Times they are certainly a-changing, and our working environment is pivoting in a not so novel direction. The premise behind virtual work may not be anything new, but these workers now have a plethora of tools at their disposal to make the job so much more inner-connective than the home-based workers of yore.
Our ancestors worked from home; whether it be a doctor or blacksmith, it wasn’t uncommon for the home and business to be synonymous. The Industrial Revolution flipped the script and created the commuter worker. Today, the power of technology, automation, necessity, and fact that many people don’t just wear a single hat are all facets that have caused the work environment to come full circle back to the home. Welcome to the virtual age of business.
I’ve been successful beyond my wildest dreams, but my transition from a traditional business model to a virtual model was a difficult decision. In fact, one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made as an entrepreneur was on whether or not to bring my business virtual. I decided it was the right move, and it has paid off. So, is it right for you, too?
Virtual is a powerful movement that’s become an asset, even financial savior, to many who either are unable, unwilling, or unsatisfied in what’s become the traditional 9am-5pm daily grind. But, as with any option, it’s not all positives. There’s some potential negatives and a lot of unexpected that you should be prepared to face.
The Good, The Bad, & The Unexpected Of Virtual
The Good …
Given the current constraints of business operations during the pandemic, virtual has offered many businesses a safe and efficient way to keep serving their clients without pause. Here are a few benefits to consider:
• More availability for family bonding time and responsibilities.
• Ability to be multi-focal and receptive to business communications across professional, social, and other platforms.
• Expands the diameter of your business’s reach, opportunities, and communicative endeavors.
• Leads to innovative thinking and applications.
• Fuses home improvement projects to be multifunctional and beneficial.
• Connect with clients on an immediate, interactive, and convenient communication channel.
The Bad …
While virtual work itself offers all the above benefits, the situational circumstances can create some negatives. After all, so many lives have been adversely affected by COVID, and the loss of life and magnitude of sickness can be a heavy burden. Of course, many businesses, such as hair salons, simply aren’t able to do their work virtually. Some more potential negatives include:
• Those unable to work virtually or on-site have suffered job and income loss.
• Home confinement can be mentally, physically, and socially taxing, which elevates the risk of illness and burnout.
• Possibly losing the element of personal touch that an in-person experience creates.
The Unexpected …
Few were prepared for the immediacy and gravity of COVID and it’s impact on business operations.
Whether small or large, businesses of all industries and niches have been suddenly struck with the demand to do business in a way completely foreign to their normal operations. They’ve had to learn how to utilize and leverage the virtual world as a huge, if not entire, part of their strategy. Of course, this was in the face of extreme reactions from many officials and some of the public.
What We’ve Learned
Enlightenment. Through the good, bad, and unexpected, we’ve learned so much about ourselves and our businesses.
We’ve learned that innovation is the daughter of necessity. Walls and ceilings that we assumed immovable turned out to be quite simple to simply push aside. What we think we CAN do isn’t necessarily what we are actually CAPABLE of doing.
We answered nature’s challenge, and we are succeeding thanks to assets like online educational courses and professional resources. Together as a virtual community, we are rethinking the service element of business, and it’s helping businesses across the country to thrive, not just keep afloat.
Is Virtual The Right Move For Your Business?
Look at the good, bad, and unexpected to answer the question for your business. In most cases, you’ll likely find that the good overwhelmingly shadows the bad and offers a way to actively grow.
Going virtual ended up being one of the best business moves I’ve ever made. Prior to going virtual, I didn’t even realize that my front door was only slightly ajar to my global audience and that I was leaving countless collaborative and partnering opportunities sitting unanswered at my back door.
So, the real question isn’t if you’re ready to go virtual, it’s what in the world are you waiting for to cease the moment?