In the world of remote working, business owners are faced with the prospect of digitally recruiting and managing a team. Although this is a novel concept, statistics show that it doesn’t have to come to the company’s detriment. Here are some tips from Insights Without Borders to get you started.
Get the Basics Squared Away
Remember that you must ensure you have all the business essentials before starting. First, you must select the type of business structure you will use. This selection will determine how taxes are paid and how liability is handled. Common choices for small businesses include sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S Corps. Fortunately, there are online resources available that can help. For instance, this guide will show you how to start an S Corp in Texas if you decide this is the proper structure for your business.
Scouting the right personnel to drive your business forward is difficult at the best of times, but you may find that remote working simplifies this ordinarily complicated process. Ultimately, you want your business to be a meritocracy, geared towards results and hiring people for their ability, not extraneous reasons such as appearance, personability, etc. Make sure you take the time to lay out the responsibilities, salary estimates, and job perks in a well-written description. It also helps if you understand enough about the role in question to be able to gauge the expertise/experience of candidates (e.g., which coding languages do your programmers know?).
Finding new hires online has been streamlined by job boards, freelancer platforms, and other new direct-to-business channels. If you’re willing to do the legwork, you can carry out much of this process yourself. You may even look into remote service providers, who can provide receptionists or customer service reps digitally – these are typically more cost-efficient and can be available for your business 24/7.
Without face-to-face work socializing, it’s not always easy to integrate your team into your company culture and work processes. Still, there is plenty of technology to help you achieve this. To begin with, make sure you put in the time and effort to get on a video call and explain via screen-sharing which programs you’re using or set a task list of video tutorials. Remember, the lesson is not over just because the ring is; you’ll need to check in regularly to help smooth over some of the more complicated details.
It may also be necessary to develop resources, PDFs, presentations, and video guides to explain better how things work across the company. Remote employees can no longer lean over the desk and ask a question, so providing as much information on the page as possible is essential to provide clarity.
If you’re concerned about the increased risk of expanding your team, consider forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This formation will help reduce your liability, give tax advantages, and reduce your paperwork. A formation service can help you to navigate state regulations and avoid hefty lawyer fees.
Encourage your employees to create a separate workspace in their homes that is free from distractions. Suggest they bring in some natural lighting and plants to help decrease stress and elevate their mood. They may find that natural lighting helps with eye strain, too. And encourage them to take frequent breaks for healthy snacks or even a brief walk outside. Being in nature is great for our mental and physical well-being, and the walk will get our blood flowing.
Keeping in regular contact with your team is made more accessible by comms applications. There are several critical competitors for you to choose from – ideally, your final choice will have video calling, file sharing, meeting reminder capabilities, and work on both phone and desktop. Instant messaging substitutes for in-person meetings and may even increase the rate at which your team communicates.
A reliable workflow or project management software is an integral part of team communications in the age of remote working. This software centralizes everyone’s work responsibilities and allows you to stay on top of deadlines, resources, and deliverables in real-time to track progress and your team’s ability to hit targets. It might be necessary to divide up the team into groups as having everyone in a single space can become confusing.
Some tasks are best left to freelancers. Content writing is one. Not every employee is comfortable with or skilled in producing engaging content, so it is less energy and time efficient to task them with this assignment than outsourcing through an agency that hires pros at creating content that people will want to read. Small choices to outsource tasks can save your employees time and your company money over the long run.
For many of us, remote working represents something of an unknown frontier. Will the team stay motivated? Will you be able to manage efficiently? And can the company keep in cohesion? The answer is usually yes, as long as you use the right service providers, software, and work ethos. And help your work-from-home employees make a productive workspace by encouraging breaks. We are all learning how to incorporate the work-from-home lifestyle best, so it’s best to provide options so employees can figure out what works best for them.
Article prepared by Virginia Cooper
Exclusively for insightswb.com