Whether you’re running out of office space or your company operates without a physical headquarters, remote workers can be a great solution to your staffing needs. Not only can you access more talent and cut overhead costs, remote workers are also happier, more productive, and more likely to stick around.
Are you convinced? Read on to learn the basics of hiring remote workers for your business.
3 Ways to Use Remote Staff
Wondering how you can incorporate remote staff into your business? These are three different ways your company can use remote workers:
Hire full- or part-time remote employees
Workers want the flexibility to work remotely, but they don’t necessarily want to give up the benefits of being an employee. Businesses can save on office space and potentially even save on salaries by hiring employees who work remotely rather than on-site. Don’t assume your remote employees are only interested in full-time work; 46 percent of today’s flexibility-minded professionals say they’d take a part-time job or remote side gig over a full-time job.
Contract with freelancers for special projects
Hiring remotely is also a great way to connect with talented freelancers. Freelancers are an ideal solution when you have a project outside the scope of your business’s usual work, like designing a marketing campaign or building an app.
Outsource low-level tasks to remote workers
Administrative employees like office assistants, bookkeepers, and data entry specialists are also good candidates for remote work, since these workers don’t require much interaction with other team members to do their job. Businesses can hire permanent remote employees for these jobs, contract with freelancers, or outsource to an agency.
Writing a Job Listing for Remote Workers
One of the biggest benefits of hiring remote workers is the ability to access talent outside your immediate geographical area. However, if you’re only posting job listings on local job boards, your recruiting won’t have the reach you’re hoping for.
When hiring freelancers, it’s best to post on freelance job boards rather than websites geared toward full-time employees.
If hiring full- or part-time staff, you can post on your usual web-based job boards but include language like “remote,” “telecommute,” and “work-from-home” so people searching for remote jobs can find your listing. Some job boards like Indeed allow you to list the location of a position as “remote.”
Be sure to communicate logistical requirements, like if you require remote workers to live within a geographical region, supply their own tech, or adhere to set working hours. If you use specific software to communicate and collaborate with remote workers, list those tools, too.
Remote Team Communication Challenges
Remote work has its benefits, but it’s not without challenges. Building relationships and communicating are harder when your staff isn’t all in one place. Luckily, there are a wide variety of tools available to help businesses overcome the challenges of collaborating with remote staff.
Written communication is essential when working with a distributed team, but email can be clunky and prone to misinterpretation. Chat apps like Slack let workers stay in frequent communication and develop the water-cooler rapport you’d expect to find in an office environment.
Most managers of distributed teams prefer remote workers come into the office for meetings, but if you have workers around the country, that may not be possible. Rather than conference calling, opt for video conferencing so your team can talk face-to-face. If not everyone can attend, an automated speech-to-text transcription tool can generate call notes within minutes, and with transcription services starting at 10 cents a minute, it’s far cheaper than hiring a secretary to take notes.
For big-picture stuff, project-management tools enable you to establish workflows, assign projects, and keep track of who is working on what. There are a few popular project-management tools on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll want to do some research to find the right one for your business.
Adding remote workers to your team requires adapting to new ways of working and collaborating. However, for most businesses, the benefits of hiring remote workers outweigh the challenges. Over time, as you develop systems for working with a distributed team, you’ll start to wonder how you ever ran your company without remote staff.
Feature article written by: Tina Martin for interaction-training.com