In the digital age, virtual employees are now an increasingly common and valuable resource for businesses across a wide range of industries.
But where did the concept of virtual employment come from?
Let's take a closer look at the history of virtual employees.
According to a blog post by Hubstaff, the beginning of virtual work started in the early 1970s, when tech first allowed remote communication.
But it took until the 90s, when email and other online communication tools came along, that virtual employment truly began to take off.
As Hubstaff notes,
"The rise of the internet and the ability to easily communicate with others from anywhere in the world paved the way for virtual employment to become more commonplace."
One of the earliest uses of virtual employees was the virtual call center, starting in the early 2000s.
Virtual call centers made it possible for companies to have customer service reps in different parts of the country, or even different parts of the world.
The difference in wages and labor costs for virtual employees saved companies money on overhead costs while still providing quality customer service to their customers.
Today, virtual employment is more popular than ever before.
According to a blog post by FlexJobs –
"Remote work has grown by 159% since 2005, and now represents 3.4% of the total US workforce."
This growth comes from additional advances in tech, like cloud computing and video conferencing.
Of course, virtual employment isn't without its challenges.
As a blog post by Forbes notes,
"Virtual employees can struggle with isolation, lack of structure, and difficulty separating work from home life."
However, as this same post points out, "There are ways to mitigate these challenges, such as implementing regular check-ins and providing opportunities for virtual employees to connect with their colleagues."
The history of virtual employees is obviously still being written.
We expect even greater innovation and growth for this way of hiring and working.
As Hubstaff notes –
"The future of virtual employment is bright, with a growing number of companies recognizing the benefits of a distributed workforce."
At HireSmart, we're committed to staying at the forefront of this exciting and rapidly evolving field.
By providing our clients access to a wide range of talented virtual employees, we're helping them stay competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing global marketplace.
Whether you're looking for someone to help answer phones, do administrative tasks, help with sales, marketing or accounting support, we can help.
Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help build your virtual dream team.