Remote Work: The Ultimate Guide for Employers
7 min read

Remote Work: The Ultimate Guide for Employers

Working with remote employees requires a whole different strategy. From understanding the different contractual possibilities to effectively managing remote employees, here's the ultimate guide for employers to understand remote work.
person engaged in remote work
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Remote work unlocks several important new prospects for employers. And it isn’t only attractive to companies, employees can equally benefit immensely from working remotely. One of the foremost benefits comes down to saving resources on both sides.

Companies don’t need an office, and employees get to avoid commuting. This means savings, both in terms of money and time! And as remote employment has become the present of how the world works, why shouldn’t companies trial it and assess if it works for them?

Employers Guide To Remote Work

If done right, remote work can significantly increase business profits by nurturing organizational efficiency. If you’re assuming you can easily transition to remote work and continue the office setting you got used to, you’ll likely be outcompeted by companies that successfully implemented remote-first cultures.

Remote work mandates a different strategy to function well, so it’s critical for you and your business to understand the building blocks of remote employment and identify the best techniques to find, hire, and manage remote teams in the best way possible.

Three Layers That Compose the Remote Work Opportunity

person working remotely
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For a business looking to explore remote employment, there are basically three types of remote work possibilities that you can choose from.

While they all have their advantages and disadvantages over each other, it ultimately depends on your organization, budget, and goals to identify what works well for you.

Hiring Locally, but Allowing Work From Home

In this layer, companies hire only local talents. They’ll either look for potential candidates within the same city of the business, within the same state, or to a far extent, within the same country.

If an organization is only exploring remote work possibilities, starting with local talents but allowing them to work remotely is a great start.

Synchronous Management

This layer is coupled with synchronous processes for management. Synchronous management is basically requiring remote employees to work simultaneously at the same time. This is mainly followed when working in an office. For instance, the default 9-5 setting.

When synchronous management is followed in remote work, it won’t help businesses to utilize the optimal potential of remote employment. This is why, in the beginning, we mentioned remote work requires a different management strategy (more on that below).

Hiring Internationally but Keeping Synchronous Processes

The second layer is about hiring talents internationally by keeping synchronous management processes intact.

The benefit of adopting this layer is the opportunity to explore a larger pool of talents and better-skilled candidates. As you’re not bound by the company’s location in this layer, you can literally post a recruitment call and hire anyone from around the globe.

Location-indexed Salaries

Also, when hiring internationally, some companies get to save more from the compensation budget. What this means is that companies can compensate remote employees based on their location, which is otherwise known as location-indexed salaries.

Location-indexed salary compensates remote employees depending on where they live. Companies can pay a higher salary to remote employees in an expensive city while paying a comparatively lower salary to remote employees in a less expensive city.

Hiring Internationally and Having Mostly Async Processes

The final layer allows hiring international talent while managing remote employees with asynchronous processes.

This layer will contain all the benefits we discussed above. However, there’s a slight difference here that puts this layer a notch above the other layers in terms of functionality and effectiveness in remote work.

And that’s asynchronous communication - the exact opposite of an office setting.

Asynchronous Management

Asynchronous management is everything that synchronous management isn’t. Remote employees don’t have to be available to managers and colleagues immediately, eliminate set working hours, create time to pre-plan and eliminate chaos, etc.

This type of management gives remote employees the peace of mind they always dreamt of, which takes the pressure off them and ultimately helps them to be productive.

At the end of the day, the effort of a productive employee will only benefit the organization. Async management also helps you pre-plan stuff, giving you and your remote employees the time to consume and reflect on organizational changes or instructions.

Hiring the Best Talent, Wherever they are Physically Located

employees in a remote wok meeting
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A significant benefit of remote work for employers is the opportunity to hire better talents from a larger pool of candidates. Remote work makes this possible by allowing businesses to hire outside their geological boundaries.

Although most of the world has been advancing effortlessly, we have been longing to transform the employment industry. The pandemic came with a breakthrough for remote employment, and now we should take it from here.

Benefits of Hiring Remotely

Hiring remotely comes with several benefits. Primarily, it comes down to these three possibilities that are otherwise not possible without remote employment:

  • A larger talent pool: Since businesses are not bound by location in remote work, they can hire from anywhere worldwide, meaning more talents to choose from.
  • Better-skilled candidates: Similar to having a larger talent pool, businesses will also have better-skilled candidates, thanks to people coming from across the globe.
  • Can utilize location-indexed salaries, if preferred: When hiring from different countries, companies can choose to spend lower on top remote employees from a developing country.

How To Find Remote Talents

Finding remote talents is probably one of the tedious parts of hiring remotely. But it doesn’t have to be if you know where to look.

There are primarily four ways to find remote workers:

  • Social media: Post a recruitment call on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) with information about the open job roles and how they can apply.
  • Job boards: Job boards usually work best if you’re searching for candidates to work long-term with you. Indeed and Glassdoor are two prominent job boards you can try.
  • Freelancing sites: Unlike job boards, freelancing sites are great if you’re looking for a short-term contract with a remote worker. This works if you need a temporary replacement in your organization or a talent with the skills to work on an exclusive task for a short time. Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are some places to search for talent.
  • Your network: It’s a rule of thumb never to underestimate your network. You can ask your colleagues, current employees, or business friends to recommend a suitable talent for your company. The benefit is that the recommended candidates you get are easier to trust and usually require a more straightforward process to verify their profile.

Best Practices When Hiring Remotely

Like everything, hiring remote employees, too, has a list of best practices that employers should adopt. In order to hire the most suitable candidates that can potentially help your businesses grow, consider following these tips:

  • Clearly outline your expectations
  • Be transparent
  • Briefly share the company culture
  • Explain the benefits

Make Employee Management Effective and Efficient

person engaged in remote work
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Management is what follows after successfully hiring a profile. In order to improve your company’s employee retention rate, you need to adopt an effective management strategy that can help your business thrive.

Management is the spine of a business. So here are a few effective techniques that you can use to make employee management effective and efficient:

Adopt Goal-Oriented Management

The first step to creating a successful management process is to transform from a "bums on seats" time-oriented style into a goal-oriented style of management.

In an office, managers usually follow the process of micromanagement and distract employees by asking them frequently for updates. This only slows down the employees, especially as managers are over their shoulders whenever they’re in the office.

If your company is doing the same to remote employees, then that seriously needs to change.

Instead of counting bums on seats, transform into goal-oriented and task-driven management. Stop micromanaging and give remote employees the space they need. Allow them to analyze and develop solutions to a problem at hand.

The truth is, if they need someone’s help, they’ll ask. Micromanaging is a waste of time, dragging down the capability of employees, especially the remote ones.

Reduce Meetings

Like micromanagement, constant, unnecessary meetings will also kill the productivity of remote employees. Reduce such meetings and try to document much of the management process.

Try booking meetings only if a particular task demands it. If your company is blocked from achieving something or has other dependencies, that’s the right time for a live discussion.

On the other hand, if you just want to share information or a potential meeting is unidirectional in terms of communication, just document what needs to be shared.

Use tools like Notion to write down information or Loom to record something. This way, remote employees can go back to revisit any vital part of the information they need.

Be Tech-ready

Remote work depends on technology. It must be one of your core principles to be open to the idea of adopting new digital tools to make working remotely a much easier process.

If you think there’s a tool that can make some parts of remote work more straightforward, or if your remote employees suggest software that can aid in the process, give it a try.

Utilize the Best Tools for Seamless Communication

The final tip is to make communication a pleasant experience for you and your remote employees.

Since we’re talking about remote work, you need to utilize the best digital tools to provide a seamless collaboration experience for your business.

Tools like Notion makes collaboration a lot easier. Slack is another example that lets you communicate with your teams effortlessly.

Conclusion

While remote work opens a portal of opportunities for employers, not doing it right will only hurt your business.

This is why you need to clearly understand the layers of remote work, how to hire the best talent, and manage remote employees effectively and efficiently.

Hiring the best talent comes down to having a few best practices set in place. From being transparent to clearly outlining your expectations, you’ll identify the most suitable candidates that can grow with you.

Management is the most critical aspect of any business, which you should not overlook. Starting from as simple as reducing meetings to eliminating micromanagement, adopting the mentioned techniques will place your business in a much greater position.

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