Posted in:Talent Management
One of the largest impacts that have resulted from the advent of the internet and remote office productivity tools has been the rapid increase in the number of employees who work virtually. Teams no longer have to report to the same office each day; the internet has made it possible for teams to collaborate all over the world.
This flexibility, however, is not without its challenges. Still, many employers find the benefits of employing a remote team outweigh any downsides.
Benefits for Employers
Perhaps the biggest reason to employ a remote workforce is the immense savings that result from not having to lease a large office space. Especially in major centres, the lease on premium office space comes at a significant cost. In addition, furnishing an office, and paying for incidentals adds up quickly. By having employees work remotely, many of these costs are reduced or even eliminated.
Plus, those with a home office are able to design it for their own work preferences, making them potentially more productive with the right setup. As well, with urban centers becoming more congested and people moving to farther locales, it reduces the stress of daily commutes allowing team members to arrive at work in a positive state of mind.
Another benefit of building a remote workforce is that it allows employers to hire the best candidate for the position, regardless of their geographical location. Essentially, leveraging global knowledge and talent to propel business growth.
Supporting your Remote Team
Depending on the nature of your business and the types of positions you need to fill, there are some key things things you can do to support your remote workforce.
Communicate: Regular communication is essential. Without the ability to simply pop into a colleague’s office, tools such as email, instant messaging, Skype (and the good, old-fashioned telephone) prove extremely valuable. Some teams may need to communicate regularly in real time, whereas others may do just fine via email. Determine what is best for your team, and encourage them to use the communications tools/channels that are right for your organization.
Check In: Is there anything you could provide to help make the employee’s workspace more efficient? Perhaps the employee could use a desk phone with a speakerphone option, a headset, or an ergonomic keyboard. These small investments can go a long way and cost a tiny fraction of providing office space.
Provide support: Employee development is crucial even when your team works remotely. Suggest resources and training opportunities for your staff and support their professional development efforts.
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