In today’s world, there’s really no reason to foot the bill for a brick-and-mortar business when the vast majority of your work is done on the computer. With advances in technology and ever-changing attitudes toward working from home, having a remote team means saving on overhead. But if you’ve never put together a group of individuals who will work independently yet together, you should know there are a few hurdles and changes you should make to your employment process. Here are a few things you can do to perpetuate success.
Set Clear Expectations
The very first thing you need to keep in mind as you assemble a remote workforce is that, similar to hiring for an in-person position, you have to set your expectations early on. This should include working hours, vacation time, equipment necessary to complete the job, and whether or not employees will have work-time flexibility.
You may also want to specify if your employees can work with distractions in the home; such as children or barking dogs. Keep in mind here that you will have less say in how workers get things done; if they are freelancers instead of on-the-clock employees. The key here is communication.
One of the biggest challenges facing most new remote employers is tracking productivity. That’s where Time Tracking Software can help. With this software, you can identify areas of improvement and see actual time spent on each project and individual task. Time tracking also includes login hours and minutes spent on breaks, meetings, and while unproductive.
While remote workers should enjoy some autonomy, your business relies on operating at its most efficient. Time tracking and employee monitoring software can help you lower operational costs while providing management 100% transparency during working hours.
Background Check and Verify
For each job posting, you’ll likely have many candidates. But even after you’ve chosen the perfect person, your work isn’t done. Chances are, you may never even meet this individual face-to-face. As such, it makes sense to perform a background check and also to verify employment references.
The caveat here is that depending on where you live; you may not be able to run a screening until you’ve made a conditional job offer that’s been accepted. The Fair Credit Reporting Act lays out rules and regulations regarding background checks. Back to the communication aspect; you do have to let potential employees know that you plan to poke around their past.
Additional Business Tips for Forward-Facing Success
- Establish your business structure – Forming an LLC will take some liabilities off of you in case your remote team does something illegal or unethical on the clock. If you don’t want to spend a great deal of money on the process, check your local regulations, which vary by state, and then use a formation service, which you can find online.
- Touch base in person – If you’ve hired locally, plan to have get-togethers at least once every quarter. This way, you can put a face to each of your employees and they can do the same with their co-workers.
- Hire for potential – When your business is new (especially), hire employees or contractors who are familiar with your industry but who aren’t yet set in their ways. Look for those that are open to doing things your way but that also have innovative ideas.
Having a team of remote workers is easier today than ever; but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put some thought into the process. The above tips can help you and your staff stays on track, on task, and on target.