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Will Remote Work Eradicate the Need for Outsourcing?
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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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5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely
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5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely

Will Remote Work Eradicate the Need for Outsourcing?

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.

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.

5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely

cn_blog1_masthead_3_08-09-16

Working as a remote hire, no doubt, has many advantages. More and more professionals are opting to work from home to avail of the many perks of working at their own pace, in their own comfort zone and at flexible working hours. However, to build a successful career as a freelancer, there are certain rules you must lay down for yourself. Without a set work pattern, you’ll soon face issues like lowered levels of productivity, miscommunication with teammates, and at some point, you could lose sight of your goals. To ensure that you stay clear of the typical pitfalls of freelancing, use this five-minute guide. It has a list of do’s and don’ts that you absolutely must follow.

Step into the Role

If you choose to work full time in an office, you’ll have fixed hours of waking up, dressing, having breakfast, and leaving the house. But, as a remote hire, chances are, you’ll give in to the temptation of oversleeping, having erratic mealtimes, and perhaps, lounging around the house in track pants. Avoid this pitfall and set up a routine for yourself. Follow it no matter what and you’ll soon find your productivity levels improving. Assign hours for work. Like say, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Then, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and, finally 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Unless you’re dealing with an emergency, don’t let any issue make you deviate from that routine. Allow yourself the weekends off. But, work if you need to make up for missed hours.

Create a Work Environment

As a freelancer, you have the option of choosing the working space that is conducive to your output levels, but one that matches your personality. If you’re a loner who needs a quiet place to concentrate, work from home. But, if you need the stimulation of interaction with like-minded professionals, choose a coworking space, cafeteria, cyber hub, or any such location. Many remote hires are single parents or caring for elderly relatives. Whatever may be your life situation, pick out your space accordingly.

Acquire the Necessary Equipment

Depending on the work you do, make sure you have all the necessary equipment in place. If you need to constantly communicate with your teammates, get the devices. If you find yourself switching between and monitoring multiple projects at a time, invest in multiple screens. Make sure you have a printer if you need hard copies for delivery. Having all the tools and gadgets you need, can ensure that you’re not stuck every time a work situation arises.

Regular Communication

Since you’re working out of home, you’ll need to frequently receive instructions from your employers and relay completed assignments and updates. You might also find that you’re working on projects for employers in different time zones. In that case, it becomes absolutely essential that you have not just the necessary apps for video conferencing and audio calls, but that you work out timings that are convenient to everyone. By following this rule, you’ll find that it becomes easy to coordinate your activities with those of your teammates and there are no delays in the projects because of lack of communication.

Take Regular Breaks

Yet another pitfall many remote hires face is working too hard and putting in unreasonable hours. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to forget to eat and exercise, and soon, you could be heading for a burnout. Make sure you avoid that. Some freelancers also find that boredom gets in the way of productivity levels. To deal with this situation, switch between tasks and take 10 minutes off for tea, coffee, and snack breaks and you’ll soon get the creative juices flowing. If you need it, take a power nap.

Using these strategies, you’re sure to make a success out of your career as a remote hire.

5 Minute Guide to Working Remotely

CN_BlogV2_28-06-16

Working as a remote hire, no doubt, has many advantages. More and more professionals are opting to work from home to avail of the many perks of working at their own pace, in their own comfort zone and at flexible working hours. However, to build a successful career as a freelancer, there are certain rules you must lay down for yourself. Without a set work pattern, you’ll soon face issues like lowered levels of productivity, miscommunication with teammates, and at some point, you could lose sight of your goals. To ensure that you stay clear of the typical pitfalls of freelancing, use this five-minute guide. It has a list of do’s and don’ts that you absolutely must follow.

Step into the Role

If you choose to work full time in an office, you’ll have fixed hours of waking up, dressing, having breakfast, and leaving the house. But, as a remote hire, chances are, you’ll give in to the temptation of oversleeping, having erratic mealtimes, and perhaps, lounging around the house in track pants. Avoid this pitfall and set up a routine for yourself. Follow it no matter what and you’ll soon find your productivity levels improving. Assign hours for work. Like say, 9:00am to 1:00pm. Then, 2:00pm to 6:00pm and, finally 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Unless you’re dealing with an emergency, don’t let any issue make you deviate from that routine. Allow yourself the weekends off. But, work if you need to make up for missed hours.

Create a Work Environment

As a freelancer, you have the option of choosing the working space that is conducive to your output levels, but one that matches your personality. If you’re a loner who needs a quiet place to concentrate, work from home. But, if you need the stimulation of interaction with like-minded professionals, choose a coworking space, cafeteria, cyber hub, or any such location. Many remote hires are single parents or caring for elderly relatives. Whatever may be your life situation, pick out your space accordingly.

Acquire the Necessary Equipment

Depending on the work you do, make sure you have all the necessary equipment in place. If you need to constantly communicate with your teammates, get the devices. If you find yourself switching between and monitoring multiple projects at a time, invest in multiple screens. Make sure you have a printer if you need hard copies for delivery. Having all the tools and gadgets you need, can ensure that you’re not stuck every time a work situation arises.

Regular Communication

Since you’re working out of home, you’ll need to frequently receive instructions from your employers and relay completed assignments and updates. You might also find that you’re working on projects for employers in different time zones. In that case, it becomes absolutely essential that you have not just the necessary apps for video conferencing and audio calls, but that you work out timings that are convenient to everyone. By following this rule, you’ll find that it becomes easy to coordinate your activities with those of your teammates and there are no delays in the projects because of lack of communication.

Take Regular Breaks

Yet another pitfall many remote hires face is working too hard and putting in unreasonable hours. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to forget to eat and exercise, and soon, you could be heading for a burnout. Make sure you avoid that. Some freelancers also find that  boredom gets in the way of productivity levels. To deal with this situation, switch between tasks and take 10 minutes off for tea, coffee, and snack breaks and you’ll soon get the creative juices flowing. If you need it, take a power nap.

Using these strategies, you’re sure to make a success out of your career as a remote hire.

 

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