In 2022, 16% of companies worldwide were fully remote. With the space growing 44% in the past 5 years, experts say this is truly the future of work—employees working from homes, coffee shops, and beach bars across the globe.
So should your company do the same?
If you’re contemplating hybrid or remote work, this checklist will help you think through the process.
1) Is the role mental or manual in nature?
(Hint: If the tasks in your business are done while sitting in front of the computer, then it’s a good candidate for a remote work arrangement.)
This would refer to white-collar industries where the job is more mental than manual. The outcomes or byproducts of mental work, like ideas, documents, and numbers are more easily digitalized and can go into the magical wires of the internet. Jobs in finance, IT, legal, government, HR, education, marketing, digital content creation, and admin support are examples.
Meanwhile, it has proven difficult to work as a remote firefighter.
If only a part of the job can be digitalized and done remotely, then a hybrid setup can be implemented where an individual spends some time in the office.
Or, if at all possible, one can redraw the scope of a role and assign digital tasks to someone completely remote and assign in-person duties to another.
2) Are the tasks location-dependent and location-specific?
Many jobs can only be done on-site or in specific locations. Examples would be construction, machine operation, childcare, healthcare, agriculture, and wildlife. These jobs require on-site presence.
Others are location specific because they require face-to-face interaction, like servers, masseurs, physical therapists, point-of-sale and retail.
These are the jobs that are genuine “location dependent” because the roles cannot be performed otherwise.
(This is not the same as a marketing team preferring to have face-to-face meetings instead of Zoom.)
3) Are the requisite skills the same regardless of place or person?
With simple accounting, for example, Math is the same regardless of who does it or where in the world it’s done.
Are there plenty of folks who can perform the same job, with a roughly similar output? That job can be remote.
Are the skills trainable or easily learnable? That’s remote.
One of the biggest draws of hiring remote professionals is the significant savings costs enjoyed by the company. Having your team in a big metro would mean maintaining expensive offices with monthly rent and electric, water, and broadband bills. A remote team, distributed all over, does not need a plush conference room to talk business as they can have impactful and collaborative discussions online.
(By the way, if your plan is to go hybrid, the savings in rent will not be realized as you will still need to maintain a physical facility to house your guys who come in, say, 3 times a week. You will however have noticeable drops in utilities.)
As long as we’re talking savings, many companies have learned that hiring from other countries, particularly those with lower costs of living, also lowers their cost of labour. As long as you can ascertain no drop in the quality of outcomes—remote workers, based in other countries, cost companies significantly less—70% less on average.
So if a skill is not unimaginably specialized, and the task can be performed somewhere else by someone with similar talents, then remote hiring is a pretty good model to follow. It opens your company to work with the best international talent at lower rates.
4) Have you considered the set-up costs?
While minimal compared to the huge savings you’re going to get, hiring a remote worker does have some other outlays.
You may have to provide a new laptop for your hire and offer some perks like allowances for utilities, clothing and food to attract the best talent. It really depends on you and there’s room for creativity here.
Hiring from other jurisdictions also has some tax and legal implications that you need to attend to. Thankfully, there are staffing agencies like Kinetic that can take care of these and make it a breeze.
There are initial adjustments to be expected, but once you get the ball rolling, then
5) What kind of a boss are you?
As in most of life, tradeoffs are made when it comes to hiring remotely.
You will be miles away from your guys, and you cannot always see or control what they’re doing.
If your idea of mentorship and management is when you can look over someone’s shoulders, then hiring remotely is probably not for you. You’d go bananas.
If you desperately want to micromanage and control every little thing, and not being able to do so keeps you up at night, then remote teams have no place in your portfolio.
But if you want to empower your people, trust them to do their jobs and trust your abilities to hold court in an online meeting, then hiring remote professionals becomes a competitive advantage.
But leading a remote team doesn’t mean being blind to what is happening in the organization. There’s a whole world of project management tools that provide so as much data and oversight as you require.
What kind of a boss are you?
Are you tech-savvy? Can you use more than email and adapt tools that are the meat and potatoes of a remote organisation? Consider that as well.
6) What are the other guys doing?
When contemplating a jump to the remote model, try to look around and notice what the other guys in your industry are doing.
Have they gone hybrid? Fully remote?
There’s usually a reason for that. (For example, why would a company put up with time zone differences? There must be compelling reasons for that.)
What percentage of their labour force is out of the office? Where are they sourcing their guys?
How they are managing the new situation, and see if you can do better in case you do go for it.
Look at their performance vis-à-vis those who are still doing in-office operations.
Observe your competitors (and those in similar industries) and you might just pick up lessons that will be useful down the road.
With this checklist and guide questions, you are now in a better position to decide whether or not you should hire a remote team.
We Are Kinetic Innovative Staffing
We help companies, big and small, hire remote workers like graphic artists, writers, software developers, coders, accountants, virtual assistants, social media managers etc.
We have a rich pool of highly-skilled and vetted professionals for the role you have in mind.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.