The digital age has resulted in several employment trends such as remote working and digital nomads who can work from practically anywhere with just a laptop and Internet connection.
More recently, the coronavirus pandemic caused a paradigm shift in employment as thousands of in-office employees around the globe embraced the work-from-home culture leading to higher productivity. All over the world, employees were willing to quit jobs that lacked work-life balance or flexibility, resulting in the Great Resignation post-pandemic.
In Asian countries like Malaysia, a survey reported the top reasons for Malaysian employees quitting include lack of recognition, work flexibility, and being overworked. The logical way for businesses to move forward is to mitigate potential talent retention issues by implementing remote work or flexible work arrangements. If you are looking to set up a staff of remote workers, then consider these valuable tips for a solid head start.
1) Define roles, responsibilities, and expectations of remote workers
Engage in open discussions with managers of each department within the company to determine the nature of work suitable for remote work, the relevant skillset, work experience, and job expectations.
Drawing up a list of immediate vacancies and future roles coupled with clear job descriptions and expectations saves time and money for the business as recruiting and training workers is expensive. Undoubtedly, a lack of direction in recruitment would be a costly mistake for any business that hinders long-term growth.
2) Hire the right remote talent
Sourcing workers with prior remote working experience reduces training costs and time as these workers already have the drive, discipline, and skills that suit the remote work environment. The recruitment process involves careful consideration as hiring the right remote talent can be more challenging due to geographical factors.
Other than posting remote job ads on your company website, try outsourcing your company’s recruitment needs to remote working recruitment services with an established reputation of providing highly skilled remote talent. Ultimately, companies need to prioritise hiring talent with good communication skills, high expertise in their field, self-motivated, and the ability to respond to issues promptly.
3) Select digital tools to manage remote teams
Effective communication is vital in any relationship, including a business relationship. Most remote staff work from different locations and countries, and managing them would be less challenging by leveraging technology, such as Zoom and Google Meet, where workers connect virtually. Many companies have also implemented a “camera always on” policy to foster better collaboration during meetings as it allows workers to get to know each other better by putting a face to a name and observing body language.
Companies can also set guidelines when remote workers need to be accessible to give feedback on work progress. Encouraging your remote teams to reach out through the designated communication channels goes a long way in maximizing clear and transparent communication. Try out each digital communication tool and select the one that suits the needs of your business and remote workers.
Utilizing digital tools to track paid hours for remote workers or improve efficiency is a practical way to manage remote teams located on an international scale. Determine the right time-tracking software by exploring online tools such as Hubstaff and Zoho Projects. Ultimately, companies need to embrace the right metrics by focusing on whether remote workers deliver quality work on time rather than when or how many hours the worker has completed in a day.
4) Foster team spirit and positive remote work culture
Implementing a positive remote work culture starts with a strong team spirit. As most remote teams work in different countries, begin by creating a memorable onboarding experience for new remote hires. Blast an online message to welcome new hires in the company newsletter accessible to all remote staff or send a customized care package with company merchandise such as stationeries. Share the company ethos, introduce management and leadership teams to new hires in a fun virtual ice-breaking session, and provide them with a customized digital handbook on remote company policies.
Other practical ways to foster better team spirit between existing remote workers and new talent include sharing company news and updates, hosting virtual support groups, and fun team-building games.
Fostering more personal and valuable connections among remote team members will make them feel appreciated. Touch base regularly with your remote workers through one-to-one meetings or weekly team meetings. Start with a private sharing session before diving into work matters. Virtual theme parties are also an exciting way for remote workers to bond on a casual note without the stress of work matters.
Most companies also allocate a budget for remote teams to meet up in real time for dinner or outdoor activities in small groups or every quarter. Simple acts of appreciation make remote employees feel valued and show that the company cares for the well-being of its remote staff and promotes a positive remote work culture.
5) Invest in personal and career development
Building a solid remote team is more than just hiring the right talent. Good remote work culture involves investing in your remote workers’ development beyond on-the-job training.
Learning is a lifelong process, and allocating resources to enable remote workers to gain new skills goes a long way in building a versatile and motivated remote team. Whether attending online courses, conferences, or reading books, give each worker the flexibility to pursue their area of interest according to methods that suit them the best.
In recent times, remote work presents various benefits to businesses and employees. The top advantages for remote workers include high productivity, a better quality of life, and job satisfaction, whereas employers stand to gain from a wider pool of talent, low overhead costs, and low turnover.
With good remote management policies in place, remote workers will have a sense of purpose and become more accountable to their employers. If you are ready to build a remote team, implement these valuable strategies today to attract the right remote talent for your company.