Hiring a remote workforce can reap in huge benefits to your organization but when not carefully executed can also bring significant disadvantages to the table. Apart from saving on office space expenses and navigating around time constraints, pooling in talented and skilled individuals from across the globe can significantly boost the level of productivity and results.
Even though hiring remote workers sounds without doubt attractive, getting a successful process set up requires a lot of planning and preparation. Effective communication is the key to success. In the same manner as any regular job, businesses should set clear guidelines of the remote work prior to getting into such a job agreement including work schedules, job responsibilities, home office setups and secured computer networks.
1. Set up consistent communication with employees.
When dealing with remote employees. communication should be planned and structured in such a way that possible time differences are not a problem. Having a clear communication schedule brings the level of consistency and clarity you want to envisage between you and the employee. The failure to thoroughly communicate results in a significant time waste, inefficient output, and lastly unhappy clients – building up lost money and potentially no return business.
Employers have the choice to require remote workers to work at the same time when they are online. A couple hours a day of discussing work updates when both of you are online seems ideal. Chances are you may not get a high profile Virtual Assistant, Web Developer, or any position you’re hiring since not everybody is as flexible as you want them to be as far as work schedule is concerned.
2. Build a strong foundation of trust and accountability.
A critical aspect of success is having daily communication between managers and employees. A great deal of remote workers involves self-managing yet they require frequent connection with project managers and team members. Thus, trust and accountability comprise the integral foundation of communication.
It is ideal to allow remote employees to work as flexible as they need to as long as they are productive. Most companies seek to control and direct employees. A shift in focus from controlling remote employees to their self-management can yield to substantial productivity.
Another essential aspect to success is to provide training to managers concerning their communication skills. This training should focus on how to expand their communication skills such as maintaining a positive attitude to keep employees motivated as a team, providing positive feedback and constructive criticism over the phone, tracking schedules, and giving due appreciation to employees for a job well done.
3. Make employees feel that they’re part of a team
The setting of a virtual workforce adds more difficulty on achieving a sense of unity due to timezone differences. To overcome the challenges of a remote workplace, create common goals to make employees feel that they’re part of a team.
Employees can then take the initiative to complete tasks and make more resourcefulness on their own. As a result, it is inspiring to see ideas and accomplishments from every employee – sparking new goals that help the envelope of the company’s vision.
4. Keep remote employees as motivated as possible
Despite the advantages of working in a remote environment, project managers need to continually monitor whether employees stay motivated, happy, or satisfied. The last thing you want is for remote workers to feel isolated.
One pointer to overcome feelings of isolation is to lay a solid schedule and policy for communication. It helps maintain collaboration among the team through regular virtual meetings as conference calls or video conferencing. Each remote team member is reminded of their fundamental role in the company and to provide an avenue for them to know who is doing what and who is a resource.
5. Use business tools such as project management platforms
There are different online applications out there but choosing the right one is not that easy. When it comes to outsourcing, employers should consider using the best project management platform that suits their needs.
Podio, for instance, is an online work platform that allows employers and employees a greater flexibility on managing their work better. It offers specialized apps with tasks, reporting, messaging, workflow, and contact management. Some of the benefits of using project management tools are to organize work routines, improve communication and to stay flexible during changes. It also serves to record real time updates of both scheduled and completed tasks on a single workspace and a single log in.
The level of productivity and specialization outweigh the challenges with a virtual staff. Nevertheless, effective communication is needed to work through these challenges, which is the core to having a successful remote work team.