When you run a remote business, there's an entirely different set of rules you operate by. A brick-and-mortar business has different requirements and processes compared to a remote company. That's why, when preparing to bring on a remote workforce, it's important to know what you'll need to do to prepare for success.
In a survey by Upwork, 38 percent of hiring managers predict that remote work will dominate in the next 10 years. Telecommuting is gaining tremendous popularity with workers, because advanced technology allows for productivity and success in all the same ways as in a brick-and-mortar business. You no longer need to go into an office five days a week to meet your professional goals.
If you're trying to get your business ready for a remote workforce, here are three tips to help you get started.
1. Get your data on the cloud
In preparation for a remote workforce, you'll need to keep your data organized in one place where it can be accessed by you and other members of your team. You can do this by putting your data on the cloud with a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) program.
CRM is a platform used to collect customer data, store customer and potential contact information, recognize conversion opportunities, manage marketing campaigns and more – all from the cloud. A CRM solution will give your business a proper strategy and help you focus on your relationship with customers so you're able to tailor your content and products to customers' needs.
It's easier to increase productivity and collaborate as a team when your data is in one spot. Analyzing your relationship toward consumers will give you insight on how to further your reach, increase engagement and focus on what drives customers to make a purchase.
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2. Use a messaging communication system
It's even more crucial when you're setting up your business for a remote workforce that you will all be communicating with each other effectively and efficiently. Without clear communication, your business is prone to mistakes, lags, glitches and other predicaments that otherwise could have been avoided.
To keep up with everything surrounding your business, you need to use tools that will make your daily communications more efficient. There are several instant messaging systems that eliminate the need for pesky back-and-forth emails, making it easier to get in touch with your team for faster response times. Project discussions, announcements and keeping up with co-workers is made simple and, best of all, useful to build the remote workforce you want.
3. Onboard the right employees
Remote work sounds like a dream come true for those who dread the 9 to 5. Who wouldn't like to work in their pajamas and stay inside on days when it's ugly outside?
The reality, however, is that not everyone is well-suited for working remotely. Remote work has increased 140 percent since 2005, according to research by GlobalWorkPlaceAnalytics, but that doesn't mean it's the right situation for everyone. To ensure your business is ready for a remote model, you have to make sure you have the right people on your team.
First, you need to have an idea of who you want working for you and who you think could handle telecommunication. Try to narrow your focus and create a picture of your ideal remote employee. What are the traits of your ideal employee? What is their communication style? And, as you interview candidates, the more information you can get about an individual's remote work experience, the better you'll be able to understand if they have what it takes to succeed as a remote employee under you.
When looking for remote employees to join your workforce, consider their attitude and behavior and reconcile that with what you envision for your company. Brainstorm a list of behavioral questions to ask potential candidates based on the results you'd like to see. This will ensure you go beyond inquiring about mundane, run-of-the-mill routine questions so you can focus on how candidates act, their skills and their outlook on remote work.
Ask candidates questions around the following subjects:
- Prior teamwork experience
- Remote work experience
- Leadership skills
- Handling conflict
- Remote work ethic
Over to you
Preparing your business for a remote work team means knowing what you want and finding the people who can do it for you. By uploading your data onto the cloud, you and your team have easy access to all the information you need in one place. You also have to ensure a communication system is put in place so everyone is on the same page and can work together effectively. Finally, hiring the right people for remote work is crucial because some aren't cut out for it or don't work as productively in that environment. What would you do to get your business ready for a remote workforce? Leave your recommendations below.