Hiring Remote Employees: How To Do It Right

Hiring remote employees have provided many businesses numerous opportunities to explore means that boost productivity and offer workers better work flexibility. However, the arrangement that allows workers to work remotely can also present a number of challenges to the employer. Issues such as supervision, visual checks and monitoring, and immediate feedback are a few of the things that make employers hesitant about hiring remote employees. Is getting a remote workforce the right choice for you?

Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Employees

Pros

Increased Productivity
Surprisingly, workers report being more likely to extend their work hours while working remotely. In a survey performed by Global Workplace Analytics, 53% stated that they have an increased likelihood to do overtime work, compared to just 28% of workers who do in-office work. After all, remote workers are less likely to be distracted by other workers and guests. They also have fewer engagements in terms of chatting and gossiping with other employees and attending meetings. Remote work also allows many employees to work during hours when they are at their most productive and not just during their usual 9-to-5.

Results-Based Performance
With remote work, employees are evaluated based on results delivered and not on their attendance. Employees who work remotely understand what is expected of them at the end of the day, which means that they will not only have to work independently but also use their own initiative, make key decisions based on specified parameters, and improve their performance. As long as the company sets clear goals and metrics, and provide frequent feedback, remote work will be easier to measure.

Lower Overheads
With fewer (or zero) workers working in-office, businesses can enjoy significant savings on the cost of overhead and other operational expenses. Cisco, one of the biggest companies in the world, reported saving over $270 million a year, thanks to remote employees.

Hire Better Talent. Hiring remote employees allows companies to find other available talents and expand their pool to other cities, states, or even countries. If certain qualifications cannot be filled by local talent or if paying relocation cost is not an option, companies can still recruit qualified candidates to work from a remote location.

Cons

Cost of Technology
There is an initial cost of investment required for companies to allow employees to work remotely. This is necessary for connecting online, collaborating, and managing projects. Paying for cybersecurity is also necessary since remote management of data must be protected through antivirus and encryption programs. Companies might have to purchase apps, tools, and software, which could require a large upfront cost.

Managing Different Cultures and Work Attitudes
Hiring remote employees is easy but hiring the right remote employees? Not so much. This is especially true when hiring a worker from another region or country where work cultures may be different, not to mention time zones. There is also the issue with screening and vetting candidates, which could be more challenging.

Keeping Your Remote Employees Happy

Offering remote work can be one of the best decisions that a company can make. Done well, it could lead to better productivity, improved business processes, and ultimately, an excellent bottomline. Once you hire the best remote talent you can find, the next key step is to keep them. Here are ways how:

-Offer a healthy company culture, one where remote employees will feel welcome and valued, the kind where they will feel they belong.

-Offer good salary, benefits, and perks. Even small, simple gestures will go a long way, such as sending a remote worker a gift on his/her birthday or work anniversary because it shows that you treat your employees as individuals and not just as faceless workers.

-Provide regular feedback and performance review. Good communication is key to providing clear instructions and expectations, and setting measurable results. Make use of available tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Asana, and Slack for easier online interactions for one-on-one talks or group meetings. Ask for feedback and listen when it is given.

-Offer recognition of employee’s contribution, especially the top performing ones. Employees engage more when their efforts are appreciated and recognized.

-Keep employees up-to-date with company developments. Remote employees do not have the same environment as in-office workers where office news can be exchanged easily through casual chats. Keep track of projects and goal progress and allow employees reasonable access to these types of information.

-Offer support, especially to new hires. New hires tend to feel less adequate than other employees, so they will need access to certain tools such as information, training, equipment use, and other helpful resources to get them on their feet.