, so working virtually does not work for all employees or companies as a whole. Being independent, self-motivated, technically savvy, having prior remote working experience and proven time management capabilities are all specific traits that should be proven prior to a virtual working relationship.
Back in a 2012 article, Forbes noted that the New World of Work emerging was working virtually and they even predicted that by 2016 as many as 63 million Americans will be working virtually, a dramatic rise from the roughly 34 million accounted for in 2010. According to the most recent statistics from Global Workplace Analytics the national “Telework Force” as of September 2013 continued to rise between 4-8% and small businesses to large corporations are catching on. The Global Workplace Analytics website has a wealth of resources relating to the benefits and potential profit boosting strategies, including a Telework Savings Calculator that will tell you just how much in real dollars changing the way we think about work can positively affect our bottom line.
Working virtually doesn’t even mean alone at home, in your pajamas (although its still a nice image to conjure up), in fact those that work remotely often have very busy (if not busier) face-to-face time schedules and they appreciate (often get more out of) that personal interaction a bit more than the average office employee. Balance is the key to effectively juggling all the balls that life throws at you. Managing your working relationships and work time also require a balance of independent working and co-working. Catching on to this trend early, all of the ROC locations offices are designed specifically with the new workplace and “third age of virtual working” in mind.