By Jennifer Olsen
Why does Resourceful HR have a virtual work environment? This is a question I am often asked, and like most complex choices, there isn’t one answer. At Resourceful HR, we discuss and weigh the factors that influence the best interest of our clients and internal team on an ongoing basis to ensure we are creating the best experience we can for our clients and for each other. For us, having a virtual company environment makes sense – financially for our clients, for our families at home, and for our professional development in an evolving global marketplace.
Here are three reasons why Resourceful HR chooses a virtual workplace:
Reason 1: Virtual work supports effective time management.
Traffic is an obvious factor to consider in our decision to stay virtual but for deeper reasons than just the number of cars on the road. The two regions we currently support are two of the highest growth areas in the US – the Puget Sound and San Francisco Bay Area. We hear a lot in the national news about the growth of the Bay Area and according to the latest Census, Seattle is the 4th fastest growing city in the US (link to http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/us-census-seattle-now-fourth-among-50-biggest-us-cities/). In both areas, traffic is a nightmare. Every hour that we sit in traffic, unable to help our clients or be with our families, has a tremendous opportunity cost.
Reason 2: Virtual work creates financial benefits for clients and employees.
The cost of physical office space also affects our decision to stay virtual. When you have an office, you have the opportunity cost of traffic and the hard cost of rent or a mortgage. Typically, these expenses are passed on to the customer in the pricing model or are included in decisions about employee pay, neither of which add positively to our clients’ experience or ours. As a business focused on creating healthy work environments we want to consider the health of our client and employee finances in every decision. We hire the best talent possible and use the money we would spend on renting an office to purchase tools to help our employees deliver on client goals.
Reason 3: Virtual work allows us to understand and serve as advisors about global workforce trends.
Many of our clients have multi-state or global teams who interact virtually. More and more of the world seems to be going this way, at least in many of the industries we work in. They are actively determining which parts of their business should be centralized and how to build a cohesive, positive team culture within a virtual space. As a trusted HR and recruiting advisor to them, we want to simulate some of their experience. No one wants a consultant advising them who hasn’t actually tried the advice themselves. As such, our team works to develop service offerings that make sense for our environment and we regularly discuss internal processes that bring our team together. We have quarterly virtual team meetings and happy hours, daily status updates, frequent instant messaging and “don’t bug me” alerts when we need to really concentrate. We have fun thinking up ways to keep us connected and how to use our time most effectively in benefit to our clients. For outsourced HR clients that require onsite support, we’re able to meet those needs without being tied to desks in a Resourceful HR office.
Many naysayers say that a virtual workplace is great in theory, but that we won’t be able to keep this up as Resourceful HR continues to grow. These naysayers don’t know us. They don’t know how committed, creative and courageous we are when it comes to tackling big challenges that are in the best interest of our clients and our families. After all, we are an HR company. If we can’t figure it out, how can we expect others to?
What factors do you consider as you ponder the possibilities for going virtual?