Amidst the economic and physical strains of the current pandemic, it is vital for businesses to adopt structural changes. Managers have enough on their plates having to juggle employees whilst transitioning to working from home- so considering remote internship can offer a plethora of benefits and opportunities to businesses. The most obvious appeals of offering remote internships include a larger applicant pool, cost-efficient programs and maximised convenience for all parties. Above all, virtual internships can run after the pandemic restrictions are eased once candidates have adapted to the unique demands of their program. So let’s get into the advantages of virtual or remote internships, from the employer’s stance.
Larger Applicant Pool
A virtual internship will expand your reach to a vast array of candidates across the globe, as their presence in a localised physical office is not necessary. Aside from geographical differences, employers will also be able to connect with candidates who are able to work unpaid without economic complications.
A diverse applicant pool also warrants more diverse ideas which are never bad! To spruce up meetings about the workplace, welcoming people of various backgrounds can offer you better insights to evoke more thorough discussions and intuitive feedback.
In the case that your business cannot support a long internship, a remote program can alleviate the stress of contracting an intern without enough assignments to fulfil throughout their time whilst hired. Remote internships may entail onboarding interns on a per-project basis. This only requires you to conjure ways to involve interns in work assignments as they come, and not have to worry about creating redundant or non-productive work in the time elapsing between projects.
Save on Space and Equipment
This is the primary difference between a remote and an in-person internship, but can easily be played to your advantage. Remote interns won’t be in the office and taking up valuable space for employees, but rather, hypothetically work from home or in their spare time in other external locations. Typically, they will be equipped with their own computer hardware and software and sufficient standard office supplies. Remote internships require at minimum, an internet connection, so can easily be mobilised. This is an effective component of virtual programs which help businesses save on space and money- keeping the workspace from getting too crowded as well as reducing the logistics of delegating office supplies.
Pare Down Wages
Virtual internships require a restructured metric of measuring productivity and hours of work. For paid internships, employers can now save on unproductive hours of work by not being obligated to pay for them. Especially if interns are working in an isolated and lone home office, there will be fewer distractions to interfere with their productivity. Offsite work can hypothetically maximise the content output of remote interns which adds much more value to your business!
The aforementioned point leads onto this following emphasis on the reduction of interruptions in the workspace. Working in a crowded office space will inevitably lead to more social breaks while still being clocked on such as small talk at the printer or interacting with one another in the toilet line- all of which obstructs productivity. In addition, there will be a lot less work for your employees who would typically be responsible for the constant supervision and training of interns. This reduction in workflow interference is very beneficial for your staff.
Flexibility for Candidates
Remote internships can be easily moulded to accommodate the schedules of university students who have other commitments to tend to throughout their week. The inherent flexibility which comes with a virtual program still implies the same amount of work will be completed by any set time because candidates are able to continue working outside of the business’s usual trading hours. By taking into consideration the scheduling convenience for prospective interns, businesses are still enriched by their contributions without any complications. Relying on remote interns to juggle their own schedules will not only teach them to gain more initiative and self-starting skills but also ease the management process because any hour of the day is an acceptable time to get work done.
Strengthened Communication Channels
Remote internships capitalise on sustaining communication which requires an internet connection. Modern interns are already confident with communicating with peers and employers through online platforms so onboarding a virtual internship program can be easily accommodated on both ends. Any user technology, even portable mobile phones can operate as the primary hardware which interns complete their work from. With the prevalence of Facetiming, Facebooking or blogging to name a few, interns- especially undergraduate university students can comfortably connect with their managers to discuss and submit work projects. As the world becomes more accustomed to integrating mediated technology into the workspace, it is fitting to move to virtual internship programs for recruiting candidates. So to speak, this does not disregard the importance of in-person internships and face to face operations because ideal employees can be compatible in both environments. But in regard to remote internships, embracing online communication channels can yield growth for the business and their candidate.
There is a multitude of online management services which help businesses track and monitor the progress of their interns. Sharing a digital record of their work will be a great motivating factor in getting interns to turn in assignments in a timely manner as well as show the development of their work up to the point of deadlines. Task assignment software such as Microsoft Teams, Trello or Slack can be researched further to see which best fits into your business.
Building a Perfect Candidate
Internships are praised for their contribution to allowing students to seek out their aptitudes and build up industry skills to achieve success further down their career path. Remote internships are no different. Statistically, two-thirds of paid internships are followed by job offers and 39% of unpaid internships end in full-time employment.
Familiarising remote interns with the industry through an immersive experience can teach them how to identify and forecast trends, goals and business operation structures. As the staff teaches the intern more about how the business runs and its processes, they become better equipped as a good hiring candidate for full-time employment. This feeling of familiarity is mutual, as interns will typically feel more connected and comfortable with staying long-term at their internship-host company.
Remote internships are the perfect way to engage with promising future employees by training them up. The time and cost efficiency of this virtual program is a modern and emerging method employed by companies to make the most of scheduling differences with their students.