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Taking it Virtual: The Benefits of Remote HR Consulting

Taking it Virtual: The Benefits of Remote HR Consulting

Due to the pandemic, many organizations began the move to more virtual operations, which included consulting engagements. With the pandemic mostly behind us, employers continue to revise standards for what their workforce will look like moving forward. Although your workplace may now have resumed in-person or changed to hybrid arrangements, there are still significant benefits to hiring a remote consultant for your HR needs.

The Workplace Shift 

For many organizations, the workplace has shifted from office-centric to a mix of work-from-home and office. According to a study from the University of Chicago, 1 in 3 jobs can be performed from home. This flexibility allows organizations to tap into a worldwide talent pool and repurpose real estate and travel expenses for other investments.

Industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and distribution, continue to be driven through in-person work but have innovated to create greater value through virtual service delivery, expanding access, and enhancing productivity. McKinsey and Company tracks this “virtual first” model in healthcare driving digital provider consultation and achieving significant cost savings. Human Resources consulting is following this trend.

Expanded access to expert advising

Traditionally organizations have engaged HR consultants for on-site collaboration. That is still being done but relies on logistics such as local availability or travel and depends on the talents of one or a few individuals. 

Imagine for a moment being unbound from those limitations. Instead, the array of skills from a whole team of consultants is accessible to you from virtually anywhere, utilizing teleconferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Your options open up to match a greater variety of needs to the right expertise.

Virtual quality without the drive-time

In 2020, necessity forced us to find ways of getting work done without the ability to be in the same room. The initial challenges of virtual work have given way as people have adapted to it. Quality has not suffered from a distance, and business has discovered surprising productivity gains. Indeed states that worker productivity (i.e., non-travel/non-commute) time and energy have improved during the workday without having to commute in rush hour traffic, get on an airplane, or check in and out of hotels.

For your bottom line, virtual consulting means starting the day earlier and getting more work done without a two-way commute-- all with higher engagement.

Savings on travel and expenses

The benefits of greater virtual expertise and higher output come at a reduced price tag. Travel and Expense (T&E) are the add-on costs of on-site consulting, averaging $311 per day in 2022 in the Seattle/King County area, according to the US Government General Services Administration (GSA). GSA is the authority on per diem rates, but their calculations only account for hotel and meals, not mileage, airfare, or spikes in inflation, as we are experiencing in 2023.

Not all on-site consulting engagements require extensive travel, but nevertheless, T&E is a real cost savings in addition to the expanded benefits of virtual consulting. Having a virtual consultant on your projects can be an instant injection of the expertise you want and a budget-saver. 

Get the most out of your virtual consulting

In addition to these top benefits of remote HR consulting, here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your consultant engagement.   

Bringing a consultant on board and maximizing their value takes preparation, high attention to communication, and focus:

  • Be ready to go on Day 1: Have electronic tools and accesses ready to go as you would onboarding a new employee. Email and system access just never seem to get set up fast enough. Your IT department needs lead time to prepare.

  • Schedule regular communication: Create a regular meeting cadence: Weekly check-in meetings are essential for sharing progress, clearing obstacles, and updating priorities. 

  • Avoid work slowdowns: Supply the consultant with a prioritized list of top-tier and second-tier deliverables. Sometimes, a consultant may briefly have available time once goals are complete or awaiting other inputs to move forward. They can shift focus to avoid unproductive slowdowns even when you are unavailable, on leave, or in extensive leadership meetings. 

  • Enhance your virtual management skillset: Eligible Archbright members also have access to tools and resources in mozzo to help them successfully manage remote teams and build a culture of high performance, such as Stay Connected - Managing Virtual Teams, in the Video Training Library and our Remote Work Checklist and Remote Work Keynote in the Resource Library. 

I encourage you to consider virtual consulting as an exciting option to access the expertise you need when you need it, accelerate the productivity of your consulting contracts, and benefit from the cost savings in going virtual. This capability is a transformational shift in the consulting industry and can make an immediate difference in your organization. 

To find out more information and benefits specific to your organization about working with a virtual HR consultant, email info@archbright.com. If you are already an Archbright member, you may reach out to your Account Executive.

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