There are big benefits to working with remote employees or a distributed team. For one, you have access to a much larger talent pool, making it easier to find the right people. And since you don’t have to set up in a major metro area to attract high-quality employees, you can operate out of a low-cost locale while benefiting from big-city talent.
Hiring remote employees could save on labor costs, too. 44% of Millennials say they’d rather opt for a more flexible work environment, including the ability to work from home. Even if your pay rates are highly competitive, being flexible reduces turnover so you spend less on hiring and training.
Despite the benefits, some employers worry remote work will change their team’s dynamic. If you’re intrigued by the benefits of remote hiring, here are a few low-risk ways to get started.
3 Types of Remote Employees / Workers to Hire
Remote workers can be a big asset to your business, but you may want to keep some employees in-house. Jobs that require a large amount of daily oversight are best kept in-house, as are employees who need specialized equipment to work.
Some positions, however, are ideal for remote work — like these three.
Whether it’s a graphic designer, app developer, or marketing strategist, a freelancer is ideal when you have a big project but lack the in-house talent to get it done. Since many of these are one-off projects that don’t rely on your main team, it’s a natural fit for a remote position.
Job boards like Upwork have made it easier than ever to hire remote employees for freelance jobs because they bring a wide variety of professionals together in one convenient place. All you need to do is post what you need and wait for a bite.
Accountants and bookkeepers
Your business’s accounting department already operates in its own silo, so why not move them off-site? You’ll save on precious office space without complicating your business’s operations. You can hire permanent employees who work from home or outsource to an established accounting firm, or remote bookkeeper or accountant.
Does your sales staff really need to sit in the office to make calls? Since these team members spend a lot of time on the road anyway, moving to remote work isn’t a big leap. As long as your sales staff is disciplined and expectations are clear, a remote sales team can be just as productive, if not more productive, than an in-house crew.
Consider giving your in-house team the option to work certain days from home and/or flex their hours as well. Even if you can’t afford to lose their on-site presence, you can deliver flexibility and keep your staff loyal.
Communicating with a Distributed Team
Whether you have a few people working from home or your entire team, remote work presents challenges. The biggest, unsurprisingly, is communication. When employees are separated by space and time, it’s hard to keep everyone on the same page. These strategies will improve communication among your distributed team:
Even with flex hours, it’s important to know who is working when. Use a shared calendar or time tracking app with online/offline notifications to share employee schedules.
Coordinating meeting times across time zones is a constant struggle for distributed teams. If a team member’s attendance isn’t critical, use an automated transcription service to provide remote employees with call notes. These services aren’t costly, and, provided you have quality audio, you’ll receive an accurate transcript.
If your team is suffering from communication overload, split up the team into smaller groups so the only people receiving information are the ones who need it.
Prevent organizational silos
Avoid creating an “us vs. them” mentality by using meetings and newsletters to facilitate knowledge transfer between groups. Ensure remote employees feel just as much a part of the team with tokens of appreciation and company events.
The demand for remote work isn’t going anywhere. If you want to attract top talent, you need to offer the workplace flexibility today’s employees want. Whether you hire full-time remote workers or add flex options for in-house staff, remote work will make your employees happier and benefit your business’s bottom line.
This article is written by guest author Tina Martin, Founder and CEO of Ideaspired. To learn more about Tina visit her website at www.Ideaspired.com.
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