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Hiring Remote Employees
When we think about remote employees, we instantly think of all the great benefits it has to offer. You don’t have to deal with traffic, worry about parking and you can work from any location. Working remotely is more than just a lifestyle benefit. It saves money, reduces turnover and increases productivity. However, some may find that hiring remote employees is not ideal due to some of the challenges that can arise from onboarding new employees to having a lack of company culture. It’s important to remember that there are many benefits for both managers and employees, but all people involved have to be sure to hold themselves accountable for the work they take on and still be disciplined.
There are major cost-effective benefits that come with hiring remote employees. Since you will not be running a physical office, then you will be saving money that you would otherwise be spending on maintenance, facilities, and rent. Maintenance alone can be pretty expensive considering you’ll need computers, desks, phones and the need to upkeep supplies. Costs can be allocated elsewhere that are normally used for office parties and keeping employees happy!
It will also reduce the stress and cost for everyone commuting to and from the office every day. Commuting causes stress on employees due to their unpredictability. It also causes boredom and sometimes frustration from heavy traffic or delays. By having employees work remotely, the time spent on a commute could be spent on something more productive. Companies can also vouch that they’re ‘green’ by operating a fuel-efficient team.
Working remotely also enhances employee health benefits. While in-office employees are glued to their screen for most of the day, working from home allows employees to break up their day with walks or spending time outside. This can help employees avoid some of the pain they feel from sitting at a desk for eight hours. It also encourages a better work-life balance. Employees will be able to map out their day choosing their own hours and include other activities that will help prevent burnout. Especially for those that might have children or animals. This gives employees an opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and will cut the costs of paying for a babysitter every now and then.
Remote employees are also beneficial to management. By hiring remote candidates, managers are able to access a wider pool of talent. Since you’ll be offering the benefit of being a remote company, you will be a top competitor. Companies also won’t have to wait for people to relocate, and because this type of remote work will always lure top talent. This will also ensure that you won’t lose employees if they’re moving locations. Resources such as Slack, Asana, and Trello make it possible for managers to outsource tasks to their employees. This can reassure managers that their employees are being productive at all hours of the day, regardless of their time zone.
Some might even argue that this leads to more growth opportunities. Since remote employees are more productive, then they are more likely to take on more than what is given to them. They’re not limited to a 9-5 in-office work period which allows more time for them to improve their skill set and take on new responsibilities. Remote workers can also give managers a good indicator of their employee’s communications skills, and with limited resources, employees that are always proactively communicating are demonstrating strong communication skills.
If you’re worried that engagement might decrease, you’re in luck. Companies report that being remote has increased the level of engagement within their organization. Remote employees need to make an effort to communicate because it’s not as easy as it is to in the office. They need to utilize the resources available to them in order to let their managers and colleagues know what they’re working on and how far along they are along in the job. Otherwise, the team would be left in the dark; With increase efforts, communication can run smoothly.
Employees will be inclined to hold themselves accountable with their work in order to maintain their remote work-life balance. This also gives employees the opportunity to be more comfortable using technology when having to stay more connected with other colleagues; Not to mention that remote work typically has a lower turnover rate for employees. This will help prevent losing employees often and save you the time as it would take to refill those positions; However, even if you did need to hire remote work is such high demand, there are candidates that specifically seek out these benefits.
There are many positives to the benefits of working remotely, but we can’t ignore some of the negatives. Some employees want to experience the company culture by enjoying the physical space of an office, and this includes attending meetings, going to happy hours or even just a birthday acknowledgment. Not having an office can make employees feel disconnected from their colleagues and their managers.
Miscommunication is something that might happen quite often if there isn’t a set process in place for this. Employees and managers are no longer relying on face-to-face communication, but instead relying on emails and internal messaging platforms. If there is not a standard operating procedure communication, miscommunication will be inevitable.
An office environment definitely has its distractions, but distractions are more common in working outside of the office. Employees that are easily distracted might not be able to get their work done at home as fast as they would in an office. They might be tempted to clean the house or run errands, and they are more likely to browse the web and regularly check-on social media since no one is watching. Depending on the employees you hire, some might not stop working knowing that no one is around or you might have an employee that works 24/7 until they completely burn out; In order to keep a steady balance, managers should utilize real-time collaboration tools that ensure all employees are working effectively.
Another con could be a lack of discipline or support with both managers and employees. There really isn’t a way of knowing where anyone could be while working remotely. This is even more problematic if your time zones don’t align. If something urgent occurs, it’s not guaranteed that employees will respond to their managers as fast as they would if they were in the office. Employees can potentially be busy or distracted when managers are trying to get ahold of them.
For managers, the training process could be more difficult. Finding qualified employees with good qualities might be easier thanks to the wider talent pool, but onboarding, training and welcoming them into their position is definitely more challenging when you’re doing it from different locations. Managers might also be concerned or even doubt employees’ understanding of a task that’s given to them. This can cause serious complications if your employees are working on a task or project and do it incorrectly.
Managers may also find it difficult to encourage employees when their workloads get tough. Not being in an office limits the number of motivation managers can offer their remote employees. Receiving feedback online is great, but it’s just not as meaningful as it is receiving it in person, and is not as simple as stopping by their cube to give them some words of encouragement. You have to rely on email exchanges or collaborate messaging platforms to have those conversations.
Author Bio: Emily Banks is a bay area native who got tired of San Francisco’s cold beaches, so she moved to San Diego. She is currently the editor for HR Section of 365 Business. When she is not typing away on her keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.
With both sides considered, the option to work remotely is a great perk that both managers and employees can benefit from. It will enhance your employee’s lifestyle which in turn will promote productivity. Just be wary of some of the cons that can occur. Try to look out for warning signs such as minimal communication from employees or noticing that some employees are not completing tasks correctly or on time. Consider setting checkpoints where managers can get updates, address concerns and offer feedback. By setting clear stand procedures in place, you’ll be sure to maintain business growth even with a remote office.
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