Remote work has seen a significant rise in the past decade. More people are working from home and from all indications, the numbers will keep rising. As great as the concept of remote work is, there are several things that employers fail to plan for. Hiring remote employees is not all sunshine and rainbows. It has its unique challenges for both managers and employees. There are also several misconceptions about working remotely. Thus, it is vital for employers to know what to expect when hiring remote workers.
Most mistakes made by employers are avoidable if they know what to do ahead of time. We’ve outlined 10 things employers fail to plan for when hiring remote employees to help you make wiser decisions.
1. Effectively Managing Employees
Hiring remote workers means you’ll have people in different countries working for you. It results in alternate time zones, and either the employee will adjust to meet with your time or choose to work in theirs. Adversely, it will affect productivity, and having team meetings will be next to impossible. The best way to deal with this is by hiring those whose time isn’t much different from yours or those willing to adjust.
2. Functional Remote Communication
Communication is vital if you intend to have remote staff. Ensure you establish a clear communication channel. If you use messaging software, ensure your remote workers use emojis to indicate emotions. Doing the preceding ensures there’s no misunderstanding of intent.
3. Different Cultures and Backgrounds
Remote workers are from different cultures and backgrounds, affecting their communication. What one person feels is acceptable may annoy others. Thus, it is best to deal with this by learning about the region your remote employee is from. Encourage feedback and open dialogue too.
4. Whiteboarding Without Being in the Same Room
It is difficult to share ideas between remote team members because of the absence of a shared space. Remote workers can’t share spontaneous ideas or brainstorm with their colleagues. Get a whiteboarding tool to help you deal with this and improve team cohesion.
5. One-on-One Time With Remote Workers
While you can quickly stop an onsite staff for a chat on work or popular culture, you can’t do so with a remote employee. Thus, as an employer, either you, a supervisor, or a manager must make time for one-on-one conversations.
6. Spending More Time on Documentation
Since every communication channel is virtual, you have to spend more time managing and documenting processes. To deal with this, set up an effective reporting system and clear goals. This way, everyone knows when to do what, and you don’t get overwhelmed.
7. Uneven Praise and Celebration
Onsite staff will likely receive faster praise and recognition than the one who is working remotely. Whether it is one-on-one or in groups, it’s harder to do when you can’t see the person physically. Solve this by getting creative and using celebratory Giphy. They work all the time.
8. Planning and Budgeting Company Retreats
Here’s what a retreat will do for you and your remote employee. It will put the two or more of you in the same space, face to names, and allows face-to-face conversations. The only way to achieve this is by consciously planning and making a budget.
9. Taxes and Legal Documentation
Depending on the country you operate from, there might be several tax laws and legal paperwork involved in hiring remote staff. Before hiring anyone in a new country or state, speak with HR and your legal team on the possible implications. It will save you from future headaches.
10. Onboarding is Different for Everyone
Don’t expect the remote onboarding you used for one remote employee to work for another. Since onboarding is vital for successful hires and retention, you must pay attention to the method used. Also, ensure you introduce all new hires and ask them to record short videos of themselves.
With the world continually changing daily, working remotely is ideal for most organizations. Ensure you fit the bill, and use everything discussed here to avoid unfavorable situations. Finally, be a great leader and manager, and be genuinely invested in your remote staff.
About the Author: Daniel Witman is a passionate journalist who has contributed to major media publications. He enjoys writing about eSports and other topics that bother modern men. Currently, he's serving as an editor for dota2-bets.net.