Author: Chris Swan

Remote work has proven to work well across the world. Now, how can you fully maximize the opportunities of the virtual economy?

The following article explores practical ways your business can optimize virtualization:

Global Pool Talent Means Greater Productivity & Profitability
How many times has a talented executive said 'no' to a job because of its location, or you missed finding the best candidates because they lived out of state or country? Remote work has completely shifted this paradigm. As HR thought-leader John Sullivan noted, "the vast majority of talent remains dispersed around the world." Today and into the future, the global talent pool you and executive recruiters like myself can access is unprecedented.

Indeed, by hiring the best people wherever they live, companies stand to gain substantial increases in productivity, skills, and compensation rates. Organizations that capitalize on the full value of a world-wide talent pool have the opportunity for exponential growth in creativity, diversity, and efficiencies, which will translate into expansion and increased profits.

Closing Offices = Cost Savings & Collaboration
As global futurist Jack Uldrich remarked, "the future does not belong to 'a place.'" Even before Covid, surveys repeatedly showed 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time. Today, over a third would take a pay cut in exchange for the option, according to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics.

Some companies are already eliminating their headquarters, realizing they no longer need a physical location. Enhanced video collaboration tools are making this possible, and as these technologies accelerate, the trend will expand. Likewise, the 9-5 workday seems old-fashioned and unrealistically restrictive. Remarkably, all this change represents just the first generation of remote work. It will continue to evolve, and less rooted in geography as 'place' ceases to matter as much. The new model is lean, flexible, and decentralized.

I already see my clients in the professional services industry, increasing their profits, reducing their real estate costs, and widely adopting virtual meetings as a standard business practice. As companies get more sophisticated in evaluating workforce productivity, they will continue to find virtual collaboration more effective and efficient than in-person interactions.

Virtual-Savvy Leaders Must be Agile, Engaged, and Empathic
What kind of leaders will thrive in the emerging virtual world? The fundamental key for these leaders is seamless integration with their virtual teams. At my firm, TRANSEARCH, we focus on finding culture-builders who are comfortable managing remote professionals. Innovators who find ways to link people and create certainty in uncertain times. The winning leaders of the future will be empathic, engaged with their teams, and skilled at delivering impact on challenging problems. These dynamic leaders will set themselves apart with greater agility, emotional intelligence, and authentic communication.

More Benefits for Businesses and Beyond
Without commuting to an office every day, people and businesses will reduce their collective carbon footprint, which, in addition to being advantageous to the environment, will also make people happier. Communities can focus on healthy lifestyles, safe and nurturing environments, and positive spaces where citizens build stronger relationships.

The pandemic has been terrible, but it has accelerated the virtual economy at lightning speed as nothing else could. We can't go back to the way things were before. All that means is that fascinating possibilities abound. Let's seize the day!

To discuss this article in greater details or opportunities to enhance your global search and organizational development needs, book a virtual chat with me.

About the Author: For 25 years, Chris Swan has built TRANSEARCH into a global executive search leader. Chris is Managing Director and Global Practice Leader for Construction, Design, and the Environment. He has delivered top individuals for CEO, C-Suite, and Board positions. Firms value Chris's advice because of his deep understanding of markets and what it takes to succeed.