The pros and cons of virtual assignments

July 2022

Considering a virtual assignment? You are not alone. Since the pandemic began virtual assignments are on the rise.. Companies are relying on virtual roles to manage different challenges in their business. Many companies are also relying on new remote hires before employees move and relocate. 

There is a multitude of motivations for taking a virtual assignment. The most popular being the flexibility and that it saves you the hassle of relocating. But is it the right decision for you? We dive into the pros and cons of a virtual assignment to help  you decide if it’s the right option.
A virtual assignment is when an employee works remotely in a location that differs from the country in which their company is located. Usually, this is when an employee remains in their home country and is assigned to a role in another country.  
You are likely to have some form of remote working experience by now. It  may have been a remote interview process or working from home during the pandemic. Although a virtual assignment is  built in the same manner, there are some key aspects to taking a full-time virtual assignment that should be considered before you say yes. 
In a virtual role, at times your contact with your new team members can be limited. This can leave you feeling isolated and detached. The idea of getting to avoid office politics might seem like a benefit. But having a disconnection from your colleagues and company culture can have a bigger effect on your day to day. 
Not all organisations have the tools in place to implement and sustain virtual assignments. While working remotely seems like a very simple hassle-free process. Your host company might not be prepared to manage and organise your payroll correctly. Other factors that can cause complications include employment laws and tax compliance issues. Your own pension plans and healthcare opportunities could also be affected when undertaking a virtual assignment.
Open lines of communication can be challenged in remote positions. If your host company does not have the right tools and communication lines in place this can directly impact how you progress in your role. Adding to any feelings of isolation. 
You might be expected to adjust your work hours to the same time zone as your host company. Working for a considerable amount of time in an unsociable hour can have a toll on your everyday routine. 
Without easy access to your host company's HR and IT team within your own country, you might face a few extra challenges. The inevitable tech issues that come with starting a new job can have further implications when you  don’t have local IT support team to help you out. 
Starting a virtual assignment is much less upheaval than relocating yourself and your family to a new country. You can enjoy your home comforts with most of your regular routine remaining the same. It is really the best of both worlds, having the opportunity without the major life adjustments.
 Maybe your new company is based in a  country that is challenging to get a work visa. Taking a virtual position eliminates the need for this. Giving you a larger choice of companies to choose from. 
If you are required to work during unsociable hours to match up your workdays with your host company, you might be in the position to receive additional compensation for this. So, you might be working late or early in the morning.  If it suits your lifestyle, then maybe it’s the right option for you. 

Without the disruption of moving overseas, you can enjoy the positive benefits of global career opportunities. Gaining some valuable cross-culture training when working on your virtual role. This experience can help advance your career and work on your ability to adapt and grow in new working environments.  


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