Jun 28, 2017
A virtual employee is someone employed to work for you but can be located thousands of miles away from you. They are not explicitly a part of the office, but definitely a part of the workforce. The services provided by the employee are realized through the use of communication technology. Harnessed with the improved communicative technology you can now make use of global talent, overcoming the geographical and other accessibility barriers.
A virtual employee is not a freelancer; a freelancer can never be an employee because they don’t work for you full-time or exclusively. A virtual employee on the other hand can work for you remotely and exclusively as a dedicated part of your team without juggling other assignments. A freelancer and virtual employee however, are same in terms of how cheaply they are available to the firms.
Assigning work to virtual employees does not amount to outsourcing of the work. Although it is technically outside the office, but outsourcing technically is to ‘obtain (goods or a service) by contract from an outside supplier’ and virtual employees are not ‘outside the firm’ as a separate entity, they are very much a part of the firm like regular employees, they are just not ‘present’ in the office
However, there lies a drawback in this concept. With the availability of global talent at your fingertip and the option to hire people from all around the world, the local talent may get neglected.