The popularity of working remotely is increasing day by day. People of almost all professions around the world are giving importance to remote working. From flexible work schedules to the absence of daily commute, remote working has numerous perks. But remote employees are not the only ones getting benefits from this process. Companies that build remote teams have great benefits too than the ones that still continue keeping all their work in-house. Especially after many reputed organizations have adopted remote working and improving employee engagement and productivity, many small business owners have also started following the path.
In fact, according to statistics, around 83% of people worldwide work remotely, and 6% are small business owners.
But what does a remote team mean? Today’s post will give a detailed insight into hiring a remote team and its growing popularity among employers and employees. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the discussion. Let’s start by telling you what a remote team is and why companies are focusing on remote team building and management.
What Is the Remote Team?
A remote working team includes employees or contractors from different geographical locations, working for a company. Companies who hire remote workers give less importance to employees’ locations and put more focus on their skill set as well as the ability to work independently while managing communication and maintaining productivity for the long term.
But Why Are Companies Focusing on Creating a Remote Team?
Companies teaming up with remote workers can get great productivity benefits, sometimes more than from those who continue maintaining all work in -house. The major benefits for which nowadays, globally many companies are focusing on creating remote team are:
Hiring new employees and training them can take a huge toll on employers. Moreover, sometimes, sending them on paid vacation or training can cost a lot for companies. But by hiring a remote team or remote employees, companies can bring a significant difference in spending. They can save money in the recruitment and training process. Also, there will be no paid vacation.
2 Wide Access to Talent:
Companies that hire remote workers do not have to stick to the process of finding workers based on nearby locations. They have access to talented people from anywhere in the world. Therefore they can focus on picking the best one without thinking where that person is actually based on.
3 Work Availability Across Different Time Zones:
If a company hires remote workers from different places around the world, the employees work in different time zones. As a result, that company can have somebody available always to work or manage things while others are not awake. This way, workflow gets improved.
4 Improved Productivity & Efficiency:
74% of employees in the US confirmed that remote working is best for maintaining good work and personal life balance. In fact, 70% of them agree that working remotely reduces their stress level, enabling them to take leaves. Also, there’s no time wasted in daily commutes, thus they can get more work done than usual. So, it is vivid that remote working increases productivity and improves work efficiency, directly benefiting the companies.
5 Increased Employee Retention:
As remote working gives comfort and convenience to the employees, for companies, it becomes easier to retain good employees. Usually, replacing a good employee is always colossal. Recruiting a new one, giving training, and helping him or her to become the exact replacement is not a matter of joke. But by hiring remote workers or hiring a remote team, most companies often do not have to face such issues.
In a nutshell, focusing on remote working in today’s world is a wise decision to take for companies. Therefore, the number of companies opting for this option is increasing. Hiring a remote team has become a growing trend now.
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How Can Companies Adopt Remote Working – The New Trend?
If you want to adopt remote working in your business, the first and foremost thing you should remember is there are multiple challenges ahead. Only by using the right tools, and following the correct methods, you can get your remote team onboard successfully. Here are a few ways you can follow while adapting this new trend to your company:
Design Routined Activities
Ensure all the members from your remote team participate in group calls, video conferences, or any other information-sharing activities on a daily or weekly basis. This will help in creating bonds between team members and helping them feel a part of your organization.
Maintain Work Calendar
Maintaining a team calendar that tracks everyone’s work and availability helps in team synchronization.
Use the Right Tools
Using the right tools for communicating, managing projects, tracking time, and sharing data is the key factor in managing a remote team.
If you are planning to hire remote workers, you must be prepared to use some advanced software and tools to have clear and smooth communication with your future workers.
Managing a remote team successfully can give you great benefits in return. These advantages have already been discussed in the previous points. But there are some disadvantages too in remote working. Let’s have a look, what disadvantages your company may get by following a remote working trend.
Cons of Adopting Remote Working
Juggle Between Different Time Zones
Remote hiring allows you to have access to a wide talent pool around the world. But sometimes, to manage work or conduct a live meeting with all your team members, you need to follow the time zone where your employees live, even though it is your bedtime.
Absence of Real-time Collaboration
If most of your remote employees in the same teamwork from different time zones, sometimes you may find difficulty conducting meetings where all of the team members can contribute. This affects real-time collaboration.
Probability of Miscommunication
In a company, miscommunication usually occurs due to a lack of understanding of each other in a specific way that leads to the progress and growth of the company. Facing challenges in communication is a common factor when companies start working with remote teams. And usually, the damage from such miscommunication can become more intense.
Lack of Trust Due to Limited Control Over Employees
If you will not be able to monitor the day-to-day work of your employees, it leads to mismanagement and trusting issues. In a remote working environment, this challenge can be faced by companies that do not use project management and time tracking tools.
The Need for Various Tools, Techniques & Training
To teach your remote employees about company culture, help them know each other, boost their productivity, improve their involvement, and promote business growth, you need to use the right tools. These tools help you manage remote teams seamlessly. Also, you should conduct training programs, introduce new wellness policies for them. Doing these adds extra cost to your yearly expenditure.
Well, discussing the disadvantages of remote hiring does not mean I am here to discourage you from building a new remote team for your company. Working remote comes with many perks when you hire and manage with proper plans and strategies.
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The Checklist to Remember While Hiring a Remote Team for Your Company
Below are step-by-step methods discussed to help you manage the entire remote recruitment process seamlessly.
i Your Job Ad Should Define The Expectations & Responsibilities Thoroughly:
While hiring you should always create an accurate and engaging recruitment ad, especially when you are planning to hire remote workers. Make sure your ad has thorough outlines of job responsibilities and your expectations from the candidate. You can also mention how your company works well in a remote-friendly environment, whether you have a headquarter or a completely remote company. Required working hours can also be added. Moreover, you can consider taking your advertisement into video or adding a video to the job description as well. In such a video, you can include existing employees’ testimonials, share why they chose to work for your organization, and cherish it. Include glimpses into the perks an employee can get from your company. Add information about interesting projects employees can work on after being part of your company.
ii Source Candidates in a Structured Way:
As I mentioned earlier, hiring a remote team enables companies to get access to a wide talent pool; you should be proactive in finding the best talent that rightly fits your job requirement. You should consider remote team building by sourcing diverse candidates regardless of thinking about which places they are based on. Top 3 places where you can source candidates are:
iii Your website:
If you are giving a recruitment ad on your website, make sure you have a separate page for it. The page should include all the details of the job. Also, your website should have a good about us page, showing details about your organization’s culture, mission, and vision.
iv Social Media:
Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter are great places where you can start sourcing candidates. Make sure your company or you as an individual has a strong social presence. This will help in building brand recognition. And eventually, you will get to drive the attention of talented people globally.
v Job Boards:
People who look for remote jobs, often browse some particular portals that advertise remote recruitments only. Also, there are some gender-specific job portals. So, other than posting your ads on reputed common job boards, you can try these portals as well to extend your search.
vi Maintain a Good Shortlisting Process:
Maintaining a seamless shortlisting process helps you manage the hiring process efficiently. Be clear about what qualities you want to see in your candidates. After that, identify how your existing or future remote setup will leave an impact on the candidates. You can even maintain a scorecard to assess and compare applicants easily. You can also conduct pre-employment evaluation tests to find out their technical expertise, cognitive capabilities, personality, and more. And finally, once you are done with shortlisting the candidates, proceed with the further interviews.
vii Check Your Candidate’s Core Competence:
As remote work comes with some lucrative perks, thus many people often take an interest in applying for such jobs. But only willingness doesn’t make a person fit for a remote job. Someone who is proactive, self-disciplined, and capable of managing his/her own psychology is often a good fit for a remote team. Also, the person should have analytical thinking ability and be suitable for your work culture. Above all, while interviewing, you need to talk about the pros and cons of remote working. The feedback you get about this topic from the candidates plays an important role in evaluating their competence during the hiring process.
viii Conduct Video Interview:
Conducting video interviews is the best way to hire a remote worker. It helps you get a complete picture of a candidate. Use multiple interviews, both one-way and two-way, in different stages of the whole process. One-way virtual interviews are like phone screening. On the other hand, a two-way interview can replace a face-to-face interview. Following these processes will help you evaluate the candidates’ communication skills. Ask thoughtful consistent questions. To be extra careful, just check your internet connection before starting the process and keep a phone nearby as a backup plan in case the internet starts being unstable. There is various advanced software through which you can conduct a video interview.
ix Consider Organizing Online Tests:
This is an important step while hiring a remote team. A test, including questions that portray real-world situations, can help you assess candidates and build a remote team for your company in a much easier way. Create an assignment with a specific time limit. The assignment should be relevant to the candidate’s job responsibilities. Make sure you are responsive to any query of the candidate. Keep such an online test project as the final step after taking multiple interviews. Paying candidates for spending their time taking the test is also a good idea.
x Don’t Make Unnecessary Delays in Closing a Hire:
Once you make the final decision of hiring somebody, proceed with it quickly. Mostly good candidates often apply for multiple jobs, and when you are planning to hire them, they may already grab another offer too. Remember, the way you organize a hiring process leaves an impression on your applicants too. If you are not responsive or make delays in extending an offer, the candidate may possess a bad impression of your organization. And this especially is relatable when it comes to building a remote team when you will never wish a candidate to feel detached from a flow of undeviating communication.
In a nutshell, being able to hire people from anywhere in the world and create a team of people with diversity and excellent expertise is certainly a privilege. But it comes with challenges throughout the hiring process if you are unaware of the right tools and techniques. I hope the above discussion has enlightened you in some way about hiring a remote team.
Now, let’s come to the point of managing remote employees. Remote team management is not a matter of joke. You need to build a company culture with your team, maintain steady communication, handle conflicts, and manage growth effectively in order to successfully manage a remote team.