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Working remotely from home used to be uncommon in the business world. In recent years, however, it has been increasingly becoming the new norm. Thanks, in part, to Stanford data, companies are boosting productivity by hiring remote employees and freelancers. Meanwhile, remote workers enjoy more intangible job perks, including the flexibility to work from a coffee shop, the beach, or even the couch.
Harvard notes that recent polls show nearly half of Americans have spent time working from home. The rise of the remote working style has also made it possible for workers to become digital nomads. According to Hubspot, a company that’s embracing remote work, digital nomads “are remote workers who usually travel to different locations.” That might mean backpacking throughout the world or traveling cross-country in a campervan. So it’s safe to say that there are people working remotely anywhere, anytime.
If you’re ready to grow a remote team, here’s how to build a remote working environment that’s flexible and beneficial to your company and your employees.
As a business, your first step is determining the remote structure you need. For instance, do you envision eventually having a 100% remote company? Although this option requires more planning, communication, and remote management practices, it can save your company money on overhead costs like office space.
Meanwhile, businesses like Microsoft and Slack provide a semi-remote environment. This might mean remote workers come into the office a few days per week. Alternatively, semi-remote setups might mean some employees work onsite full-time while others work from home full- or part-time. If you’re looking for more flexibility and customization, you can create the semi-remote working style that best suits your specific business needs.
Once you’ve determined your remote business structure, the next step is hiring the right people. Entrepreneur.com recommends hiring disciplined, self-motivated people who’ve previously telecommuted. Many companies choose to hire freelancers rather than full-time employees for their remote teams.
So if you’re looking to hire a web designer to overhaul your business’s website, for example, it’s essential to make sure you’re using the right job boards. You can use a freelance job board to find web designer candidates who understand how to design a visually appealing website. Job boards enable you to connect to workers who are reviewed, reliable and qualified for the task at hand.
Communication is key to any business, and that’s especially true when you’re building a remote team. When you can’t always meet face to face, it’s essential to keep all team members in the loop about changes or other crucial information.
If you’re conducting a meeting, make sure that call notes will be made available to your team. Transcribed notes quickly update everyone on the meeting and on project statuses.
Depending upon the length and frequency of your meetings, it might be cost-effective to outsource to an automated transcription service for your business. Automated services can rapidly convert speech into text, so you’ll receive call notes faster than someone could type them by hand.
Making the Switch
When it comes to building your remote team, remember that you may not have to hire an entirely new team from scratch. Instead, if you currently have trustworthy employees who are hard workers, why not offer them the option of working offsite? Nearly 70 percent of workers crave flexibility, so this is your chance to delight your employees and even boost retention.
Remote teams aren’t just a trend; the data shows that the future of the workplace will most likely involve remote working environments. These telecommuting conditions are possible thanks, in large part, to modern technologies. As more companies hire remote freelancers and employees, workers are expecting flexible work environments that offer the freedoms of working from home. To avoid getting left behind, your business can start by exploring strategies and gradually shift toward a structure that supports remote work.