According to a recent New York Times survey, 43% of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely. With more and more people opting to work at home, it’s the opportune time for small businesses to either consider hiring remote employees or letting current employees spend more time working from home.
The next obvious question is: are there any benefits to having remote employees?
Benefits of Remote Workers
Studies of remote workers have proven that they boost your your bottom line:
- Remote workers spend 9.5 percent more time working than office-based employees and are 13 percent more productive
- Remote workers are more dedicated and engaged in their work
- Nearly 6 out of 10 employers claim significant cost savings from using remote workers
And the benefits just keep stacking.
Your employees want flexibility, they want the freedom to work on their own time and at their own pace. When they have these benefits, they’re willing to put in a little more effort.
Sounds great, right? Well, we’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at 3 more reasons you should utilize remote workers:
- Access to Worldwide Talent
Hiring remote means you can hire anyone. With the world at your disposal, you have the flexibility to find someone who’s not only extremely talented, but who’s the right fit for your company.
Sometimes you just don’t have the resources you need locally. Casting a wide net will give you a much more diverse and dynamic cast to choose from.
- Decreased Costs and Increased Productivity
Being able to hire the best people for the job means you’ll get a higher yield on time spent. Better workers just know how to do the job right.
Also, your workers won’t have transportation costs and or be forced to invest time driving to work. And, you’ll save major overhead because you won’t have to rent office space for your remote workers.
- More Part-Time Employees
Sometimes you don’t need a full-time worker to get a job done. You may need a writer to deliver a few blog posts every week or an audio engineer to edit your company podcast once a week. Whatever the job, being able to hire a part-time remote employee can save you thousands of dollars on labor costs.
Better employees, decreased costs, increased bottom line: what more could any savvy small business owner ask for? There is one thing…
How do you go about setting up a successful remote workforce?
Stick to Basics
Start by establishing communication channels using Slack, LINO, Skype, or any other communication platform. Next, keep track of remote employees by implementing project management tools like Trello and Basecamp.
Now it’s time to consider who to hire. It all starts with the interview. It’s best to conduct the interview using an app like Skype that enables face-to-face interaction. This also gives you the opportunity to gauge whether applicants can communicate effectively when they’re connecting with you from a remote location. Once you’ve find a few new hires, hash out the details of what times your remote team members will be working, the best ways to collaborate on projects, and how often they’ll be expected to touch base.
Make sure to keep tabs on your workers with weekly phone or Skype calls, and do what you can to keep them motivated and working toward your vision. As with any workforce, the happier your remote team is, the more productive they’ll be…