In this article, we here at Interactive Accountants want to take some time to go over some of the pros and cons we have seen when it comes to Virtual versus hybrid or even in-person work. While it is more than likely that you have not heard of some of the strategies we will discuss in this article, it is still our hope that we will bring some new and refreshing ideas to the table for you. Our only goal is to better serve your business needs, because when it comes to accounting for businesses, helping our clients helps us.
Since covid began, we have all become more familiar with all of the complications it can bring into a work environment. The first pro associated with virtual work and/or working from home is that simultaneously employees and employers have access to a bigger network of people to help their business. While some people love working from home in a virtual environment, others despise it. For example, many people find that virtual communication can have a less lasting impact on those involved, not necessarily in a work context but in an educational context. That being said, let's dive into some of the pros and cons of virtual work.
Assuming that their business is not some form of either doctor's office or restaurant where it's either in-person work or not at all, virtual work makes the world a little bit smaller in a good way, and it gives everybody access to more people. Another positive that many business owners love about virtual work is that, in general, it does come with lower operational costs. Most of the time, if work is being conducted virtually, expenses such as electricity, technology and Wi-Fi are more often than not paid for by each employee because they have private access from their residence. There is also currently the added benefit that virtual work provides, which is that currently gas is very expensive, and removing the need to be in the office physically saves everybody some money. Here at Interactive Accountants, we have found that virtual work is just as effective for most of our business needs. It allows our employees to work in environments that are either more comfortable for them or more convenient because life is complicated. We like to take any chance we can to make things a little easier.
Some negatives associated with virtual work usually center around either inconsistencies or communication issues in general. Once again, I'm sure almost everyone reading this has at least at one point been in a zoom or virtual meeting of some type where the internet connection was laggy and made things run twice as long as they should have. Sitting at a loading screen while you know you're supposed to be engaging with your colleagues can be a bit awkward. When it comes to the negative, the inconsistency is a virtual work. This can be divided into two parts, primarily the time inconsistency and operation timeline inconsistencies. What we mean by this is that firstly when a business is operating 100% virtual, there is little to no need to “clock” in at a set time every day. While this does create much flexibility in certain businesses and industries, it can create issues where a lack of consistency can potentially create issues down the line. When it comes to operation timelines, we are referring to the amount of time it takes people to get things done. This can vary in a virtual environment because you can run into technical issues very easily.When these issues happen, it can create situations where employees fall victim to what is commonly known as zoom fatigue. If people are not getting enough stimulation in their day from different environments, it can negatively impact employees' mental health, negatively impacting their work and lives.
Switching gears now to either hybrid or in-person work, there are many pros and cons to this decision. Starting with the pros, if you work in a business where you know that getting people in the building will make things run smoother, instantaneous in-person communication is an invaluable tool. Another Pro of hybrid and/or in-person work is that it allows people to get out of the house now and then. Some people may underestimate the impacts that Cabin Fever can have on an individual, but as we have all seen from when the pandemic first began, people like to go outside. One major pro to working on a hybrid or in-person basis is that there is usually a lack of distractions. When people have an environment exclusively dedicated to their work, it is easier to compartmentalize mentally and physically. It is easier to get the work done without hypothetically having your kids screaming in your ear because they're home for the summer and you're working online.
Considering that, there are still some cons to hybrid/in-person work. The first and arguably most obvious one is that we are still currently in a time where covid is still a concern. We have seen that variants can pop up quickly and spread quickly, and going to work in person creates the perfect opportunity for germs to spread. Another con discussed in this article differently is the difficulty of getting to and from work. Each business and person's circumstances are different; for some, work may be right around the corner. For others, work could be a half-hour to an hour commute with traffic, which is an expense for both employer and employee. Another con is the confusion that a hybrid schedule can bring with alternating days in person or online. We can speak from experience of inconsistent schedules for example, in the office Tuesday one week, out of the office Tuesday the next week, and so on. It is easy to have people make a mistake and forget that today is an in-person day versus a virtual day.
As you can probably see by now, accounting for virtual or hybrid work methods each has their own set of positives and negatives. We like to emphasize at Interactive Accountants that each situation is unique constantly, and no two businesses or people will have a one-size-fits-all solution. As you'll see below, we love to engage with our clients, old and new, on how best to create strategies that will help them.
Individually we would love to consult with you and your business to help create an effective business strategy to help you assess the pros and cons that virtual or hybrid scheduling would bring you. Here at Interactive Accountants, assisting businesses to grow and succeed financially is our number one goal. We are here to help because the better you do, the better we all do! If you're still not convinced yet to give us a call, feel free to look at our other blogs regarding the help we offer various businesses and offices. Beyond the information we have presented in this article, we also focus on accounting for law firms, accounting for medical professionals, accounting for ecommerce and accounting for amazon dsp's.
If you are a professional in any field that these tips apply to or are simply curious about a topic touched upon in this article, please feel free to schedule a free consultation here with our owner Matthew Shiebler, CPA. He's been practicing accounting for over 25 years now and is a business owner, just like you!