3 Keys to Effectively Scaling a Remote Workforce
16% of companies worldwide are fully remote. And with COVID-19 forcing more companies to embrace the possibility of operating with the majority of the workforce out-of-office, that number is destined to increase significantly over the coming years.
But while most businesses today have embraced the idea of having at least some of their employees work remotely, many are still hesitant about taking the next step and scaling their remote workforce to more significant levels.
However, in order to succeed with growing your remote workforce, you need to understand a few fundamental principles that are essential for the process to go smoothly.
To help you get the process going and make it easier, let’s go over a few things you should consider.
Have a Way to Track Performance
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As you increase the number of people working remotely, keeping track of their performance will become more challenging. But without a reliable process, you won’t know how people are spending their time and whether it could be used more effectively.
The good news is that computer tracking software can enable you to know exactly what each employee is doing at any time, even if they’re working on the other side of the country.
While you may be hesitant about what some might consider a privacy issue, tracking employee time and work is much more about maintaining and improving productivity. When you know what your remote employees are working on, you can understand their processes and provide suggestions on how to improve.
At the same time, you may discover that you need to provide your employees with the right tools to succeed. By knowing how they approach tasks, you can find that some of the processes are outdated and require you to make changes that put your employees in a position to succeed.
Finally, tracking performance will allow you to see the best performers on your team and implement rewards or incentives to keep engagement and motivation high.
Figure Out How to Find the Right People
Not everyone is suited for remote work. Some employees are better at working in a collaborative environment, while others prefer to have more independence. And because of that, picking the suitable types of people when scaling your remote workforce is absolutely essential.
But to ensure that you get the right types of people on your remote teams, you need to have a reliable process for identifying the suitable candidates from a large candidate pool.
Onboarding new employees takes time and effort, especially when you have to do it remotely. So be very deliberate about choosing the people if you don’t want to go through the process multiple times.
A good starting point is to look at your best-performing remote employees and identify the key traits that make them so effective. Then, you can create a profile of a good remote worker and base your hiring decision on how well a candidate matches up with what you’re looking for.
And when you do find someone who you are confident will excel in a remote role, don’t be afraid to be aggressive in trying to get them. Since hiring a poor candidate can be very costly, you should pursue those likely to pay off with extra determination.
Provide Your Team With the Right Tools
The success of remote teams largely depends on the technology you provide them. Many of the in-office activities have to be simulated online, and that depends on the employer making sure that the team has everything they need to complete daily tasks.
For starters, the list of tools you must provide includes everything they might need for communication. Solutions like Slack, Asana, and Zoom became absolutely indispensable during the pandemic, so make sure your employees have access to them as well. At the same time, it’s crucial to implement the best practices of using tools like Slack so that your team actually utilizes it to its full potential.
Other tools you should provide include cloud collaboration, data storage, and employee engagement solutions to keep your team moving through tasks swiftly.
The ultimate goal is to recreate the in-office experience as much as possible, removing friction from all aspects of daily work life and working with your team to understand their needs and match them every step of the way.
Scaling your remote workforce is one of the best ways to increase efficiency, find new talent, and decrease overhead costs in the process. But it comes with unique challenges as well.
The good news is that with the strategies above, you should be able to solve most of the issues that could arise from hiring and working with primarily-remote teams.