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5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!
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6 Ways Agency Owners Can Own 2017!
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Can Startups Rely on a Remote Team?
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7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team
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Busted: 7 Myths of Working with Remote Teams
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Drupal VM 4 Is Here! With PHP 7.1 And Easy PHP Switching
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Victory Comes Sweet For Capital Numbers At Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016
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Top 10 Questions About Hiring Remote Employees
9
How to Communicate Effectively with Your Virtual Team
10
Why Your Best Remote Hire is the Next One

5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!

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.

6 Ways Agency Owners Can Own 2017!

Each and every business or agency owner wants to grow their business and expand. In the world of business, you are either growing or you are dying. So it is very important that you get in motion and grow. So how are agency owners powering this growth? Apart from hiring, here is what you can do to take your business to a whole new level in the next 12 months.

  1. Go online and get better at SEO

In this age of digitization, it is extremely important for your business to have a great internet presence. People use the internet for almost all information nowadays. The first thing that you need to know is what kind of internet presence your business has. It is not enough to just have a good looking website. You need to know the ways of attracting new visitors. And this is exactly where SEO comes into play. As there are millions of websites that are active on the internet, it can be quite difficult for your business to be found online without proper SEO. There are a number of rules as well as protocols in SEO that help your business to get discovered. If you are not already involved in SEO, now is a good time to reconsider. If a person is looking for “web designing services”, your website should rank on top. And this is exactly what SEO does. This is also true for e-commerce websites. If you are a personal trainer, you can sell subscriptions to fitness videos, or if you are into the clothing business, you can sell branded T-shirts. Having an e-commerce presence could greatly benefit your business.

  1. Remote hiring

Remote hiring can be great for your business to grow in 2017. These remote workers not only have the same skills as their on-site counterparts, but their payroll costs are also much less compared to those associated with traditional employees. You can hire them from a talent pool that does not have any geographical restrictions, as these applicants don’t require commuting to an office. Also, remote workers are dedicated and more productive than regular on-site employees. With the remote hiring, your business can take advantage of reduced personnel costs.

  1. Know how to organize your business

Organization and prioritization are the two main elements that one needs to run a business. When it comes to operations, make sure that your business organization does not disintegrate into any type of complex blame game. If you have any queries regarding lean business operations, then you can take the help of books. This will be of great help. You need to know about the quality of the agencies that are not only successful but also have maintained their success. There should be no complication in your business operations. To make your business a grand success, it should have three main operational components – the right staff, level five leaders and confronting brutal facts. If a business understands all these three components properly, then the managers can optimize as well as simplify operations.

  1. Focus on your customer

You can make the profit from your business, only if you have a good customer base. Your customer will come for the first time, if they are satisfied with your service, they will come for the second time, and finally, they will bring their friends with them. This is what you want, right?  In this regard, small agencies have more advantage over large companies. Small agencies get to interact with their customers at a more personal level. This does not mean that large companies do not care about their customers. Actually, it is quite challenging to put the CEO of a company face to face with customers. Give priority to your clients or customers, make sure you understand what they want and then cater to their specific needs.

  1. Pay attention to cash flow

You need to define your free flow of cash. Generally, cash flow is calculated depending on what is left after making all the non-cash adjustments and payment of all the necessary financial expenditures. You will be able to gain new opportunities and perspectives when you start considering free cash flows before making business decisions.

  1. Invest the retained earnings wisely

If you run a successful business, have the great understanding of the balance sheet and want to explore other opportunities, you have two options – you can either choose to invest in external assets that are non-operational subsidiaries, or you can invest your retained earnings back into the operational business. Deciding what to do can be tough. In many cases, the right decision can be to reinvest retained earnings into the organic business. But there are cases, where small business owners fail because of their overconfidence from the previous success and end up killing both the businesses. It will be good if you don’t invest huge capital in low-probability business options and invest in assets that are non-operational.

Your business may face challenges, but these six ways of growing your business can make your business stand out in 2017. Just focus on simplification and understanding your free cash flow, and will be able to get the most out of your business.

Can Startups Rely on a Remote Team?

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.

7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team

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.

Busted: 7 Myths of Working with Remote Teams

With Cloud Storage and Cloud computing becoming a way of life and business for most big organizations throughout the world, it is now slowly becoming more and more common for companies to hire remote employees. That is, employees who would not be working on the company premises, and in some cases, never even meet face to face with the company’s leadership. They would, instead, be hired based on virtual interviews and online tests. This might sound like a novelty, but it is slowly becoming a reality. The most common forms of cloud working are working on mobile, or from a personal computer at home or any remote corner of the world.

There is a reason why remote work is becoming more popular. Skilled employees are now searching for positions which are autonomous and allow for more freedom. This not only helps them to spread their wings but also nets the company good returns. In this article, we’re going to dispel some of the most popular misgivings and myths that surround remote working.

  1. The first myth is that people who work remotely are not as productive as the employees who work on a site. However, with the presence of modern-day tools for tracking employee activity and progress, such as Slack, there are a lot of ways in which remote employees can be managed and productivity can be monitored. The key is to find out a stable mode to evaluate and measure the performance of others.
  2. A second misconception is that employees who are remote aren’t as skilled. According to this misgiving, skilled employees prefer a formal office environment. They feel that remote employees would never be able to qualify for lead positions. This is especially true for cases where the employee is an independent freelancer or contractor. This, however, is just the contrary. Hiring remote employees would mean expanding outside of your geographical boundaries and being able to mine for talent in uncharted territories where your business might not be physically present.
  3. A third myth that plagues some businesses is, “It is difficult to find remote employees”. This, while true to some extent, can be remedied by reaching out to talent-listing sites such as LinkedIn. There are also innumerable forums and sites which list independent contractors and freelancers who might be inclined towards remote working. It is also useful to locate retired professionals who might be open to earning some extra money working from home.
  4. Companies often think that it is extremely difficult to manage and communicate with such employees, but in today’s world, where workplaces are empowered with forums and message boards such as Trello and Basecamp, it is no longer difficult for a company to communicate with remote employees. Slack is a real-time communication portal that is very similar to Skype. Here, not just individuals, but teams too can communicate with one another and create the sense of a virtual workplace.
  5. Some people think that remote work has no scope beyond IT and data entry. This was true for a considerable amount of time, but now you see companies hiring remote workforces for product development, sales and marketing and work related to SEO.
  6. There is a common misconception that remote employees can not develop any feeling of kinship with the company or its goals. That, however, would not be true. There are plenty of qualified freelancers who are used to working from home and who commit to a company for the right price.
  7. Last, but not least, remote employees are able to be more flexible with the hours they work. They have no demand or need for changes in their work schedule to suit their own convenience. Their hours can be ensured with a virtual agreement/contract.

These, in short, are some of the common myths about hiring remote employees that now, hopefully, stand busted.

Drupal VM 4 Is Here! With PHP 7.1 And Easy PHP Switching

Drupal is the open-source software popular for use in sites which contain blogs, portals, forums, e-commerce sites, information about individual and corporate entities, intranets, resource directories, social networking sites, etc. Written in  PHP, it is available in a ready-to-use format upon being downloaded. This software supports content management, podcasts, collaborative authoring, image galleries, newsletters and much more. Now, the newest and latest version of it is available on the net, seven whole months after PHP 7.0 and Ubuntu 16.04 were introduced by the VM 3 version of this Drupal software.  

Some of you might not be familiar with the concept of the Drupal VM. It is an instrument, or tool, built with the help of Vagrant and Ansible, that helps in the development of  Drupal environments.With the 4th installment in the series the Drupal tool is enhanced in terms of flexibility. You get a plethora of choices to pick from.  A few of the binaries are MySQL or PostgreSQL, Nginx or Apache, Redis or Memcached, and CentOS or Ubuntu.  Also, Drupal VM 4 is empowered with a seamless mode-switching power which allows the web developer to change the PHP mode in a fluid, no-hassle manner. The modes available are 5.6, 7.0 7.1. The best thing is that you can do this without having to recreate the whole development environment.

Here is a comprehensive list of the benefits that Drupal VM 4 would empower you with:

  • A really great aspect is that Drush is completely optional. You can choose to either use the version attached to the project or not use it at all. This is undoubtedly good news for web developers around the world.
  • As already mentioned before, Drupal VM 4 supports all three versions of the programming language PHP: 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1. All you need to do in order to activate the ‘smooth switch’ system is to do an update of the PHP version and run the Vagrant Provision. This easy PHP mode switching is apparently the real reason people are extremely excited about the recent update.
  • Another benefit is that you would now require the use of Vagrant 1.8.6 or later, VirtualBox 5.1.10 or later, and Ansible 2.2.0 or later. Of these, the latter is important only if it is installed on the host.
  • Although PHP 7.0 remains as the default, you’d be able to install the PHP 7.1 or 5.6 in a smooth movement (details mentioned in another point and also in the introduction).
  • You can work these changes on any Operating System, whether on a laptop or mobile.
  • Among other improvements, you can avail of the PHP upload_progress support, the optional DRUPALVM_ANSIBLE_ARGS support for the Ansible CLI options, and use the shallow Drush cones for the sake of building up environments faster. Drupal VM 4 has also added the GitHub ISSUE_TEMPLATE, fixed the Solr versioning error and set the composer.json to “VM” over “Project”.  A few bugs have been fixed; such as the #981, #1014, #1020, #1004 and #1037.

Awesome, isn’t it? And we have the exemplary efforts of Oskar Scholstrom and Thom Toogood to thank for it all!

Victory Comes Sweet For Capital Numbers At Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016

Capital Numbers very proudly announces their win at the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC 2016. The award follows a string of accolades for Capital Numbers which reported a significant growth rate in the past four years.

The original program, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 North America, was founded in 1995. Since 2002, Deloitte has worked to celebrate the fastest growing industry sectors, from software to biotech, across the Asia-Pacific region. The AP TechFast 500 program spans over nine countries: Australia, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Here at Capital Numbers, we provide our clients with sustainable competitive advantage in their business. Thus, we focus on creating a collaborative environment that fosters creative solutions and growth, ensuring effortless growth of startups, businesses, and organizations, focusing on the core while we act as their backend delivery center.

The fundamental idea behind this program is to honor emerging high-growth companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Capital Numbers scored high in all the criteria outlined for companies qualifying for The Technology Fast 500. As per the eligibility requirements, Capital Numbers matches the guidelines by showcasing base-year operating revenues of at least US $50,000, by being in business for a minimum of three years, and by being headquartered within Asia Pacific.

“We are really happy to be among the Top 500 fastest growing companies in APAC. All our hard work has been channelized to build a strong company and at the end of the day this award is a testament to our continued success and growth,” said Mukul Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Numbers. “Our ongoing drive and ambition to create a global presence remain undiminished and this is just the beginning.”

 

Top 10 Questions About Hiring Remote Employees

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There can be a lot of confusion when hiring a remote employee. It’s such an unconventional position, so knowing how to approach hiring someone like that can be difficult. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject:

1. How much freedom should a remote employee have?

The key is to let the employee know that you trust them. The goal is to let them work their hours and complete the task under the guidelines you have established with them. They shouldn’t have to feel like you’re hovering over them every step of the way. Treat them like you would any other employee; ask about their personal life and show genuine interest in what they do.

2. What questions should I ask during the interview?

For the most part, treat it like any other face-to-face interview, asking the typical questions you would when hiring someone locally. Some important topics to ask concern the person’s motivation (are they a self-motivated worker), if they already have the necessary equipment for the job, what hours they plan to work, and how quickly they usually answer emails or other important messages. You may want to see their portfolio of their last successful projects. One particularly pertinent question to ask would concern how they would handle a sudden problem; have they ever had to come up with a solution to an issue on the fly and if they did, what did they do? Knowing how well they work under pressure can give you some peace of mind if something like what they described happens when they’re on the job. If you’re hiring a remote developer, ask about their experience in standard coding languages like JavaScript. Are they better with developing for the frontend or the backend? Ask them about what kind of projects they enjoy working on and what you as a client can do to help them succeed.

3. How can I keep track of their work?

While it’s alright to check in and see the progress you’re employee is making, you don’t want them to feel like they’re constantly under your prying eyes every waking hour. Ultimately, you want to maintain a set of trust between you and the employee; you expect that they will complete the task and they should be able to trust you to let them do the job within the guidelines you gave them.

This line of trust is broken with programs that monitor their activity and take periodic screenshots of their computer. It creates a sense of fear of the client, and this is unhealthy for the relationship between business and employee. Remote workers should have the freedom to work without the constant threat of being under heavy surveillance every second of the day.

With Google Drive or other programs that let everyone within a group see each others work, you can quickly see how much or little progress they are making on their task at a glance. At the very least, check in with them via phone call or other means of communication that both of you have agreed upon. You can also have them email you at regular intervals with updates on how their project is coming along. Additionally, there are some great time-tracking apps your remote employee can use to accurately tell you how long they’re working on your project.

4. What’s the best way of contacting a remote employee?

Because you don’t have the luxury of being in the same building for 8 hours of the day, you’ll need some way of communicating quickly if there’s a catastrophic development that requires their immediate attention. It all comes down to what is most convenient for you as the client. If you’ve already found a system of communication that you regularly use, teach the employee how you use it so everyone in your company will be on the same page.

Texting and IMing are fine, but can easily be read and forgotten about until it’s too late. A phone or Skype call requires them to act instantly, ensuring that you’ll get their attention right away. Knowing what situations call for which form of communication is the key to getting the responses you need when you need them.

5. What do I do if my remote employee suddenly drops contact?

First off: keep calm! Don’t assume the worst right away. There are an infinite number of reasons why they aren’t responding to emails or any other messages. Maybe they just lost a loved one and had to leave on short notice or it could be that they lost their phone at the airport. During the interviewing phase, ask them to provide you with multiple ways to contact them. At least three different modes of communication should be enough. If they don’t get back to you in a week, then you should start trying to find out if everything is okay on their end. Before they even begin work, you should ask for an emergency contact, so if something like this does happen, you’ll have some way of contacting someone who may know what the problem is.

Keep in mind that they might be dealing with something completely out of their control, as was the case in 2012 with Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of freelancers were unable to contact their employers because of the lack of internet access. For many, this unfortunately resulted in them losing their position just because they couldn’t contact their clients to let them know what was happening.

6. How can I make them care about my brand?

It can be difficult to influence remote employees to care genuinely about your company and its image. If you want someone to gain the same appreciation and passion that you have for your brand, you’re going to need to put in the time to treat your employees as more than just the people that keep the lights on; build relationships with them and ask for their opinion about day-to-day operations. Do they see any areas that need improvement? What would make their job easier? Let them know about what kind of values you have established within your company so they know what’s important to you.

7. Should I seek out a freelancer or go through an agency?

There are definite pros and cons to both options. An agency is a whole company that hires out their staff to other companies, whereas a freelancer is on their with no company behind them. The teams working under agency tend to turn out consistent work, so if you end up liking the work they produce, you’ll get the same results when you hire them again. Hiring a freelancer is a bit like playing a slot machine: you might win big, but there’s a larger chance you’ll hit bust. Finding a freelancer that shares your passion is hard. More likely than not, they’ll be approaching your task with the mindset of it being just another job.

8. What’s the best way I can let my remote employee know my expectations?

You don’t want to feel like your remote employees are walking all over you, so be sure to let them know what you expect of them right from the get-go. You can’t exactly control when in the day they get the work done, but you can decide how it needs to be completed. Be firm about how and possibly why their job needs to be done in the way you want it to be.

For offshore-based employees, it helps to be clear and concise. Use bullet points to quickly get the point across without making them read through walls of text explaining why this task is so important. Just give them the basics so that they know what you want and how it needs to be done.

9. How do I know I need a remote employee?

Before looking for outside help, focus on your in-house team first. Build a group that has strength in everything your company needs. If your business is beginning to expand and its needs change over time, that’s when you should start to consider hiring remote employees.

Examine the strengths of your team and find out where the weak spots are. Do you lack the expertise of a seasoned graphic designer? You might want to look into hiring someone for that. Do you have trouble writing coherent sentences for content? A remote employee can help you with that.

Another definite sign of the need for a remote employee is determining how much everyone can get done. If everyone is stretched too thin across multiple projects or you have a long backlog of projects, you might want to have someone from outside the team come in and work on it for you.

A problem arises when remote employees become the backbone of your company. Say you have an idea for a revolutionary new app, but don’t have any of the experience to make it yourself. You decide to hire some remote developers to build your dream app. Herein lies the problem: you are now relying on a handful of people spread across the world to build an app from scratch while you are in charge of managing all these people at once.

10. Is there a surefire way of telling if a remote employee is trustworthy?

There’s no guaranteed way of knowing whether someone is completely reliable or not. There are some steps you can take to find out if the person you’re looking to hire is reputable, though. Ask them to provide you with work references so that you can get in contact with the people they’ve previously worked with. Find out from their previous bosses what their work ethic was, the quality of their work, and the overall impression they made on the employer.

Hopefully these answers will resolve any uncertainties you may have had regarding remote employees. More and more companies are embracing the exciting possibilities that come with hiring great workers from all around the world. Now that you know the  facts, it’s time to get hiring!

How to Communicate Effectively with Your Virtual Team

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One of the crucial elements for the efficient working of your business is certainly communication. You need to convey instructions and feedback to your team and in turn, you’ll need to receive regular updates on the tasks they are working on and have completed. Communicating with in-house workers is not an issue since they are located within your office complex. However, when you’re working with remote hires you need to ensure that you have some kind of system in place so you’re able to touch base with them from time to time. This factor can present something of a challenge when you’re working with freelancers based in different time zones across the world. However, technology can help you overcome this challenge. Here are some useful tools to implement.

Set up Fixed Times for Interaction

Work out a fixed time of the day when it is convenient for you and the remote hire. Use chat features for discussions on the tasks for the next day and the projects under progress. You could also use direct calls and emails. While they may have different working hours, you can always designate a specific hour when they’re working and can coordinate with other members of the team. If you need to issue instructions outside of the designated hours, you always have the option of sending emails. You might also want to set up a system by which you know that the emails have been received. For instance, insist on acknowledgements and replies within a time frame of say, 6 hours.

Choose a Single Portal for Communication

Of the many communication and collaboration tools out there, you could choose one that works best for you can and ask your team members to use it. Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are only a few of the many tools out there. Team members can share files and coordinate their efforts by working together on projects. As the employer, you have the option of constantly monitoring tasks and adding your comments and directions as you deem necessary. This strategy can also help you assess the efficiency of your team. Keep in mind that it always advisable to choose a single app to eliminate confusion and miscommunication.

Team Interaction

While it is important for you to supervise the functioning of operations, it can sometimes become difficult for you to coordinate communication if it is constantly routed through your desk. A great alternative is to put the remote hires in touch with one another on a single platform. This practice can help them stay informed about the activities of each other. You can avoid overlapping of tasks and maintain the correct sequence of events. Such platforms are also necessary when you need to hold meetings. Get your team together on a single page for brainstorming sessions and assigning tasks, preferably at the end of the business week. Accordingly, they can plan their work hours for the next week and deliver assignments on time.

Encourage Team Bonds

Help your team members see each other as people and not just as a name on the messaging portal. Encourage friendships and get people to talk about their families once in awhile. Creating a rapport can help remove tensions arising from miscommunication. Allow your team to sort out any issues that can sometimes arise without the need for you to intervene. On your part, you can make sure you have an open work culture in your company. This strategy can help you build trust and loyalty among your remoter hires.

Face-to-face interaction is no doubt essential for effective communication, but with a few smart moves, you can coordinate virtual communication among your remote hires and build an efficient team.  

Why Your Best Remote Hire is the Next One

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Having created a new business or startup, it is understandable that entrepreneurs prefer to hire virtual employees as compared to an in-house regular employee base. Having virtual workers or remote hires as they are also called can present a host of benefits for your business. To begin with, you can avoid having to incur administrative overheads, nor will you have to lease office space to accommodate them. In addition, you’ll only have to pay salaries according to the hours they spend on your tasks. If you are at a loss about how to find and hire the best remote talent out there, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Match Remote Hires to the Tasks at Hand

Instead of creating an entire team right away, it is advisable to hire skills as and when you need them. For instance, should you need to develop a smart marketing strategy, you could hire the necessary experts that can search out and find the perfect markets and guide you. Ready to take your business online? Go ahead and look for remote hires like web designers, developers, link builders, writers, SEO specialists and other skilled people to assist you. When your business grows large enough for the need for expert accountants, hire them. In this way, you’ll be able to create a diverse team of resources and highly efficient people that are able to deliver on the requirements of your company.

Look for a Great Online Portal

Take the time to look for great online portals and social media networks where you can find the remote hires or freelancers you need. There are many sites where prospective employers can connect with talented people that work on a part-time or as-needed basis. Check details of past jobs along with references, reviews, and feedback from clients they have worked with in the past. You could also post the details of the task you have in mind and make your choice from the applicants that contact you. Take care, though, that you provide the maximum amount of information you can about the job. By doing this, you’ll ensure that only the people with the perfectly matched skills reach out to you.

Consider Hiring on a Trial Basis

An effective hiring strategy is to sign on two to three candidates and assign the same task to all of them. Depending on the work they do for you and their performance, you’ll be able to pick out the best employee for your enterprise. Letting them know that there are other candidates in the running is another smart idea. You’ll find that the dedicated people stay on and strive to do better while others are not willing to take on the challenge. This strategy can help you choose the workers that can help you take your company to greater heights.

Factors to Consider – Dynamism

When choosing the perfect candidate, look for personality traits that indicate a dynamic, go-getting attitude. For instance, the candidate should be proactive and interested in the products, services and general operations of your company. Such people are willing to take initiatives and look for solutions to issues they see without being asked. They are capable of problem solving and focus on getting the job done, even if it means taking unconventional approaches. Such personnel can prove invaluable for your startup.

Factors to Consider – Communication

Since you’re working with remote hires, the most important factor to consider is communication. You’ll need to issue instructions and discuss projects and tasks over the internet by way of emails. This is why; candidates need to be proficient at understanding what you say and capable of relaying information of tasks they have completed. You’ll also need them to interact and work efficiently with the rest of your team, if needed, without your constant supervision. This form of synchronization is very essential for the smooth operations of your company.

Once you’ve created the perfect remote hire team, make sure you maintain it. Pay them well and offer bonuses from time to time in appreciation for the work they do for you. Be open to giving referrals and feedback when they need it. These strategies will ensure employee retention and the continued success of your company over a long time.

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