Building a remote workforce

Business | 0

2020 saw the most number of people working from home than ever before. Economic crisis cannot stop businesses from functioning or people from finding their means of living. Still in many countries, the unemployment rate is shooting up in an alarming rate. When work from home was a luxury to many professionals before the lockdown era, it is now a necessity to safeguard the world.

Imagine, if the technology wasn’t advanced, many people wouldn’t have the privilege to work from home and earn leading to deaths more of hunger than the pandemic itself. However, many jobs cannot be done remotely and by nature it is impossible to do away from the workplace. Think about construction workers, doctors, nurses, policemen, etc. if your business is not of this kind, try setting up a remote workforce, it will be a great asset in the coming years. Let us see in this blog how a remote team is the need of the hour.

Why build a remote team?

Keeping aside the current economical reasons that are forcing most of us to work from home, there are other benefits to it.

Low investment and efficient cost control: Who doesn’t want to save some money on total expenditure? Having most of the employees work from home is beneficial for both the company and the employees. No extra charges for office resources, no requirement to pay travel expenses or meal cost. Instead, an organization can spend on training the employees.

 Improved work efficiency: Working from comfort zones has its cons, but pros are more than that. For many employees, reaching office is a Herculean task all throughout the workdays. Waking up at right time to do the daily chores, rushing to the office by evading heavy traffic, etc. takes mental toll on many. In an interesting report published by the Paw Research Center, a nonpartisan American think-tank based in Washington, D.C. ; it is clear that productivity increases when flexible work hours are given to the employees. 87% of HR professionals and leaders say that employee satisfaction increased due to flexible work programs. Employees given freedom and autonomy in turn see increases in performance, relationships and motivation.

Access to a bigger talent pool: What if a specialist living in London will be an asset to your company? Supposedly, your company is established in say a city in Asia, will you still consider hiring the specialist? 20 years back, this was out of the question. But today, with internet connectivity, screen sharing facilities, faster internet speed and cheaper calling options, you can have someone working from any corner of the world as a part of your team. Largest talent pool can pitch in diverse ideas that will help a business grow at a faster rate and reach its goals within a minimum time frame.

A leaner team: Most often companies hire full time employees who don’t have to work all throughout the week. They have just project based tasks, but are paid full time. Why do this, when a company can hire virtual employees for budget friendly prices? The agencies that provide virtual assistant services have increased in the last few years. A leaner remote team of highly skillful and knowledgeable experts and specialists are all that a company needs to complete all the tasks efficiently.  

How to build and manage a remote team?

Very often we use the term virtual and remote interchangeably. Your remote team might have your in-house employees working from various locations or you would have hired a team of virtual employees. Whatever it may be, building a remote team is not as easy as you think. On deciding on having a virtual team, follow the below guidelines to have a robust workforce.

  • Understand and fix on the work model, decide the hierarchy of reporting and be clear on the technology to use to maintain the connectivity at all the times.
  • Follow an inclusive culture from the day one. Anyone not adhering should be warned and monitored.
  • As remote workers have no chances to have face to face interactions; scheduling regular team meetings and strict discussion time with the clients are necessary.
  • Invest in developing new skills. ‘Learning and developing’ sessions for your remote team might not cost a lot as many global universities and institutions are providing free courses for professionals. Encouraging employees to learn more and excel is a leader’s duty.
  • Don’t forget the basic work culture of an organization. Going completely online, doesn’t mean the basic culture of a work place should completely be forgotten. All the work should align with the core values, principles and mission statements.
  • Valuating virtual team members can be done with the help of technology. Time doctor, Hubstaff, RescueTime, Harvest, Replicon etc, is the common platforms used by the virtual workforce to track productivity.
  • The power of communication can do magic in any team, whether it’s a fully-fledged in-house teams or within the remote workforce. Establishing a smooth communication channel, where each member can talk without fear will result in innovation, improved morale and heightened employee satisfaction.

Even after the revival of the economy post the Covid-19 crisis, remote working now dubbed as virtual assistance will stay as a trend for decades to come. However, some psychologists tend to oppose this idea of getting the entire team to work remotely. The consequences that they point out are the clouding work-family relationships, social isolation and unnecessary distractions. This can be avoided, if the works can be outsourced to a virtual assistant agency that has a set of professionals who are used to work from remote locations. In Journal of Business and Psychology published in the year 2019, it is written that, ‘In a study of 273 teleworkers from sales, marketing, accounting, engineering and other departments in one organization, employees whose jobs were highly complex but did not require significant collaboration or social support performed better when telecommuting than when working in the company’s office.’ So, why not consider this strategy, let your in-house team handle all the primary tasks and rest can be taken care of by the virtual assistants. There is absolutely no end to the number of tasks that can be handled by professionals at a virtual assistant agency. For instance, Ossisto give out services in a wide variety of categories: BPO, Business Support, Creative Design, Digital Marketing, Finance and Accounting, IT development, Virtual Assistance, Content Writing, IMS and IT Recruitment. Then there are specialized agencies that provide remote services for a specific industry, catering to a B2B sector. If you are new to this concept and want to try to see how it might help find some extra money this year? Contact Ossisto experts.

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