Are you planning to appoint some remote staff for your business? Or you may already have some remote workers working for you and now what you are looking at is how to manage remote employees efficiently, so that you can make the most out of your investment.
Before going further in to hire and manage remote workers, let’s quickly understand who are remote workers.
Well, remote workers are just like regular employees who instead of coming to your office, offer their services remotely. However, if you hire remote staff through an outsourcing firm (instead of freelancing platforms), they will dedicatedly work only for you (freelancers work for more than one client at a time) through an external well-supervised office (freelancers usually work from home or anywhere they feel comfortable). Unlike freelancers, with such employees, you get the guarantee for complete commitment, high work quality, and full control.
Benefits of Hiring a Remote Staff:
For businesses still on the fence about whether to continue remote work post-pandemic, we’d urge you to keep in mind the six biggest advantages of hiring remote staff. Let’s take a look :
1. Remote Employees are more Productive
It might sound counterintuitive, but research shows that remote workers are significantly more productive than employees working in offices. Countless studies support this; Global Workplace Analytics found that teleworkers were 20-25% more productive than office-based employees.
2. You Access a Wider Talent Pool
When you need to hire employees from a set location, you limit your talent pool. In contrast, remote work lets you access the very best talent across the globe – especially when the flexibility remote working brings is becoming expected by employees. Consider how the “millennial effect” is shaping the rise in remote working. Younger people are used to communicating quickly and easily across the globe, and they want – and expect – the same opportunities in their careers. Flexibility in the workplace is one of the most important factors for millennials, and in order to attract young, highly skilled talent, working remotely is a major bonus.
3. It Reduces Business Costs
It reduces office costs – Studies suggest that companies with remote workers save $10,000 per employee each year in real estate costs. You scale back the office costs of furniture, bills, cleaners, and office supplies, and tend to see fewer sick, which can cost $1,800 per employee annually.
4. It Reduces Costs for Employees
Hiring remote workers doesn’t just benefit employers financially – it also reduces costs for workers. The financial (and emotional!) drag of commuting is completely removed, which surveys suggest saves remote workers about $5,000 per year. And that’s without factoring in the cost of regularly buying lunch out!
5. It Increases Employee Retention
The cost of replacing an employee can be colossal. Recruiting and training new employees involves a ton of time and resources, so you want to be sure that new employees will actually stick around. Remote work goes a huge way to improve this – research reveals that 95% of companies report that remote working has a big positive effect on employee retention – not surprising when you consider that two-thirds of workers say they’d take a new job if it had a better commute!
The mass COVID-19 remote work experiment also introduced more people to the work model. As a result, more employees now want to secure long-term remote opportunities. Ultimately this means every employer able to offer remote work now has to consider introducing a robust remote work policy if they want to attract and retain the best talent.
How to hire remote staff?
If you are going to hire remote staff, it means you are going to spend some of your hard-earned money; you must want to utilize them wisely.
First of all, as you have decided to hire remote workers instead of locals, you already have taken one wise decision for spending your money thriftily.
Secondly, what you need to do to ensure your investment will give sweet fruits to you, you need to make a complete plan to hire remote employees. That plan should include answers to some important questions like,
1. Why do you want to hire remote staff?
The answer may be because you want to focus better on the core areas of the business, or you want to cut operating costs by hiring remote employees rather than locals, or you might want to get access to experts under your budget, and so on.
2. Where can I find the right fit remote staff under my budget?
Type “best place to outsource” on Google and the result page will get flooded with thousands of results. Explore some sites and you will see that most of them state that India is the number one destination for outsourcing. Why? It is due to its cost-effectiveness and talented professional availability. In India, you can hire highly skilled and experienced remote staff yet at a very affordable rate. Consider, exploring Invedus Outsourcing; In this company, you can most likely meet the employees of your dream, who can meet all your business requirements with the utmost dedication within the timeframe.
According to recent reports on outsourcing, it is found that 65% of outsourced IT jobs are in India. And as per NASSCOM reports, the IT and BPO industry in India has amassed a whopping revenue of $154 billion in the year of 2019. Over the next five years, 40% of India’s workforce is expected to augment their skills in order to meet the requirement of outsourcers.
3. How to find a reliable outsourcing/remote staffing firm in India?
Recall the time when you were searching for the right business coach or investor for your company. How did you reach them? You may have shared your need to your LinkedIn connections and workmate, and some people may have given you some references. Right? In the same way, you can find the right outsourcing firm to hire remote employees for your company. Ask for references from your LinkedIn connections and other networks.
Also, you can get some insights on platforms like clutch.co. Do extensive internet research and explore websites of all the companies that you might think will meet your business needs. And while exploring the sites, thoroughly analyze their testimonials and work portfolio pages. To get assurance about the company’s credibility, quality of work, and culture, you can talk with the clients the company has served in the past.
Select the company that can provide you with a perfect balance for money and quality of work. Going for the cheapest option can cost you more later on.
4. What tasks do you want to assign to your remote workers?
Once you have found the right remote staffing firm from where you want to hire your remote staff, you should have a clear idea of the tasks you want to entrust to them.
Are you going to delegate one service or more than one? Are you going to delegate one complete service or part of them?
For example, you are in the IT industry, and you want to hand over the graphic designing service of your company to an outsourcing firm; So do you want to entrust the entire graphic design work of your company or some part of them? Get clear answers to these questions, as this will save you from any last-minute confusion and waste of time.
5. What do you expect from your remote employees?
If you want satisfactory results from your remote employees, it is very important that first of all, you know what you expect from them. Write in detail about your expectation for remote employees’ qualifications, experience, soft skills, hard skills, quality of work, commitment, and so on.
6. What questions are you going to ask when hiring remote employees for your company?
Asking the right questions is the key to appointing the most appropriate employees.
Suppose you are going to hire a software developer for your business project. To choose the right fit software developer, talk about the problems that you and your in-house team faced while conducting a similar project, and then access the development approach the developer is offering. In this way, you can access their problem solving and technical skills in real-time. And also you allow the developers to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.
In addition, you can assign them pre-assessment tasks. Allocate them with the tasks they will need to do during their jobs. In this way, you can access if they can meet all your project requirements properly. Besides, you can identify the scope of their knowledge, skills, and development approach.
Make sure to be transparent and give your candidates a glimpse into your company culture to help them determine if it’s a good fit from their perspective as well.
How to manage staff working remotely?
To ensure that your remote employees are productive, engaged, and thriving, consider implementing the following guidelines for managing remote workers:
1. Hire the right candidate
As your remote employee will be working remotely for you the entire time, it is very important to determine that the employee you are hiring can communicate clearly and effectively. Good communication skills are the most critical here. Therefore, try to arrange multiple rounds of interviews to analyze their communication through various means of writing, on-call, and face to face.
2. Create an effective remote onboarding process
As your newly joined remote employees will work from an outside office, it is very important that you present them with your company’s knowledge base. Provide them with a mentor for some initial period to become well acquainted with your company’s work process.
3. Set up a shared goal
Involve remote employees into your business strategy meetings and let them get aware of the common goals and objectives of your company. Give them information about how progress will be measured and how results will be evaluated. Tell them about annual and quarterly business goals, team-specific objectives each month or week.
4. Set clear expectations
Tell your remote employees what you expect from them. Provide guidelines on priorities and set boundaries to ensure that your remote employees are meeting their performance goals. Make sure your team members are available and you can reach them when needed.
Just like regular employees, make your remote employees aware of the latest policy and staffing changes, company successes, and etc.
5. Focus on the outcome
When you are working with remote staff, it is great to allow flexible hours to maintain consistency. No matter whether your remote worker chooses to work in the morning or evening, it shouldn’t matter, as long as the work gets completed and is of high quality. For sure, you need to create a solid plan, but at the same time, you need to be open to adjusting strategies as needed.
6. Go with short virtual meetings
Adapt the length of your meetings to shorter ones because what might work in your office may not work remotely. So, instead of lengthy meetings, have a short virtual gathering.
7. Track your remote worker progress
To ensure that your remote team is progressing and completing tasks they are expected to work on within a given time, you can use a visual tool like Trello to organize all the projects, you can track the activities of your workers also. Remember, you need to trust the process. Just because you can’t see your remote workers working that doesn’t mean work is not getting done.
8. Give special importance to communication
It is crucial that you communicate with your remote staff regularly as it keeps them informed about deadlines, work-related challenges, and work expectations.
Ask your employees, which communication channel suits them – email, texts, phone calls, video calls – and find that delicate balance to connect with them on a regular basis.
While it is important that you keep track of key metrics for your organization, make sure that you monitor with the right balance because too much oversight can show signs of mistrust to employees. If your employees are completing targets up to your standard and within the timeframe, what’s not to trust?
9. Be a good listener
When you listen to your staff patiently, you make them feel that they are important. A successful manager is the one who listens to their employees patiently, communicates trust and respect, inquires about workload and progress without controlling every part of the activity and without over-communicating.
10. Resist the urge to micromanage
Show trust and you will receive the same in the back. As you don’t check your regular employees while they are in the office, you shouldn’t do that to your remote staff too. Regular one-on-one check-ins help you avoid controlling every part of an activity, while still keeping you aware of employee’s performance and provide you with an opportunity to ensure feedback goes both ways.
If your remote staff is communicating clearly and meeting goals and deadlines, they are being productive and doing their jobs effectively.