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Best Practices: How to Hire and Retain Remote Developers
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Can a Startup Be Successful If the Team Is Completely Remote?
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Why Should You HIRE a Remote Team for Your Web and Mobile Requirements?
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Remote Work is a HIT! We’ve Got Data to Prove It
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7 Ways to Boost Your Remote Team’s Productivity
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Will Remote Work Eradicate the Need for Outsourcing?
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How to Prevent Conflicts That Arise While Working with Remote Teams
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5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!
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Can Startups Rely on a Remote Team?
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7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team

The influence of technology is a crucial aspect of the modern organization. The rapid pace at which technology is advancing is facilitating an ability for organizations to expand. In today’s world, there are people from around the world who have the skills and abilities to work in a wide range of projects and positions. Hiring an onsite team can be a very costly method  In some many cases, financial constraints mean that it’s not even a  practical option. With the increasing need for affordable answers, remote employees have become a reliable answer to many problems.

An increasing amount of professionals, such as developers, are opting to work from home. This has paved the way for many organizations who are embracing the culture of the remote developer. The advantages of hiring remote help can be many. Not only are you free from the burden of being geographically bound in the search for your employees, but you gain the perspectives of different people from around the world. In this article, we will discuss the methods of hiring and retaining remote developers.

How to hire a remote team

When hiring remote developers, since they typically aren’t interviewing in person, you have to be diligent when assessing their skills. There are some prerequisites for any aspiring candidate wanting to work remotely. They should have a propensity to action, be self-motivated, be priority driven, trustworthy and excellent communicators. Jobrack has come up with a comprehensive guide which packs in a lot of helpful information on remote hiring.

The steps you should be following to complete a successful hiring campaign are as follows:-

  • Willingness to cooperate and have adaptive qualities: – Because they are working with a large team, members of which may be based all across the globe, good remote workers should possess a willingness and ability to cooperate. Similarly, the aspiring candidate should be able to adapt to the work culture of your organization.
  • Past Freelancing: – Traditional training of a remote staff member can be technically difficult and sometimes impossible to conduct. An applicant’s past freelance work experience should be considered along with their other accomplishments. Their work history will help determine whether they are suitable or eligible for your particular project.
  • Excellent communication: – The candidate must possess excellent communication skills as they are involved with projects in different time zones with people around the globe. In spite of the location constraint, the applicant must have the ability to communicate clearly with his or her supervisors in order for this kind of an arrangement to be successful.

Managing a remote team of developers is of utmost importance. If you’re a manager entrusted with the task of dealing with remote workers, a key to building positive employee-to-employer relationships is providing a structured rewards and recognition program.

It may be a daunting task for some managers to do this, so below are some tips to help you.

  • Checking on them regularly: – This should be done, not only to monitor your employees but to show them that you are there. Regular meetings can be scheduled. Online tools like Skype, Web Messenger, Hip Chat, Slack, etc., make it easier to conduct video or audio meeting sessions with overseas workers. One on one sessions can be organized for process intensive training. Interacting with your employees regularly in a friendly manner instills a sense of reassurance in the minds of remote employees.
  • Rewards and Bonuses: – Rewards and bonuses are a great way for keeping your employees in a positive working mood. Not all employees give priority to the salary alone; they also search for additional benefits. Since traditional perks like housing allowances, food or transportation cannot be offered to remote workers.  Instead, you offer alternative’s, such as specialty training and ways to advance in your organization.
  • Keep them updated: – Remote employees do not have the advantage of being present when major decisions are being made, so it is important that all important information be relayed to your remote team. This not only eliminates any sense of doubt in your employee’s mind, but it also helps the team to work in a coordinated and efficient way.

By using such methods of hiring and managing remote developers, your organization can reap the full benefits of employee expansion. It is an advantage for a company to hire remote workers, in reducing costs and increasing overall profitability.  Acquiring remote workers has the added benefit of canvassing talent that you otherwise might have missed out on. Thus, remote developers ultimately help a company actualize its fullest potential.

This is the age of startups with numerous companies launching daily. Startups have not only provided a boost to the economy but have also reversed the way of doing business altogether. The success of many startups has proven that money is not a factor when you have the right talent and creativity paired with innovative ideas.

Startups are never apprehensive of a slow economy, a daunting topic for large enterprises. Instead, some of the most successful startups have been launched in times of economic turmoil.  Surviving, and even thriving, through difficult times, they’ve emerged successfully. In addition to supporting the economy and providing new directions for business operations, startups have given us an even more valuable asset by redefining the way we work. While many IT giants are deciding to restrict the remote working scenario due to fears, which are not based in reason, startups are the living example of how remote working can be a great success. A startup requires a decent amount of hard work, dedication and time in order to survive in the market. In a competitive market, employees and professionals typically have to put in even more time and work.

Successful startup companies understand that they need to move beyond traditional ways of working in order to achieve their goals. Remote working is beneficial for startups for this reason and much more. With virtual team management and technologically advanced work management tools that allow companies to get better control of remote working teams, remote working has become the logical choice. Here are some points to prove that, not only is the remote working team a profitable option, but it is also the best option.

Cost Effective

The primary concern of a startup is to keep their costs at a minimum. It is very necessary for a startup to count all their costs and to avoid any kind of unnecessary expenses. Most startups begin their journey without an office or they operate from home offices. Thus, they work with remote teams in order to be productive. This enables the founders to avoid investment in infrastructure until they are profitable and better established. Remote teams are the solution for the lean startup.

Best of Talent

Startups need a skilled, experienced and talented team of people to facilitate growth. When you’re working with a remote team of professionals, you can connect with talented and creative professionals that add to your business through their innovative ideas. This is possible because the workplace moves out of the physical office into a digital arena and allows the companies to reach out to talented people from different cities as well as different countries. There is another factor that contributes to this benefit. When companies offer an opportunity to work from home, or any other place away from the office, there is an abundance of talented professionals who will apply for that job as they cannot or do not want to work in a traditional setting. Startup companies benefit from a very large talent pool to choose from.  Companies can access a base of prospective employees at a global level, which gives them a definite advantage over traditional businesses.

Dedicated Team

Most traditionalists try to lodge a debate that employees working from a remote place will not be as dedicated as the ones working in a physical office, but that is a concept of the past. Many researchers have shown that employees prefer remote working models, especially millennials. Employees these days want more flexibility and freedom in their work. The younger generation wants a clear work/life balance and remote employment allows for that balance. When employees needs are met, they are happier and more productive. Employees are more satisfied, thus, they work with more dedication and put in even more hard work.

Increased Productivity

The team of workers has a vital role in the growth of a startup company. Research has shown that a remote team is far more productive than those who work in the office. Experts believe the home, or any other cozy environment of choice, to be the reason behind the boost in productivity of remote professionals. Apart from the working environment, the working hours are also very flexible. Thus, if a professional is comfortable working at a particular time, they have the freedom to do that.

No Distractions

A focused working environment is very crucial for the survival and growth of startups. Working in an office where there are many other employees can be very distracting. It can be very difficult to focus on work. In some cases, too many meetings and dependence on emails to communicate in a traditional working environment deepen this problem.

There are many technologies that help companies to coordinate their remote team of professionals. Remote teams have been a definite advantage, laying strong foundations for many successful startup companies.

In order to develop your business and launch your online product, the very first thing that comes to mind is hiring developers that come at a high price. With in-house programmers, the costs of you have to pay a great deal of money in the name of salary. Not only money, you also have to spend time.  It can take months to find the right developer, and then you must also pay for their office space. Office maintenance is an additional expense to consider.

In order to save time and money, businesses today prefer working with remote teams for their web and mobile requirements. In addition to the above issues, there are a number of reasons that lead businesses to hire remote teams for their mobile and web requirements. There can be a few drawbacks when hiring a remote team, but they can be resolved. The best thing about hiring a remote team is you can complete your project with the help of a talented development team, who work for you at a much lower cost compared to an in-house development team. If you still wonder why you should hire a remote team for your mobile and web requirements, a few reasons are discussed below.

  • Access to a larger talent pool:

The number of local developers available is not always abundant. Often times, when there are experts in your region,  they are already employed with another company. This is where the importance of remote teams comes in. You can choose from a large number of professionals who are experienced in a range of skills (from enthusiastic engineers to Scala programmers and developers) with a global search online.

  • Cost-efficiency:

In comparison with the cost of hiring a domestic development team, the cost of outsourcing to the developer team is more profitable. When utilizing remote teams, you save money in the form of monthly and/or yearly wages, insurance, taxes and office maintenance. They work based on an hourly basis or they charge a fixed service fee. It is actually advantageous to hire employees globally, in case you need an entire team of developers.

Working remotely is not only helpful for employers, it also saves costs for employees, as they save on the cost of transportation.

  • More productive environment:

Research says that remote workers are more productive than in-house staff. According to Global Workplace Analytic Survey, approximately 53% of remote workers are willing to work overtime, while 28%of in-house staff are interested in doing the same. Remote teams are insulated from daily distractions and confusions that arise in an office. Instead, remote workers concentrate on their tasks and complete them without interruption.

Remote teams aren’t inhibited by the 9 to 5 office hours. They are free to work any hours, weekends and nights included.  In fact, it is not uncommon for a remote team member to be highly productive and deliver their best work during the night, long after the sun sets. But, of course, you have to find the right people in order to create a successful remote work organization.

  • No commute time:

Another advantage of having a remote team is that there is little to no need for a commute. According to a research, commuting is a reason for increased stress, loneliness and health issues, such as neck pain. It also reduces the energy and lowers productivity. When you don’t have to commute, you avoid having to sit in traffic wasting time. This saves your potential employee’s time as well as your time. If the commute time is regarded as working time, it is clearly a better option to hire a remote team.

  • Employee turnover is minimized:

Replacing an employee costs a lot to the employers. Estimates say, if you want to replace an employee that earns 50,000 dollars a year, it will cost your business almost 20% of the salary. If the jobs require high levels of training and experience, this demand a higher turnover cost. Keeping this in mind, companies prefer to hire remote teams to get the top talent at an affordable price.

There are controversies about the pros and cons of hiring a remote team for any business development. Indeed, there can run into issues, such as communication problems, but the latest technologies outweigh these shortcomings. For example, the employers nowadays can easily communicate with their remote teams through Skype and other video conference services.

The above-discussed points are just a few advantages of hiring a remote team for your web and mobile requirements. There are innumerable benefits. Hiring a remote development team is an excellent choice with tremendous value for your time and money investment.

Although remote working is unpopular with traditional businesses, remote working is proving to be an essential aspect for the future of business. While traditionalists might debate against the remote working system and draw out ideological divides, remote working is not as notorious as they make it out to be.

Debates Against the Remote Working System

The thoughts of traditionalists were further strengthened when business giants decided on policies against remote working. Although IBM was the recent of the latest IT giants to say no to remote working teams, Peluso made an ironic statement while breaking the news. He stated that there is only one formula of success known to him and that is to put productive talented and skilled people in really creative locations with the right tools and set them free.  Even though freedom of the employee was emphasized, it was snatched away the next second in the same announcement regarding policy change. Here are the points that traditionalists highlight as the disadvantages of having a remotely working team.

  • Remote working teams lack creativity and innovation due to lack of guidance.
  • Remote teams have weak morale.
  • Good management is an issue, which puts a strain on the overall operation of the business.
  • Remote teams lack the human interaction aspect, which helps colleagues to build trust and strong coordination. This factor further weakens the team.

Highlighted Negatives are Not Backed by Data

Although these points are some hurdles in maintaining a strong and beneficial remote team of workers, it is not something a business cannot overcome. If a company knows how to manage remote teams, they will not have any issues and the operations will be smooth. Over recent years, many bigger organizations have taken steps to minimize remote working as they think that remote working teams are one of the factors responsible for the decline in their profits.

It is ironic that, although most of the companies that recently turned against the remote working set up are data driven, they made policies without studying and analyzing the data in a proper manner. They did not have a legitimate base of data to support their decisions to make their policies against remote working. To draw a more accurate picture, Polycom conducted a study with the help of Morar consulting. In this study, they asked 25,234 workers whether remote working works for them.

Remote Working Teams Work as Proved by the Data

The results of the study are definitive data that are backing the claims of those who are in favor of remote working teams.  Here are some points that the study revealed about remote working and what is the worker’s point of view.

Flexibility

In the study, it was revealed that in this age of technology, digital-hybrid employment is what workers prefer. Out of all the employees, only 23% said that they do not enjoy a flexible working environment with their company. While 32% revealed that they often work in a remote working environment, 29% said they work in a remote setting from time to time. Three-fourths of all the employees who took part in the study revealed that they were working with at least one person who is not physically present in their office. Younger generations, especially millennials, preferred “work from anywhere” concept and over 70% wished to work in this kind of setup. Around 49% of employees who were 50 years or older, said they worked away from traditional offices on many occasions. This is very useful for those enterprises who want fresh talent to facilitate the innovative environment required for success.

Remote Working Promotes Work Satisfaction Among Employees

There are many benefits of having a remote team of employees, but one of the crucial benefits is that it promotes both satisfaction and happiness in employees which, in turn, helps to enhance their productivity. This was attested by 70% of employees who took part in the study. Remote working allows the workers to take better control of their work and life, promoting better work-life balance.

Working with Influential People

Remote working allows you to work with great people with talent and skills that ensure success. Not only does the business benefit from the innovative and creative minds working with them through the remote setup, but employees benefit from these interactions as well. This is because they get motivation and help from their colleagues which facilitate growth in them.

How to Maintain a Remote Team

While some negative points that are explained by the traditionalists have no substantial grounds, some other negative aspects of remotely employed teams are not entirely unsupported by reason.  The solution lies in the fact that you already know what can go wrong – and you can, therefore, take measures to prevent that from happening.

A remote team consists of workers who are working from different locations and are not together under one roof. There are chances of losing focus and motivation, or not being able to build a powerful work relationship. However, businesses can take the initiative and promote better communication within the team. Video and voice calls will help in bringing a sense of connectivity. There are many tools that help remote working teams to decide on accountability and track the progress of work. Regular video meetings and a friendly environment will make the remote team more efficient.

In a time when some companies find it easy to blame remote teams for the decline in revenue, it is important that enterprises realize that the remote working set up is not a soft target. Remote working teams of employees are a valuable asset that can prove to be more successful than traditional ones if they are handled efficiently. These teams have all the potential to be a hit as they have shown to promote satisfaction in employees. And when your employees are happy, productivity is improved automatically.

These days companies overcome geographical barriers and are more prone than ever to hire employees from other states and, even, countries that are different from theirs. In this way, they are able to take advantage of labor costs as well as tax costs. Of course, you may face certain difficulties if you work with remote teams. Your team might lag behind if there is a lack of supervision, or the productivity of your team may decrease because of different time zones. In spite of all these challenges, it is worth having a remote team. All you need is to follow some tips to boost the productivity of your remote team. Here are some ways that you may consider to help in that process.

  • Develop a good relationship between your teams

The first thing that you need to increase the productivity of your remote team is to develop a good bond between the teams. If they have a good attitude, then it will affect their workflow in a positive way. This will help you to get efficient results. You can use apps or chat rooms and let your employees contact and communicate with each other, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. Let them be a part of important projects of your company. Keep them well-informed about all the achievements of your company and always make sure to praise your team members for their hard work.

  • Tell them what you want exactly

If you are working with remote workers, it is essential to let them know what you expect from them. Tell them at what hours you want them to be available, how they will have to share files and how they should communicate with other members of the team. If there are strong guidelines for them to follow, then it will definitely help in increasing the productivity of your remote team.

  • Online file and document sharing

In order to get the work done, employees must have access to all the files and documents that they need. There are many companies that only use emails when it comes to file sharing. This has a number of disadvantages. Sometimes, employees forget to attach the file and sometimes the document can get lost. Above all, the document that is emailed stays only in the account of the receiver and the sender. To overcome all these problems, you can make use of social intranet document management systems. This will enable you to upload and share files from anywhere and at any time and all the members of your team can see any and all the changes made.

  • Share calendars

It is quite difficult to get all the members of a remote team to get together for a meeting for even a conference call. So to cope with this difficulty, you can make use of shared calendars and plan events and meetings effortlessly. All the members of the team can see who is available and when. Once the meeting is scheduled, everyone in the team will get notified.

  • Keep track of all the work

Your team members may become less motivated if the work schedule is flexible and if you have a team that is virtual. While it is possible in a physical setting to know when your employees arrive and leave, in a virtual setting, it is not possible. You can use Timedoctor for this, as this will let you know when your team arrives and leaves if they are working or chatting with friends, and much more. Also, you can use Basecamp, which is a great project management tool to track the productivity of your remote team.

  • Use virtual meeting tools

There are a number of means that an organization or a company uses in order to keep the workers of a remote team stay attached to their work. The importance of face-to-face meetings cannot be overemphasized. The lack of it can make your remote employees feel isolated and left out from the rest of the staff. You may find companies that require their remote workers to come to their office once a week or once a month. If that is not possible with your remote team, then you can make use of virtual meeting tools to make your remote team members feel validated. Getting to see all the other team members on a video chat will definitely let them connect with each other on a more personal level and help in strengthening bonds. This, in turn, will increase their productivity.

  • Communicate with clarity

In most cases, in-person communication can be regarded as the best means of communication. When you are face-to-face with someone, you get to pick up on things such as body language and tone. But when you are working with a remote team, this is not always possible and you need to make use of technology. To increase the productivity of your remote team, make sure you take that extra care to communicate with them. Use easy, clear and understandable language when sending messages. You need to state your needs explicitly via emails.  

Managing a remote team and giving their productivity a boost can be a real challenge, but if you make use of proper and effective tools and follow the above-mentioned ways, then you can make your remote team perform at their peak.

These days remote working has gradually become more acceptable by different organizations. Before, companies were mainly dependent on an outsourcing team and the staff of their office, but now the scenario is slightly changed. Various companies are now inducting remote workers into their task teams and workforces. The trend of outsourcing work is now somehow reduced with the popularity of remote.

However, there is some concern as to whether the remote team has eradicated the need for outsourcing or not. There is, therefore, a resultant confusion as to whether outsourcing is better or remote work. Some say that remote workers are a perfect choice for companies, but they cannot solve all the problems that are done efficiently by outsourcing. And for some, remote workers are the perfect solution for all your technical tasks, which would not have been managed well by outsourcing.

Below are some points that are explained by experts for and against the topic of whether or not remote work will eradicate the necessity of outsourcing.


          Remote Work Will Not Eradicate Outsourcing:

People  against the topic have expressed their opinions in these ways:

  • Remote work can never solve every problem that outsourcing does. This is because, firstly, you have to reach people personally, whom you would like to hire. Suppose you need one developer, then you have to find out an employee or a software house to work with. In case you require more than one developer, problems will arise, as you have to hire a number of people and you have to spend valuable time in this hiring process. With outsourcing, you don’t need to invest as much time, since you can outsource all your tasks to the outsourcing company.
  • Secondly, hiring an outsourcing company means you have not only hired an employee, but you have also hired a software house where everything is done using automated CI/CD, development tools, and assurance processes. You also have the added advantage of a CTO, a project manager and other developers that are there to support you with their valuable advice. In the case of remote work, when you hire a developer, s/he will do that one particular role only. You will not be assisted by him/her with other tasks/roles.
  • Thirdly, outsourcing is more flexible than remote work. During the project, you can change your demand for resources anytime you want. They can provide 3 people to develop MVP (which is better than one to support it while verifying on the market), then 8 people will scale it. In terms of remote working, you can only hire one person to complete the task.
  • Fourthly, getting hold of a remote worker is a complex process, since you have to hire resources one by one and then you will need to check their skill set, another time-consuming process. In spite of testing them, you cannot be sure if the remote worker is capable enough to manage your task or not.
  • Finally, the process of hiring outsourcing companies is smooth. Since every employee of an outsourcing company is efficient, you can be assured of the fact that your work will be done efficiently.


    Remote Work Will Eradicate Outsourcing:

       Below are discussed some of the opinions/points of those who think this is true.

  • Remote work is not at all a complex process. In fact, you can choose workers according to your requirements. You can check their skill and then hire them.
  • If your remote employees are satisfied, they will give you their 100%. It is, therefore, a great benefit for your business.
  • They cost less. In terms of outsourcing your project, you may have to spend more money, but hiring a remote employee is always within your budget. This is because, if you have remote employees, they will reduce your rent and property cost.

From the above, it is clear that hiring outsourcing has more positives than hiring remote work, and remote work can never eradicate the necessity of outsourcing. Still, it depends greatly on your company as to what is more suitable for your business. Maybe your particular business requires remote workers, which can be cost-effective for you, but for a majority of businesses (who need to outsource more than one task), outsourcing is a perfect solution.

Nowadays, most companies prefer to work remotely. In fact, it has now become a standard business practice for them. By choosing remote working options, the employers can make the most talented team in their business. But only a team leader knows that conflict is inevitable. Conflict can be of two types – direct conflict and passive conflict. Whatever the conflict is, the workflow of your business will be disrupted and will affect your bottom line. The problems or conflicts can get multiplied during the managing of remote teams since no physical interaction is involved there. Not only that, while working remotely, not everyone is more productive. It has also been seen that some team members take advantage of remote working and goof off while they are supposed to be working. It is also difficult to contact staff who work from a distance at the time of an emergency.

In other words, it can be said that there are certain difficulties in the logistics, but it is not that difficult to a handle a remotely distributed team efficiently. In order to prevent conflicts that arise while working with remote teams, and manage the team effectively, you can follow these effective practices discussed below.

  • Have an official communication system:

To ensure team cohesiveness, you can fix meetings daily or sometimes multiple times in a day, depending on the type of business or work you do. It is true that there are chances for misunderstanding between remote teammates who are scattered across the world. So for a more effective way of communication, the meetings can be recorded, so that if anyone is confused about any topic, s/he can check back to the recorded history. Effective communication systems can be the key to lead a remote team successfully. Set up a system for official communication and make sure that employees comply.

  • Find out the suitable tools for communication:

According to the productivity professionals, a meeting via video conference is the most effective way to engage remote participants. Otherwise, on a conference call, employees can be engaged in multiple tasks, or they can be out of their working zone.

There are a number of tools available for communications including social networks, digital whiteboards, chat rooms and many others. Though email is the most widely used among others, it is often not that efficient. For better communication, you can train your employees to use other communication tools, but video conferencing is a must-have tool while working with your remote team.

  • Closely monitor your team to observe the dynamics:

It is a good idea to break your work up into teams to get more productive work. In order to do so, you have to make sure that your team members are well trained to use the tools for effective intra-team communication. If cfor instance, the team lead cannot control a certain team too well, other team members will do work that makes no sense and is not pertinent to the larger plan. Therefore, every manager of your remotely located teams has to have great communication skills and maintain accountability to you and the other executives. They should also have a good grasp of all the activities of their team, and be quick to understand what is going on.

  • Set some goals and make your people responsible:

Remote workers are most susceptible to the temptation to slack off. That is why it is highly important to lay down some rules and responsibilities for every remote employee and make sure that these are stringently adhered to.

  • Choose your remote partner wisely:

You should pick people who have sound character and who can take initiative. It is strongly recommended that you take an insightful and thorough interview before hiring them, and verify all the references. If you sense a bad attitude in them or you feel something is not right, then you should not ignore your gut feeling.

Working with remote teams implies adopting alternative strategies. In order to prevent conflict and get more effective remote teams, you might have to exert yourself more in every aspect of your work life.

However, the upside of working with remote teams is huge. This is the reason that nowadays, most offices prefer to work with remote or distributed teams. If the teams are managed properly, they can be proved to be highly effective for your business.

The trend of hiring remote teams is something that more and more companies and nonprofits are recognizing and welcoming with open arms. For years, there have been myths surrounding the subject of hiring remote teams for work. A few of the common myths were: Remote workers aren’t as highly skilled, remote workers are not as dedicated to the company as regular workers are, or that it is difficult to find reliable remote teams. With these myths being proven to be inaccurate and/or misleading, having a remote team is no longer taboo. With the growing acceptance of remote working, it is a party for freelancers. Freelancers, retired professionals, qualified housewives, students, and people who may find it difficult to be physically present at the office are now able to find jobs in the market without facing any sort of obstacles.

However, that is not to say that the system of remote hiring is without its problems. Apart from the fact that there can be times that remote workers find it difficult to coordinate their tasks and schedule with the rest of the office, there is the risk of remote workers becoming psychologically isolated, or distanced, from the rest of the office. However, there is a way to avoid that. There is certain office coordination and employee tracking software available, which can serve to maintain a basic minimum communicative connection between the employer and the employee, as well as between the various people of a team. A few of these apps are mentioned below in no particular order of prominence and effectiveness:

Skype: This is really the first thing to come off the top of anyone’s head. Skype is one of the finest real-time messaging and video-chat service in existence. iIt also is the most popular VoIP software in use at the moment. It’s not really surprising that it’s the most professionally-accepted means of inter-employee or inter-group (team) communication in today’s era.

Skitch: This one is not available anymore, but older versions of it can still be found and downloaded online.  Its specialty is that it allows you to capture screenshots very quick. You can edit the screenshots in this app before sending them, which helps to communicate the exact plan or order in fine detail and with the most precise directions.

Dropbox: This is one of the most popular mediums of cloud storage. Here, you can keep records of all work done by every single employee for a specific time period.  All folders and files on the company network can be saved here under the appropriate heads. In this way, an employer/team head is able to keep track of all the work done within stipulated deadlines. It also is helpful as an unbiased evaluation of the performance of employees; whether office-goers or remote.  A huge advantage of Dropbox is that all you have to do is install dropbox into all the systems and then share it with all the computer systems you want to. Dropbox has the provision of restoring any deleted file or folder within thirty days of deletion.

Slack: This is one of the greatest apps. It has brought about a sea of change to the world of virtual business integration and communication. Although it has not quite displaced Skype completely, it is used simultaneously with Skype in a lot of places. It has all but killed professional emailing, though. A large part of its popularity can be attributed to its excellent in-built group communication system.

Wunderlist: This is mainly a task management tool. It’s simple user interface and easy-to-use controls are the reasons that have made it so popular. Owing to this, it is really easy to track all employee activity and the inbuilt task management tool allows you to prioritize your tasks.

In conclusion, these are the top five applications that help to ease the process of remote team recruitment and remote worker management. Every single company looking to recruit teams that will be working remotely should pay heed and make use of at least one of these apps.

Remote hiring is something which is slowly being accepted more and more as we edge into the future. Shunned earlier by many companies owing to the lack of clarity regarding the entire process, remote workers are now gradually being inducted into the workforces and task teams of various companies. This is contributing to the growth of workplace expansion beyond the physical confines of the office. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that this trend is being quickly adopted by smaller companies, especially start-ups.   

There’s good reason behind people getting excited about remote offices. It is, first and foremost, quite cost-effective, saving money by not having to invest in the physical expansion of the workplace. The cost of office furniture, broadband internet connection, computers, air-conditioning, etc., is really difficult to muster for most start-ups. So, it is logical that the trend of remote working from different locations would come as a blessing in disguise for them. There are plenty of jobs that do not require the daily physical presence of workers in the office. A few examples would be a biochemist, a biomedical engineer and construction engineer. If you are planning to set up a firm that is primarily centered around these (or similar) jobs, then you’re at full liberty to forgo the office set-up. Instead, you would conduct business from your own home (or any other ‘headquarter’ location you choose). and a few decentralized locations scattered across various geographical locations.

Now, the question that arises out of all this is: Is it possible for start-ups to completely bank upon a remote team instead of an office team?

The answer is multi-layered. There are several things that ought to be kept in mind while beginning to work with a remote team. The first thing is the culture of the workplace. Remote workers that are being hired should first be tested for cultural compatibility as well as the speed of task completion and work ethics followed. The second thing is the structure of management. If you have a work supervision and employee productivity tracking system that depends on the physical presence of the employee in question, then problems are bound to arise. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are certain kinds of jobs that people can hold without having to actually travel to an office. If a start-up is made up of people who would be working chiefly from home or other remote locations, then an office would not be required in the first place. On the other hand, if a huge part of the company’s staff consists of people in traditional office-based roles, then that company would need a separate work building. It really depends upon the kind of industry the company is part of, and the type of work the company does.

Here’s what you can do if you’re a start-up and want to utilize a remote office:

  • Don’t use e-mail for communications; make use of Skype or Slack. The only place where you should use e-mail for communications is when you are notifying your employees on an official communication made with another organization. Another instance would be when you’re sending out official invites for a conference call. If you have a very small staff, you may have no need to communicate via technology.
  • You could make use of, as we have already stated above, real-time communication technology such as Flow, Skype, Skitch or Slack. These not only help in interpersonal and inter-group communication but also have live video chats and can also be used to keep track of employee progress. When it comes to keeping all work progress recorded centrally, there are few alternatives to cloud storage mechanisms such as Dropbox. It not only keeps all files stored in one place, sorted according to size, date, priority, and employee, but it also has the provision to bring back a deleted file by clicking the “undo delete” button (Note: This can be done within 30 days of deletion).
  • Create a position that is Two-in-One: Office Assistant and Manager. You could have the same person who has the responsibility of office secretary also carry the responsibility of the event scheduler. They would not only assign you the tasks to be completed but also fix meetings, book flights, carry out transactions with banks and other similar work. Thus, you could have a person handling your projects who knows the details and schedules of the company inside out. Having a position like this can help with better task coordination and optimization time. This position, acting as a schedule manager, is also an able observer of the company’s progress. Owing to their deep knowledge about the work mechanism and schedules of the company, they would be able to provide valuable inputs regarding the work to be completed.

In general, there are many good reasons for a start-up to go completely remote. It is definitely worth the time and effort to explore this as a possibility if nothing else.

Employees are the most crucial part of any business or enterprise. If you have a team with good employees, you will have an edge over your competitors due to increased productivity. Leading your employees through the daily business operations requires you to put in the extra effort. Leading a team of remote employees can have its own set of challenges.

The work environment today grants employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world due to the presence of the internet and computers. They don’t have to be present at a physical location to work.  There are many benefits to having a virtual team of employees working remotely.

The most crucial advantage is that you can hire talented candidates from across the globe, which contributes to taking productivity to the next level for you. You can bring in innovative ideas by hiring virtual employees and save the cost of maintaining an expensive infrastructure. Although there are many benefits of hiring virtual employees, there is one area that can cause concern – leading a virtual team can be tough. This problem is not insurmountable and can be solved if you follow certain tips. Here are seven tips that will help you to manage and lead a virtual team of employees like a pro.

Hire with Care

When you hire a virtual employee, you have to make sure that you hire the right candidate for the job. You must remember that not everyone can tackle the task of working alone. Although you and other virtual employees may be in contact, there are certain times when individual decision-making might be required. There are people who tend to be inclined to seek help from coworkers or seniors when put in that position. Remote workplaces are generally less social than physical ones and it is difficult to be available to the employee all the time. That is why it is important that you choose candidates who fit all the criteria of the job.  

Set Expectations

When your employee is working via a remote location, it is difficult to keep track of who is doing what amount of work. There is always a fear that keeps you wondering whether your employees are working well or abusing the privilege of work from a remote location. Productivity is the most important factor to consider when hiring regular or virtual employees. To maintain the right levels of productivity you must set expectations that are clearly communicated in a remote workplace model.

You can draw the daily output requirements, the time within which the employee should be available to you and other employees and team goals. This will act as a guideline for employees and will also keep a check on their output. If you have hired the right set of people, setting expectations will give you a thriving team that enjoys the privilege of working from home, but does not misuse it.

Use Technology

Communication and connection are the key to maintaining a successful virtual team. There are many technological tools that help you to connect and communicate with your employees and allow the employees to be in touch with each other.  There are tools that allow you to manage tasks and projects.  You can use tools like calendar, time manager, time zone scheduler, file storage, human resource management, etc to increase productivity.  It’s important to take the initiative to encourage your employees to use these tools as well.

Promote Voice Calling

While text messages and emails are formal and good ways of communication, they are often not easily understood and lack tone. By using voice calling on a regular basis, it will be easier to ensure that the entire team is on the same platform.

Video Meetings

Video meetings will help the entire team to connect with each other. You should encourage video meetings not only with yourself but also among other employees in your absence. As everyone is in remote locations, video calling is a better way to promote a sense of togetherness.

Deeper Bonds

Virtual employees want the privilege of working from remote locations and they often want more warm and friendly bonding than the regular working setup. You must catch up on what is happening in the employee’s life. Try to keep a more relaxed relationship with your employees. This develops a deeper sense of job satisfaction. Virtual employees enjoy a good balance between work and life. You can help them achieve that by adopting policies that encourage work-life balance rather than focusing only on your own profit.

Respect and Flexibility

Your employees might belong to different countries, cultures, and mindsets. Make sure you respect them and have a flexible attitude towards them.

These are some of the tips that will help you lead a team of virtual employees and may even help resolve conflicts or problems before they even arise.

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