Building a remote team can have its drawbacks, but for many businesses, going this route ultimately comes down to opportunity. Remote work gives candidates more opportunities to find a company that matches their skills, and it gives business owners the opportunity to bridge the talent divide and find the perfect person for a job. As with any opportunity, though, it’s how you use it that really matters. These are some of the top issues you may encounter, along with the best strategies for how to handle them.
As a manager, employee engagement is not only about making sure the job gets done. You also want to know that remote employees are actively engaged and comfortable with their role in the company. We’ve found that you need both tools and policies in order to achieve these goals.
Digital apps are the workhorse tools that make remote jobs possible, and they’re key to keeping your team engaged. Turbine recommends choosing tools for your business that set your staff up for success without overwhelming them.
If your business is reliant on appointments between team members, clients, or anyone else who is spread out, an appointment management system should be on your list of essential tools. The best apps for appointment management make it easy to stay on top of everything related to scheduling, all from one platform. You can access everyone’s schedules so you know what’s going on and when, plus you can make scheduling changes and grant access to team members based on the information each person needs.
When you’re working with a remote team, it’s crucial that everyone remains informed. If you need to share information from team calls, transcribing company calls can prove invaluable. For this task, you can hire an automatic transcription service. No matter which tools you adopt, the goal is to choose those that simplify tasks and empower employees to do their jobs.
Last, but certainly not least, you should make sure you have a top-notch smartphone that can help you stay connected with your business and your workers 24/7. What’s more, you need a provider that has a fast, reliable network with enough coverage to prevent you from encountering any pesky “dead zones” if you’re traveling. When you’re working with remote employees and conducting a lot of business online, staying connected with everyone and everything is essential to staying on top of the game.
One of the main concerns when it comes to employee engagement is the need to ensure each team member understands expectations. To make this relationship work for everyone, HR Dive suggests establishing policies for remote work from the very beginning. You want policies to be clear, yet it’s also good to remain flexible. This way, remote staff know exactly what’s expected, but they also feel comfortable providing feedback on what works and where they may struggle.
Recruitment and hiring
When you want to hire a remote candidate, using an online job board is often the easiest and most efficient way of searching. A good online job board helps you reach a pool of qualified candidates who are reliable and have the exact skills you need. This type of search is especially useful for hiring freelancers, and one position we recommend you add is a virtual assistant.
Many small business owners these days find that an effective and affordable way to delegate administrative tasks is to hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can lighten your load by doing everyday jobs like fielding phone calls, managing meeting schedules, and taking care of data entry. For a minimal investment, the tradeoff is that delegating these tasks leaves more time for you to devote to growing your business.
Retention of your remote team
According to Forbes, a 2016 study revealed that remote workers are generally happier and feel more valued than traditional on-site office staff. This is good news for the retention of a remote team, but it doesn’t mean employee satisfaction happens automatically. Remote staff are happiest when they have the tools they need to work effectively, along with the flexibility to take breaks and engage in healthy activities to achieve better work-life balance. These are priorities that you can include in your remote work policies to boost long-term retention.
This is just one example of how a remote staff can (and should) be a positive experience for both you and your team members. It may not always be smooth sailing, but creating your remote team with these strategies in mind will maximize the pros over the cons. More companies than ever are taking advantage of the opportunities remote work provides, and those that don’t get on board may end up missing out.
Tina stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance.