With online communication getting even faster and technology becoming more a part of every workplace, the need for having employees all in the same place at once has dramatically diminished. If you’re looking to hire remote employees, you need to make sure you understand everything that goes into managing people who are on your team but could be located hundreds of miles away from you. This guide will give you a quick rundown about remote employees.
Will It Be Helpful?
Having remote employees just because you can might cause problems. Think about whether your business will be able to run smoothly if multiple people don’t work in the same building. You might try testing the waters by opening up a remote worker program on a temporary basis. Take note of both the positives and negatives of this experiment, and see if the positives are great enough to justify continuing and if the negatives are small or manageable enough not to be an issue.
Managing From Afar
Managing remote employees can take some getting used to, but it’s no big deal as long as you’re aware of the differences. As a manager, you should send out clear instructions to your remote employees with definitive deadlines. You also need to have guidelines in place for turning in work, which is very easy to do if you’ve set up the right collaboration tools beforehand.
In order to be up to speed, remote employees need to either be given the right equipment or directed about what to get. While it’s more costly to provide it yourself, it can definitely make it easier to do it that way. When giving out equipment to remote employees, you can mark them with asset tags to monitor and track them. Keep it clear that any equipment you give out is company property and that it must be treated properly as well as returned if they leave the company.
Time Zone Differences
One barrier to hiring someone to work remotely is time zone differences. Should someone live on the same coast, you’ll have similar or identical time zones. However, an employee could be going to bed when you’re waking up due to the severe difference in time zones. If you have various people on-call at various times, you can make this work, and the different time zones of your workers can be an asset. But, when posting a job listing, you should be specific about when you’ll need people to be available.
Opening the Candidate Pool
Someone could be perfect for your team but have geographic restrictions. However, this doesn’t have to mean they can’t work for you. By hiring them to work remotely, you can have them on your team even if your communication is restricted to webcams and emails. This will allow you to cast a wider net when you are recruiting top talent.
As someone pointed out to me recently, having the right leadership mindset is critical to any remote worker program. Leaders need to understand that micromanaging and strict oversight is near impossible when you are managing someone virtually. Remote employees want to be treated fairly, just like every other employee. Having leaders who understand and accept that is important. When managing remote teams, building a culture that values trust and autonomy is extremely important.
Are you ready to step into this decade and open your organization up to have a remote workforce? If you still need some prep, that’s what we’re here for.