The pandemic has accelerated the future of remote work. More people today are working from home than ever before.
Earlier in the year, companies were forced to quickly adapt and provide remote working arrangements to continue operations, including staffing agencies and other mass talent procurement agencies. This has accelerated the future of remote work by challenging companies and staffing agencies alike to quickly restructure workplaces and redefine roles to address today’s reality.
It’s only the beginning, however. Many companies plan to continue to offer the flexibility of remote work until at least 2021.
Some agencies are even realizing the advantages of remote work. Many staffing and recruiting professionals have broken out on their own and started their own agencies from home. Others plan to transition to fully remote work in the future to benefit from cost savings on overhead and greater flexibility.
Use these tips to successfully become a remote-work agency.
1. Hiring Internationally
One of the top benefits of remote workforce management is that you can hire top talent, anywhere in the world.
If you’re considering employing international remote workers this year, however, you might want to consider looking into an employer of record (EOR) solution. Employing workers abroad can be both costly and complex. There are many barriers to entry when it comes to setting up an entity in another country.
The entire process of registering as an employer in a different country could take months and sometimes a minimum of $30,000. Using an EOR solution can be a cost-effective and quick way to hire new remote workers internationally. They already have the infrastructure set up, which you can use to get up and running quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
When it comes to hiring international workers, you’ll also need to switch to video interviewing. You’ll want to make sure you have the right technology in place to interview candidates and do some research into successful video interviewing techniques.
While you’re at it, you should consider delivering your recruitment services remotely as well by expanding nationally or internationally with an EOR. You’ll already have the infrastructure set up and the interviewing skills and tech in place, which makes it easy to recruit and employ international workers for your clients and scale your agency.
2. Infrastructure and Devices
Your remote workers are going to need the right tools to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. That’s why successful remote work management includes infrastructure and devices.
They’ll need a computer and a communications tool, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Slack. They’ll also need a webcam for video-conferencing (and video interviewing), as well as headphones to eliminate distractions.
You’ll also want to ensure the tools they use have compatible systems for sharing information and files. This will help prevent collaboration obstacles. Cloud-based applications and services can make collaborating from different locations much easier.
For new employees and any employee unfamiliar with your systems, applications, or devices, you’ll need to provide the necessary training to set them up for success.
Some remote workers may be using their personal laptops and computers when working from home. This makes security a top priority to successful remote workforce management.
You’ll want to make sure their devices have the latest virus protection packages and system backups. If you’re using cloud applications, strong passwords and multi-factor authentication are a must.
You might also want to provide cybersecurity training to reduce your risks.
4. Preparing Your Leaders for Remote Leadership
Leading a remote team is unlike leading a team in an office, where you can have that one-on-one connection with team members in person. Remote leaders should be set up with the right tools and policies, so they know how to manage their teams appropriately. This could mean providing video-conferencing software for daily check-ins or providing a manual for what to do when team members aren’t performing effectively from home. Project management software can also come in handy to keep everyone on track.
Leaders will also need to shift gears when it comes to how they offer feedback, how they keep projects on track, and how and when they make themselves available to their team members, both collectively and individually.
Regular meetings are encouraged. Remote workers should be able to discuss their work with their supervisors on a regular basis. There should also be processes in place that allow workers to know leadership is available and can be called into impromptu meetings for urgent matters. However, regular communication should cut down on the necessity of these impromptu meetings.
5. Building a Great Team Culture Remotely
When you’re not seeing each other in person, it can be tough to create a great team culture. How do you motivate employees or get them excited about your agency’s direction when they’re halfway around the world?
Active communication becomes more important than ever. Listening, asking questions, and empathizing are key skills here. Your remote workers should understand your agency’s goals and vision for the future. They should know you’re there for them if they have questions or concerns. They should trust that they can communicate their needs and that you’ll really listen. Employees should also be encouraged to take part in informal conversions using instant messaging or via virtual meetings with colleagues to keep up the feeling of community and make sure no one feels isolated.
Providing productivity guidelines for the team can also help build the high-performance culture you’re looking for in your firm. Avoid micromanaging. Instead, outline your realistic expectations and make it clear that you trust your workers to deliver high-quality work.
Creating a culture of health and wellbeing is also incredibly important when it comes to remote workers. When working from home, many employees work longer hours to prove their productivity, which can cause more stress. Encouraging them to take breaks from their computers and to maintain a regular work schedule can help improve their wellbeing and their job satisfaction.
To build a better connection with remote workers, you can also consider throwing virtual parties and team-building activities. These types of activities get everyone together to build team spirit, and this often translates to company-wide success.
The Future of Remote Work Is Here
The future of work was always remote. The pandemic has only accelerated it. Whether you’re thinking of starting a remote-work staffing agency or transitioning your team to fully remote work, these five tips can help ensure successful remote workforce management.