Virtual workforce in the Kenya’s higher education and research service sector
Matheka, Fouris Mwaniki
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The Kenyan higher education sector has been facing challenges brought about by the changing environment and the desire to remain in the market in the foreseeable future. This has not been easy due to change in technology and modern methods of doing things especially to those institutions that resist change. Virtual workforce has been a very important tool to those institutions that would like to survive the competition in the industry. Majority of the institutions have used virtual workforce and their management have gone an extra mile in providing tools like laptops and I pads to make the virtual working more easy. The employees of these institutions have also contributed to successful implementation of the concept by meeting deadlines given to them and in their willingness to learn new things. Although the implementation of virtual workforce is expensive to the organization, the drivers or enablers of the virtual workforce outweigh the cost of implementation. These institutions benefit from the virtual workforce by cutting down operational costs, improving on their product/service quality, faster dissemination of information to the users and able to use teleconferencing facilities in operations. The study established that all the institutions (Kenya‟s higher education and research service sector) tested were using virtual workforce although the magnitude of implementation varied from one institution to another. The institutions had implemented the virtual workforce in most of their departments since it assisted the operations in various ways depending on each department‟s requirements. The study results established that these institutions benefited from the use of virtual workforce through cutting operational costs, increased efficiency in their operations and improved products quality hence being competitive in the market. Some limitations do exist when one is using virtual workforce like lack of conducive home working environment and also lack of ICT skills but, these have not affected the successful application of virtual workforce by these institutions.