Hiring remote employees can seem like a big deal. How can you trust someone you don’t personally interact with? How can you hold them accountable for their work? It might seem uncertain whether a team member can really contribute if they are a hundred miles away. These concerns are completely natural, but that doesn’t mean they should stop you from giving your business a head start.
In reality, remote employees can be a huge advantage. They often come at discounted rates, they can work the hours and shifts you can’t, and you can hire experts you might not be able to hunt down in your local area. In this post, we’ll outline three reasons you don’t need to feel so uncomfortable. Then, you can start growing your business without those pesky doubts.
1. You probably already have remote employees
Is working remotely really so strange? In fact, you probably already do this on a regular basis. You and your co-workers go on vacation and check-in via email, or work from home sometimes when sick. While you’re gone, the wheels of the company keep spinning, thanks to the wonders of technology. The same principle applies when you hire qualified remote workers.
2. The biggest companies in the world do it
Hiring remote workers might seem to be something your shady cousin does from his basement business. In fact, the opposite is true. The biggest companies in the world have made huge strides by hiring remote workers They have gone out of the box here because they know the data backs their decisions up. Several recent studies suggest that remote workers are actually more productive than their in-office counterparts. This may be because they have less distractions, fewer meetings, and more time to buckle down and focus. Remote workers also report greater levels of happiness and satisfaction in their work.
For all these reasons, companies like Dell, Microsoft, General Electric, IBM, Apple, American Express, and a host of other top names hire thousands of remote workers each year. Some simply let their full-time employees work remotely, while others employ a large number of remote contractors as well.
3. There are plenty of great tools out there
Part of the reason so many big companies are using remote workers now is because there are so many great tools available to manage them. These tools make it much easier to see who is doing what and to keep everyone on track, even if they are far away.
Here’s just a few that we can recommend:
Trello: Trello is a task-management system that turns to-do items into moveable cards. You can assign these electronic cards to remote employees, set deadlines, and see when each item is completed. That way, everyone stays accountable.
Slack: Slack is a company-only message board that makes remote brainstorming ridiculously simple. You can have separate boards for each team and project, and use direct messaging in place of your overloaded email.
Salesforce: Your sales team doesn’t need to be on site. In fact, you can have a host qualified salespeople across the country. Salesforce helps you keep track of leads, successes, sub-teams, and more.
ZenDesk: In ZenDesk, you can see which of your customer service representatives are answering tickets, and how many they are answering. It’s an easy way not only to make sure every question gets answered, but also to keep your reps on task.
There are many others that may be right for you depending on your business. Do a little research on the Internet and you’ll be surprised at what you might find.
We hope this post has brought some comfort to you. If you have more questions about how to interview, hire, and manage remote employees, feel free to check out our page on hiring remote employees. You’ll find plenty of tips and best practices.
Emily Bell has worked in digital marketing for seven years, tackling projects for a wide variety of tech and PR companies, as well as a few of Amazon’s top third-party sellers. Her work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Influencive, Addicted2Success, Forbes, and around the web.