Hiring remote workers is of an equal benefit both to the employer and potenial employees. The introduction of such system will enable a company to make some significant savings, like using less office space, less furniture, less money spent on cleaning services and renting the office.
Still, however, many companies hesitate over hiring remote employees, and still rely on a standard system with ”life” workers coming to the office. What is the reason behind that? It seems that the main one would be the control over a remote worker. Do the employees really do their duties? What if they don’t and are spending their time scrolling down the Facebook instead? Or what if they already did all the tasks assigned for 8 hours of work within 4 hours and are now at loose end due to that? Maybe we should give them more work? But how do we really know everything was really done already?
All of the above mentioned doubts can be solved by rigorous controls. Employer can impose settled working hours, and tell the employees to track their time by the use of different Internet tools. Another way might be for the emoployee to report all the tasks completed during the working day.
Looks fine? Not exactly. Such strict controls can easily lead to make the remote work more onerous than the office work. It will be so if the supervisor demands from employees more tasks to be completed than within the standard working time, at the same time continuously controlling them. The lack of flexibility regarding working hours or ways of doing particular tasks may also be the results of those kind of controls.
There is no doubt that there has to be a balance found. The only way the employer can somehow check whether the work was done, and whether the employer spent his working time effectively is some kind of a control. However, this control cannot be about checking every single step the employee takes. It should be rather about controlling the quality,scope of work and caring for a good communication between the remote workers.
Let me now go to some points answering the question ”how to hire to make the remote work successful?”:
- Looking for appropriate candidates, focus on the ones that are passionate about what they are doing.
- Choose the well-organized candidates. During the interview take into consideration knowledge and professional experience of your potential remote worker.
- During the recruitment process make sure your candidate has a comfortable place of work and necessary equipment to be able to work remotely.
- Be very precise while establishing the scope of work.
- Tasks assigned for a specific day should also be possible to be completed in a standard working system – you shouldn’t try to assign more tasks for remote employee, as it may result in lower quality of the performed job
- Determine the way the remote employee communicates with manager, coworkers and prospective customers.
- Designate a person with whom the remote employee will contact in case of being stuck with some task or other problem.
- Organize video conferences e.g. once a week to discuss current issues
- Organize ”live” meetings with all the workers a couple of times a year
- For the employee who might have problems with working alone, offer a work in a coworking center together with other freelancers and remote workers.
What in your opinion may also be done to facilitate the remote job for the employee who did not got used to work in the office?