Hiring remote workers and freelancers still seems like a scary thing for many managers. The idea of not controlling employee's time and not seeing them in the office daily feels like a lose of control and power. And it's easy to presume that those employees, not supervised locally, work little and with less efficiency.
However, remote workforce offers many advantages.
Hubstaff recently published a nifty guide to remote work that gives many examples on how to best harness both full time telecommuters and freelancers.
As Hubstaff said in their guide: „Five years ago, if you wanted to see whether your employees were being productive, you'd have to physically walk over to their desks and talk to them. Now, thanks to time-tracking apps like Hubstaff, you can monitor their productivity from anywhere in the world (and way more accurately.)"
You can also use Weekdone weekly reporting tools to monitor your employees from your computer, tablet of smart-phone. Weekdone uses the PPP (Plans, Progress, Problems) methodology that gives you an advantage managing both remote and local teams.
How remote working gives you an edge.
Having some or all of your staff work from home has many advantages. One of which is the reduction of office costs. Considering the price of good office space and supplies, having a virtual team will save you a lot of money.
But wait, there's more.
As Remote.co tells us, employees will save a lot of time by not commuting and they'll be a lot more productive and healthy. Remote workers take fewer sickdays and are happier. Not to mention that this sort of work is a lot more eco-friendly.
These reason alone are enough to make your remote system attractive for employees and give you an advantage over other employers.
Most employees would like to work from home anyway. Forbes has reported that the most attractive reason for working from home are:
Work/home balance (60%);
Save gas (55%);
Avoid traffic (47%).
But for you as an employer, the biggest advantage that I can't stress enough is the ability to choose employees from a world wide pool.
Why settle for the best local employees when you can employee the best workers from the entire country and the world?
You'll be able to make sure the employees you choose are really the best fit for your company.
There are of course, like with everything, some drawbacks and challenges to overcome.
The biggest is, in my opinion, the fact that it's a lot harder to establish trust and integrate new employees into your teams. But these problems can be conquered. You just need to be a good leader.
Kevin Kruse puts it nicely: „Bad managers—which, let's face it, are most of them—don't set specific, measurable goals and outcomes. So they think they are "witnessing productivity" when a worker sits in her cube, but they are really just witnessing presence."
Good managers, on the other hand set measurable specific goals (or SMART goals) and using right tools, can know that employees are really working from their computer screen or smart-phone.
If the time a person works is important for you, you can use time tracking software like Hubstaff to monitor everyone. Or you can use status reporting and OKR tools like Weekdone to make sure everything gets done.
If you have any tips or personal experience on how to handle remote workers then let us know.