Even though some startups have offered remote working opportunities as an initial part of their hiring process, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced many businesses to transition to remote work.
The advancement of internet bandwidth, Wi-Fi coverage, and other technologies have also played a significant role in popularizing remote work.
It is quite common to see remote work being offered as a perk in job advertisements to attract new hires. Even though remote hiring and managing is not rocket science, it is not a walk in the park either.
Companies switching to remote work need to get used to working as a distributed team and use the best tools to streamline the entire process. Companies can enjoy multiple benefits from hiring remote teams, but only if they are ready to tackle the challenges associated with managing them.
Advantages of Hiring Remote Teams
Remote teams comprise employees working together on one project from different time zones, countries, and cities.
Even though managing remote teams could be more challenging than an in-office team, the remote talent pool is highly beneficial. They could be the best talent for taking the company to the next level.
Using organizations that provide solutions for hiring, paying, and managing remote teams would ease the burden.
When appropriately executed, remote work can benefit remote workers and their employers while bonding them in shared company culture. These benefits include:
1. Better Work-Life Balance
While it may seem a bit unrealistic how employees bringing work projects home can help them achieve a better work-life balance, it is not. One of the perks of working remotely is that it makes them feel more in control of their lives and career by promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Remote working comes with flexible schedules, meaning that remote employees can start their work and finish early and have enough time to spend with their loved ones. This leads to employee job satisfaction, making them more productive.
2. Reduced costs
Going to work for five days per week is expensive.
Employees spend a lot of money commuting, buying lunches, coffee, parking fees, client meetings, and work clothes. Working remotely helps employees save thousands of dollars yearly on these expenses, which can help improve their quality of life.
These savings do not just apply to employees.
Working remotely also helps employers save money on cleaning services, rent, building maintenance, utilities, furniture, and meals. With employees working from home offices, employers do not need to spend money on office equipment since employees have working stations at their homes.
3. Increased Productivity
Productivity is the cornerstone of every business.
Productive employees translate to better efficiency and more revenue for the company. Multiple studies have shown remote workers are more effective than full-time employees in an office space.
In addition to having flexible schedules, remote workers are subjected to fewer distractions and little office politics when working from home. This enhances their motivation, creativity, and overall performance.
While some employers could be concerned about the unproductivity of employees when working from home, recent statistics show that productivity has increased with remote working
Challenges Remote Teams Face When Working Remotely
Remote working is becoming increasingly popular worldwide due to its many benefits to employers and remote workers.
However, it is worth noting remote working presents a set of unique challenges, especially if employers want to keep business as usual.
If these challenges are not addressed properly, they can easily interfere with the company’s productivity and engagement levels. The following are the challenges that come with working remotely and how to overcome them.
1. Poor Communication
Communication is essential in the workplace and, by extension, in remote work. The lack of face-to-face interaction may make communication difficult among virtual team members. Every team member needs to know what everyone else is working on for the remote workforce to succeed.
The remote team manager must also check in on the remote teams for progress and delegate projects accordingly. To achieve this, the manager needs a dedicated platform for communication where all team members can stay in the loop about what everyone else is working on and the progress of the entire project.
Slack is one of the most popular internal communication platforms that can aid remote team members in communicating more effectively and sharing files in real-time. Its useful app integrations and safety features give remote team members more control and visibility as they work on their projects.
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2. Managing Projects & Tracking Workflow
One of the biggest challenges remote team managers face daily is managing projects and keeping track of workflow. They must ensure that their remote employees work at the desired rate to meet deadlines and achieve all set goals.
In an office setting, managers review the progress of various reports through in-person meetings with the employees.
However, this is not possible in a remote setting.
Remote employees are in different cities and time zones, making it challenging to coordinate regular team meetings. Therefore, remote team managers must develop better ideas to keep track of individual projects.
Fortunately, many project management tools today allow remote team members to stay updated and collaborate easily. Trello is an excellent example of a project management tool that helps remote team managers plan project activities and keep track of individual projects’ progress.
Trello and other similar tools allow remote team members to collaborate and continue working on their projects without switching from one application to another.
On a Final Note
Proper management of remote teams will help organizations achieve great success. Although overcoming some challenges takes time and commitment, managers can improve communication processes, implement team-building activities, and use the right tools.