More businesses hiring remote and virtual workers

According to a report announced today, there’s a 68 percent increase in the number of UK businesses hiring remote workers in the last 12 months.

The small business review, which quizzed more than 45,000 businesses in the UK, found that 71 percent of respondents cited flexibility and cost savings for employing non-office based staff. Businesses claim they are saving 23 percent of staff costs due to this shift.

The review found that the move to remote workers is not a temporary fad caused by the recession and rising costs, with almost 70 percent of businesses saying they definitely plan to continue using freelancers in the next year.

Almost half of the businesses revealed that the lasting benefit to their business of the recession is learning how to harness technology and the web to work more efficiently and cut costs.

An astonishing 91 percent of business respondents reported that the quality of work done by remote workers is as good or better than full-time staff.

There figures show that businesses that were forced to recruit remote workers to save costs due to the recession and rising prices, have found that the benefits are so appealing that they plan to continue to use freelancers from now on.

UK businesses have found that the quality of work of freelance consultants working remotely is as good if not better than office-based staff as the financial incentives to do a better, quicker job are clearer. Not only that, but businesses have found the taking advantage of new technology, such as the internet and cloud working, means they work more efficiently.

As a result of these changes, productivity of British business is increasing, quality of work is improving and the long-lasting effects will be a virtual work revolution.

Xenios Thrasyvoulou is a passionate entrepreneur who started his first businesses at 23 years of age fresh out of university offering personal assistance (PA) or concierge services to businesses and time-starved individuals on a ‘per hour basis’. In early 2007, three years later, he started PeoplePerHour.com, essentially a new-generation, online version of the above, allowing ‘virtual assistants’ to register on the site and offer their services directly to businesses who put projects up for tender. Xenios is a graduate of Cambridge University with MA/MEng where he was awarded a mark of Distinction for his Masters dissertation. He has attended multiple executive education programmes at Harvard Business School. He is also a noted speaker on entrepreneurship in numerous forums, events and business schools, including INSEAD business school.

  • Barca

    “…the move to remote workers is not a temporary fad caused
    by the recession and rising costs, with almost 70 percent of businesses saying they definitely plan to continue using freelancers in the next year.”

    I agree with you. Telecommuting is definitely on the rise, especially with the recession that made businesses more concerned of their own
    survival. If hiring remote workers will help them save much as 20% of staff and overhead costs, they will take the shift.

    Three or fours years from now, majority of the businesses will have telecommuting programs to accommodate about 40% of the workforce. So
    ASAP, businesses should get their policies ready for the inevitability of
    telecommuting.

    Thanks for the interesting read, it made me think of many things. As for the managers out there, here’s a slideshow if you ever find managing remote employees difficult:
    http://www.slideshare.net/cloydwaldo/preparing-your-business-for-telecommuting