Virtual internships allow people to perform their jobs from any location that has an Internet connection. With the surge in technology and telecommunications products like TDS Telecom’s managedIP Hosted over recent years, there is less of a need for people to be onsite to do their jobs. The reasons why interns are attracted to this work paradigm are obvious and numerous, but what are the advantages for employers? It turns out that instituting a virtual internship is mutually beneficial. If you’re an employer considering hiring interns to work virtually, consider the following advantages:
Larger talent pool
Given the nature of virtual employment, there is no need for interns to relocate. This greatly expands the talent pool, as geographical constraints can be lifted. Also, given the fact that many college students live on campus and might not have cars, the opportunity to work virtually opens up the door for many more applicants.
Help the environment
By allowing interns to work remotely, companies do their part in promoting a greener world by reducing air pollution and fuel consumption as a result of fewer cars on the road. Greenhouse gas emissions are comprised of harmful toxins such as methane and carbon dioxide, which continue to destroy the environment. The American Consumer states that approximately half of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the use of personal vehicles.
Reduction in overhead
There’s a pretty good chance that people nowadays have all of the necessary tools (i.e. phone, laptop, and internet connection) to accomplish their tasks, which relieves companies from having to purchase the equipment. Couple this with the fact that interns can perform their jobs from their dorm room, apartment, or local coffee shop, and companies can save some serious money!
According to Global Workplace Analytics’ Customer Workplace Savings Calculator, the amount of money that a company can save by allowing employees to work remotely is astounding. The figures below were calculated using more than four dozen default variables based on a synthesis of over 1,000 case studies and research papers on the topic. The table below assumes 50 employees telecommuting five days per week for one year, with gas prices at $4 per gallon.
A plethora of online collaboration tools
It’s understandable that there might be a bit of reluctance to allow interns to work offsite when they haven’t yet proven themselves. Fortunately there are numerous monitoring and collaborative tools that allow teams to be more intertwined, such as Google Hangouts. Trust is an essential part of working virtually, and if the communications between team members can be enhanced by technology, it makes for a much smoother work environment. Other popular communication tools are Skype and ooVoo.
Starting a virtual internship is a win-win situation. Interns are appreciative of the flexibility and employers enjoy many of the aforementioned perks.