25 Sep The Pros and Cons of Remote Teams
The digital age has increased the number of telecommuters. There have always been industries in which workers were able to work from home. However, the technological quantum leap in the last twenty years has significantly increased the number of home workers. As a matter of fact, even some renowned Fortune 500 companies encourage remote work. In this article, we’re going to discuss the major advantages and drawbacks of such a managerial policy, from a business owners’ point of view.
Launching a business inevitably incurs numerous additional expenses. Office rent, high electricity bills due to significant energy consumption, office equipment, and travel expenses are only some of the costs you’ll have to be paying monthly. What’s more, you’ll also have to hire a cleaning company, to clean the premises at the end of every workday.
As opposed to that, when you’re running a business with remote workers, you won’t have any of these overhead expenses. It will save you an ample amount of money and energy (in every sense). However, some business owners tend to be too thrifty and don’t even provide their remote workers with proper computer equipment. It would be fair to provide some sort of assistance to your remote staff – while they do work from home, they are still your employees.
Getting higher value for money
The Internet is probably the most liberal labour market in the world at the moment. Business owners and their employees/collaborators arrange the terms and conditions of their contracts without any interventions. The main advantage for business owners is the fact that they can get higher value for their money from remote workers.
For instance, the average hourly rate of a senior developer in the US is $31.94. On the Web, you can find an equally skilful professional for a much lower rate, especially in developing countries. The benefit for said worker is that they probably wouldn’t be able to make that much money in their offline environment. In other words, you are now able to find a perfect match more easily, if you know where to look.
When talking about payments, it’s imperative to use a payment method that will suit all the interested parties. Therefore, analyse transfer fees, as well as currency exchange rates, and go for the one that offers the best conditions for most of your workers, scattered around the globe. Also make sure to explore what type of bank account you yourself need, and who can you best organize everything in the money department to make things run smoothly.
Flexible work arrangements
This is something that both employers and employees should appreciate. Unlike strict office working hours, working remotely gives you much more freedom in organizing your work assignments. For instance, the business owner can create the tasks and distribute them early in the morning and move to their daily business tasks. At the end of the day, they can check how much has been done, and what tasks might need to be reassigned to other people.
Workers, on the other hand, are able to divide their tasks into several equal chunks and schedule them in a productive way. That way, they can run their family and personal errands, and still finish all their tasks in one day.
Of course, this sort of work organization requires an extremely high level of self-discipline. That’s why only the most disciplined employees and employers will be able to work this way.
Running scattered work teams usually means managing employees in different time zones.
Apart from that, since they’re not sitting in the same office, even workers who are within the same time zone might not be at their computer at the same time.
Failing to obtain necessary information as soon as possible could lead to missing deadlines and, consequently, financial losses.
Because of that, it would be smart to opt for a comprehensive project management solution and do all the communication via that tool. Read more about some top-notch tools in a guide published by Huffington Post.
Since you don’t see your remote workers in person every day, it could be hard from time to time to tell if they’re happy with their work conditions.
In order to keep them motivated, hold short meetings a few times a week. Since this could look like micromanaging, which should be avoided, make these briefings as positive as you can. Also, don’t stop repeating that they can ask you and their team leaders anything that might be unclear to them.
Naturally, rewarding your remote workers with bonuses and raises is another successful way of keeping them committed and motivated.
Meticulous business documentation is the key to smooth work organization. Also, project records need to be accessible to all the people who are working on that project all the time.
The easiest way to meet this goal is to use Google sheets or any other cloud-based tools to create tasks and share them with your teams. When they’re all granted access to these records, they’ll always be able to find what they need on the spur of the moment.
Furthermore, as your business grows, you should hire one person to take care of all the business documentation. Hiring a remote virtual assistant is a fine way to have all these things done on time.
If you organize your remote teams in a calm and detailed manner, you’ll see only the pros of such a business organization. And even if you come to an obstacle now and then, like the cons covered in this article, react promptly and resolve any such issues, but make sure to support your team members as much as possible. All this should ensure a successful and productive remote collaboration.