If one good thing has come out of COVID-19, it’s that more and more businesses realize the benefits of remote work. Jumping on this trend can help your business stay afloat during the pandemic and ensure that it continues to thrive well into the future.
Ready to assemble your remote team? Explore these stellar tips for finding, hiring, and managing a team of incredible remote workers!
Why Hire Remote Workers?
Many managers are reluctant to hire remote workers over concerns about lost productivity, miscommunication, and a decline in company culture. But this isn’t the case. In reality, remote workers are more productive and happier in their roles than their in-office counterparts!
Research shows that remote workers take shorter breaks, have fewer sick days, start earlier in the day, and report higher job satisfaction—which means lower employee turnover. Hiring remote workers is also extremely cost-effective for you. You don’t have to pay for office space, furniture, supplies, technology, or utilities. Plus, you gain access to a much larger talent pool by recruiting people from all over the world.
How to Prepare Your Business
Before jumping on the bandwagon and hiring a remote team, make sure your business is ready. For example, The McGuire Law Firm explains it’s a good idea to form an LLC to protect yourself from liability and gain access to certain tax advantages. If you want to skip the lawyer fees, use an online formation service to establish your business as a legal entity. Just make sure you review the specific rules and regulations around forming an LLC in your state.
It’s also an excellent time to consider issues around cybersecurity and equipment use. Suppose you’ll be supplying your remote employees with equipment like phones or laptops, set up some policies to protect against damage, theft, and loss. If, on the other hand, your employees are using their own equipment, you’ll have to set clear expectations for cybersecurity and data protection.
Traits to Look for in Remote Candidates
When you’re finally ready to hire your first remote workers, take your time finding experienced and competent candidates. Working from home is more challenging than many people think. Look for workers with traits that set them up for success in a remote team; a great remote worker is independent, tech-savvy, reliable, and a solid communicator. They should be resourceful enough to get their job done and solve problems independently with little direction from others.
Developing a Remote Onboarding Process
A great employee onboarding process is essential for ensuring your new hires have all the resources they need to succeed. Chances are, you won’t be able to convey all of this information in one day, so consider setting up a minimum two-week onboarding plan to help your new hires get up to speed.
Don’t forget you’ll need to pay them, as well as associated payroll taxes. Be sure to look into a payroll app for small businesses with features that help you automate pertinent processes. Choosing software that keeps everything on track and organized is not just a bonus; it helps you avoid making mistakes and late payments to Uncle Sam.
Most importantly, make sure your new people feel welcome! Doist recommends introducing new members to your team by asking them to provide a short bio including information about themselves, where they used to work, the skills they’re bringing to your business, and why they’re excited about the job.
Creating a Positive Work Culture
Encouraging a positive work culture improves employee morale, boosts productivity, and enables your team members to work together successfully. There are several things you can do to help your business develop strong remote work culture. Encourage open communication, establish regular team meetings, and set expectations around work hours. You can also build trust with your employees by listening to their concerns and giving them the freedom to do their work without micromanaging.
Ready to bring some remote employees on board? Thanks to significant cost savings and increased productivity, hiring remote workers can help your small business keep up with your biggest competitors!
Guest author: Courtney Rosenfeld
Courtney Rosenfeld began her career in the gig economy after several years of enviously watching others do the same thing. She started Gigspark to be a resource as a “first step” for people looking to join the gig economy, either as a supplement to their income or to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.