Day after day, month after month, and year after year, an interesting
shift in employment is occurring. It’s the rise of companies built
partially or entirely on remote staff – that is, employees who work from
home or who don’t need to be in any physical proximity to their boss or
business’ headquarters. In many cases, like that of popular customer
support software Groove, the business itself may not even have a
headquarters, making for an entirely remote team.
Why has this trend been rapidly growing? For one, it cuts costs; if
you’re able to put the money saved from office rent and associated costs
each month right back into your marketing and advertising budget. Plus,
this can allow a company to more easily source talent that isn’t
available locally, and might not be able to immediately relocate due to
family, finances, etc. Many companies find as well that there workers
may be happier if they’re able to work their schedules around their
family life, hobbies, or other things that make them happy and may not
always coincide with a strict 9-5 schedule.
If your entrepreneurial pursuits ever reach a point where you’re needing
to take on some actual staff, this may be a way for you to take the step
earlier and in a less costly way. That said, there are some things you
should consider implementing to help make sure that remote employment is
beneficial to both you and your employee.
1. Have a schedule.
While the schedule of a remote employee might be
different as discussed earlier, they should still have some schedule
made up so that you know when they will be working and when they will be
off. This helps respect both the company by letting other team members
know when they can easily reach someone, and the employee by setting
boundaries so that the time they aren’t ‘on duty’ can be respected by
their boss and coworkers.
2. Use collaboration tools to organize your tasks.
Honestly, there are a ton of these things out there, and which
works best for you is something you’ll have to experiment with. The
point is to simply have a digital space that stands in for a whiteboard
or calendar type space that you might find in a traditional office.
This will help everyone get an overview of what everyone else is working
on and when projects will be completed. A good free tool is Trello,
while a paid one would be something like Dapulse. Even if you go as
simple as a Google Docs spreadsheet, make sure you have something in
3. Focus your hiring practices on motivation.
In traditional hiring, you’ll be focusing on qualification. While this
is still important, keeping remote workers delivering at a level that
justifies their salary means they need to be well-motivated by their work
as well. For example, picking people who are excited about your specific
product or mission is a great way to ensure that you will actually have a
remote employee that puts in the hours when they need to. If you suspect
motivation i swaning, address it. If that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid
to tell someone it isn’t working out.
When you’re ready to hire your first outsourcer I recommend you spend a
little time going through Jame’s Wedmore’s Outsourcing Secret’s Training
program first to make sure you do things the right away (and avoid any