20 Nov Remote Work Experience in Your Business
Remote Work Experience in Your Business
The mass COVID-19 remote work experiment has revealed that working from home has several side-effects. One of which has been the sudden lack of opportunity for young people to gain invaluable experience in the workplace.
2020 has seen internships cancelled and work experience on hold, as students and graduates trying to find alternative ways to boost their employability during the lockdown. But in the current climate, with many workforces now working remotely, internships are harder to find.
What is a virtual work experience?
Online, remote or e-experience, virtual work experience gives students and graduates the opportunity to complete an internship from home.
Virtual internships share many similarities with traditional internships but their online nature allows participants to work with organisations across the country, even the globe. They’re particularly relevant in these unprecedented times, as they enable students and graduates to gain invaluable work experience and boost their CV despite lockdown and company restrictions.
What are the benefits of offering remote work experience?
A key benefit of offering remote work experience is flexibility for the employer and the intern. Other benefits include:
- Affordability- remote work experience options are much more affordable and accessible to people as they won’t incur travel costs.
- Accessibility- virtual work experience is open to all, and the location isn’t a defining factor. This means people can access roles that may only have been available to those able to live rent-free in major cities
- Improved skills- with remote working becoming more commonplace, it is useful for interns to experience this before entering full-time work
- Better soft skills- the self-discipline required to WFH will improve skills such as time management and interpersonal communication skills.
What are the downfalls?
Yes, there are some advantages to completing a virtual internship, but it is only fair to acknowledge some of the drawbacks.
The most obvious disadvantage is the lack of face-to-face interaction. Others include:
- No experience in a workplace environment- a large component of work experience is the exposure of different people in different jobs, this may be lacking in a virtual environment.
- A lack of self-discipline – for some young people this could be their first foray in to working outside of education, completing the experience remotely will require them to be disciplined in their home environment in a way they may not have needed before/
- Lack of confidence – because they haven’t met your colleagues in person asking questions and putting themselves forward in meetings may feel a little awkward.
- Communication issues – the quality of their virtual work experience will hinge on how good your organisation is at keeping in touch.
Virtual Internships are particularly relevant in these unprecedented times, as they enable students and graduates to gain invaluable work experience and boost their CV despite lockdown and company restrictions.
Ultimately, you have to make a decision based on what works for you and your business. But it is without a doubt that a young person will gain something from taking part in remote work experience.
Hear more about early careers talent attraction from Hayley Murfitt, Charlotte Steggall and Marc Rothera on our latest webinar: