By | Jasmine Williams
Virtual workers can save you money on office costs while allowing a more flexible business model. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before integrating remote employees into your organization.
Every applicant to your company is trying to present themselves in the best possible light. Giving candidate the opportunity to work remotely is a more appealing prospect than the daily commute and a stifling cubicle.
To inspire trust in your company, keep the information on your social media accounts and your company’s website updated, so applicants know what to expect. Express company values like honesty, creativity, and open communication to present yourself as a conscientious employer.
Studies show that around 60 percent of job applicants, and even higher, will never purchase from your company if they feel they were treated unfairly. You may have embittered ex-employees or rejected candidates leaving negative comments online. It’s imperative to address this negativity by replying in a sympathetic, professional, authentic way to balance out these bad feelings.
Understand that your brand depends on healthy relationships in your hiring practices as well as with partners, employees, and customers. A strong brand shows a company that’s committed to fairness and honesty.
2. Security Measures
Virtual employees and the expansion of mobile devices are new challenges for digital security. Workers accessing your network from their own devices may unwittingly introduce malware. It’s important that every device utilizing your network has safeguards in place.
This includes restricted access to sensitive data, automatic software updates, and encrypted communications. You might consider options like remote-wipe applications for stolen devices, cloud-based services, and channels like virtual private networks.
Focus on educating remote workers on your security protocols, such as strong passwords, awareness of email scams, and restricting third-party software downloads. Every virtual employee should be comfortable implementing your data security requirements if they’re going to work for you.
Nobody is safe from cyber threats. Schools, hospitals, government databases, and even police departments have been the victims of data theft and related attacks.
This is a risk for e-commerce sites, particularly those dealing in luxury items such as designer fashions, fine jewelry, or antiques. Hackers are looking to steal financial information from your high-spending customers. If their accounts and personal property are jeopardized, your buyers won’t have confidence in your security and they’ll shop elsewhere.
3. Employee Work Habits
When interviewing remote employees, determine their work habits. They must be able to operate with minimal supervision. Ask about how they handle schedules, improve efficiency as well as what remote employment means to them.
There are other important factors to ask about, such as communicating without face-to-face conversation, controlling stress, and achieving a healthy work-life balance. Be prepared to inquire about and offer advice on appropriate digital tools, setting up a home office, and reducing distractions. Candidates will value any piece of useful information that comes from experience.
Tools for virtual employees should also include some means of file sharing, coordinating schedules, and tracking their time. You should ensure that they’re completing assignments and collaborating successfully with the rest of the team.
Your virtual employees should understand that even though they’re comfortable at home, there will responsibilities or quotas that must be met. Being comfortable at home should never be taken for a chance to lay back and procrastinate indefinitely.
4. Motivating Remote Workers
Virtual employees could be located anywhere in the world. This brings more diversity into your company, not just in culture and language but in habits, values, ideation, and problem-solving. To build working relationships, all team members should respect their differences.
Find ways to keep your remote workers just as inspired and productive as in-house staff.
Managing virtual employees requires:
Communication – expect regular reports and scheduled meetings via video chat or conferences.
Feedback – be sure that each remote worker is clean on their responsibilities, and both offer and accept feedback that will lead to better communication and improved results.
Recognition – help to build peer relationships among your remote and in-house employees. Recognize and praise outstanding efforts or achievements in a way that fits their respective backgrounds.
Career Opportunity – people stop doing their best if there are no rewards beyond the usual paycheck. You can show them there are chances to grow in their job through new responsibilities and training.
Happy employees are both more productive and more loyal. They help raise the morale of your entire staff through their energy and example. The most satisfied employees become your brand advocates both within the organization and to the world at large.
Onboarding remote workers can bring many benefits to your company. But they could also be liabilities if you hire the wrong people, or fail to engage the right people with their team members and your culture. By ensuring that your remote employees are just as happy and informed as your on-site workers, you can make them effective members of your team.
About the Author:
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool, and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88