The ability to work with a global remote workforce is critical for many businesses today. This is important for projects that need a skilled workforce and processes that can be monetized by outsourcing.
Since freelancing or a remote workforce has proven to be one of the most impactful ways of working, it is also essential to ensure that you're just creating a remote workforce but a remote workforce that is effective to make sure that your business gets the most out of it.
The main challenge is that you have to be an expert in managing remote teams for it to work. This blog will walk through the details of being an expert, even if you've never done it before!
Why should you build a remote workforce?
The way businesses operate is changing drastically. Companies big and small are now looking for more efficient ways to run their operations, and businesses of the future are creating new ways of working.
A remote workforce is not a job but a mindset that empowers remote workers to work freely without a boss looking over their shoulder.
There are many benefits of building a remote workforce. Perhaps the most useful is that it can help you save an office and other overhead costs. But here are other advantages as well.
- A remote workforce can help you tap into a larger pool of talent.
- It can make your business more flexible and agile since you're not tied to a physical location.
- It can give your employees more flexibility and a sense of freedom regarding their work schedule.
- It can help you attract and retain top talent, as more and more people are looking for jobs that offer remote work options.
- It can improve your company's carbon footprint and overall sustainability.
- No time is wasted on building, screening, interviewing, and training a remote workforce.
Finally, having a remote workforce gives businesses a much wider pool of potential employees. It allows companies to source talent for specific skills or tasks in short supply locally:
- Scalable - Engage a global workforce at will.
- Flexible - Hire top talent on a project-by-project basis.
- Global - Attract, engage and retain the best talent in the world.
- Cost-Effective - Keep your payroll cost down while increasing productivity and efficiency.
Several studies suggest that remote workers are generally more productive than those who work in traditional office environments. This is likely due to several factors, including:
- Ability to create a more customized and comfortable working environment.
- Lack of distractions and unnecessary commuting.
Overall, there are several compelling reasons to build a remote workforce. With the proper planning and execution, businesses can reap several benefits from this growing trend.
How should you interview, hire and pay remote or freelance workforce?
There are a few key factors to consider when it comes to interviewing, hiring, and paying remote or freelance workers. The most important thing is to find someone who is reliable and will do the job well.
How should you interview?
When interviewing candidates, be sure to ask about their experience working remotely or as a freelancer. Find out what tools they use to stay organized and productive and how they keep in touch with clients and co-workers.
Also, ensure that the interview process is thorough and that you are asking the right questions to gauge a candidate's suitability for the job.
You can ask some specific questions like:
- What is your availability?
- What are your work habits?
- What tools do you use to track your time?
- What do you do to remain focused?
- How long have you been working as a remote worker, or how long have you been freelancing?
- Do you have any experience as an office goer?
- Have you ever worked with bigger teams or organizations?
- Can you share with me examples of your previous projects?
- What's your preferred communication method?
- What are your limitations?
- What keeps you motivated to work or interested in the work while working remotely?
- What is your average daily output?
- What is your favorite part of this job?
- What is the biggest challenge of being a remote worker, and how did you handle it?
And other interview-related questions which are mandatory:
- What makes you an excellent fit for the role?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you leaving your previous work or job?
- What excites you about this position, or why did you decide to do this job?
- How can you contribute to our company?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What do you think is your greatest strength and weakness?
You can add questions accordingly to understand the candidate's capability, personality, and attitude towards their profession.
Note: Some questions are illegal and shouldn't be asked:
- Genetic Information
- Birthplace or citizenship
- Country of origin
- Gender Identity or sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Salary history
When it comes to hiring and paying?
Once you've found the right person:
- First, be clear about what skills and experience you are looking for in the candidate.
- Second, set up a clear and concise interview process that will allow you to get to know the candidate and their work style.
- Ensure they understand your company's culture and values and what is expected of them.
Regarding paying, be fair, competitive, and agree or negotiate on a rate upfront. Remember that remote and freelance workers often have other commitments and may not be able to work the same hours as full-time employees.
How to manage a remote or freelance workforce and also develop good remote work culture?
Managing a remote workforce or a freelance workforce can be a daunting task. This is especially true if you are not used to working with freelancers or remote workers. You will have to ensure that you have the right tools for the job and that your communication lines are clear and open.
Whereas, when it comes to good remote work culture, it starts with clear communication and expectations. Managers need to be clear about what they expect from their team, and team members need to be clear about what they expect from their managers.
In other words, it's about keeping your remote workers or freelancers engaged and getting great results. Here are a few tips to help you achieve both:
Build trust and rapport with your team.
It is essential for a successful and cohesive team. Trust is the foundation of any relationship; without it, your team will struggle to function effectively.
By developing trust and rapport with your team, you create an environment where everyone feels safe communicating and collaborating openly.
- Be open and honest with them.
- Share your thoughts and feelings honestly and be transparent about your decision-making process.
- Encourage your team to do the same and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their idea.
- Make an effort to get to know your team members personally.
- Take an interest in their lives outside of work and build relationships with them beyond the workplace.
- Resolve conflict effectively. When team members trust and respect each other, they are more likely to work together effectively and efficiently.
- Make sure team members feel valued and appreciated. Recognize their contributions and let them know they are essential to the team.
Set up a system to track progress.
First, you need to identify what you want to track. This could be anything from daily tasks to long-term goals. Once you've decided what you want to monitor, you must select how to loop it.
There is a variety of ways to do this:
- Creating a system for communication and collaboration can be done with a project management tool like slack, Asana, Flowdock, etc.
- Next, you'll want to set up a way to track time and invoices. This can be done with a time tracking tool like Toggl, Clockify, Desktime, etc.
- Also, you'll want to set up a way to track deliverables, and this can be done with a tool like Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoho, etc.
Finally, use data and analytics tools to track key metrics and KPIs for your team. This will help you identify areas of improvement and ensure that your group is meeting its goals.
The key to clear communication is to keep communication lines open.
- Make sure your expectations are clear from the outset and check in regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Use a variety of communication channels. In addition to email and instant messaging, consider using conference calls or even picking up the phone from time to time.
- Finally, encourage your freelancers to ask questions and give regular feedback. This will help them know that they're doing well and where they need to improve.
By taking the time to communicate effectively with your remote team, you can set them up for success.
Set clear deadlines and expectations.
This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that the work is getting done promptly.
- If deadlines are not set, things can easily fall through the cracks, and the quality of work to suffer.
- It is also essential to be clear about what is expected regarding work quality and quantity. This will help ensure that remote workers work to their full potential and that the work is of high quality.
Additionally, clear deadlines and expectations can help motivate remote workers and keep them on track. If expectations are not set, people can easily slack off or not put in their total effort.
Be flexible and accommodating.
If you're managing a remote team, you must be flexible and accommodating. After all, your remote workers are working from home, which means they have other commitments they need to juggle.
For example, they may need to take care of their children or pets or have appointments or errands to run.
- That's why it's essential to understand if an employee needs to take a break during the day or to step away from their desk for a few minutes.
- Also, this means understanding when someone can't make a meeting or misses a deadline.
- It also means working with different time zones, accommodating different schedules, and being available for questions and feedback.
Remember that your remote workforce is doing their best to work from home, and they may not be able to meet the same standards as if they were in the office. The bottom line is that you need to be flexible and accommodating to manage a successful team of remote workers.
How to find and recruit the best contractors, gig workers, and freelancers online?
There are several ways to find and recruit the best contractors, gig workers, and freelancers online.
- One way is to post a job ad on a job board or freelancer site. This will allow you to reach a large pool of potential candidates saving your time and money.
- Another way is to use a recruitment agency specializing in finding contractors, remote gig workers, and freelancers. This can be a more expensive option, but it can save time.
- Finally, you can use social media to reach out to potential candidates. This can be a great way to connect with potential candidates who may not be actively looking for new opportunities.
The client and the freelancer should benefit from the relationship with equal shares, so know what you are getting into when hiring an individual to work alongside your team.