Remote working has been on the rise for the past five years. Surveys conducted by human resource experts conclude that majority of employees considers telecommuting as one of the most attractive benefits a company can offer.
The top reasons why employees prefer remote working are the sense of having work-life balance and quality time and saving money that would otherwise be spent on transportation.
Telecommuting doesn’t benefit employees alone; with reduction of overhead operational that requires considerable budget allocation in an office-based set-up, business owners, especially startups, are willing to implement remote working policies within their organisations. Hiring remote workers can prove to be valuable to a business especially if there is a solid and mapped out structure of the remote team.
We want every aspect of our business to function round the clock, but it doesn’t always works that way. Time and again, challenges will arise.
Here are the three main challenges you will face when you hire remote employees:
1. Time Zone Issues
Hiring experienced and professional remote workers requires you to cover the world – in terms of time.
This means covering areas where the time of your business’ physical area is different, or at certain times, at the opposite end. But this does not mean that remote working is not suited for your business especially when you are trying to hire someone that needs to do marketing, coding, design, writing and other desk-related jobs.
To avoid having issues on time difference, it is a must to specify in your job description the location of your business and the preferred time you want your remote team to log in. This will help applicants understand that as a business, you have a preferred work schedule even if you will be working with them remotely.
Experienced virtual talents understand this and time difference should not be an issue.
Collaboration issues commonly arise due to time zone differences.
Remote workers on the other side of the world who could share valuable insight on certain issues might probably still be resting at the exact same moment your head is exploding with ideas. In this situation, immediate feedback and discussion becomes a luxury.
To minimize collaboration issues, make sure that every marketing plan, systems upgrade plan and business-related plan is properly aligned with the team’s workflow.
Plan ahead on how every team member would be able to adjust their schedules to attend collaboration sessions.
A weekly scheduled brainstorming session is a good workaround. Make sure to use project management tools like Google Docs and Basecamp, as well as reliable communication tools such as Skype and Google Hangout.
Due to the fact that most of your remote workers are “on their own,” virtual talents are prone to feeling isolated from the company culture – the basic denominator that holds everyone into one solid group.
Though it is not as challenging as the previous two, it needs to get addressed to make sure that your remote employees do not feel left out.
Talk with them and make them feel that they are a big part of the company. Talk about their career path in the company and their personal goals.
Doing this builds mutual trust and will eventually be a defining turnaround for your employee.
So there you have it. These three challenges revolve around the aspect of communication and knowing them will help you shape your business plan before getting remote workers on board.
You will tackle more challenges in the long run but if you know how to get around with these three, rest assured that the others will be addressed with a breathe of fresh air.
Feature image Credit: Cornelli2010