Pros and cons of hiring a remote team
Decades ago, it is difficult to run a business since you have to do different tasks personally. You can have a small team confined in an office space, but its towering cost can hurt your budget.
Nowadays, technology makes it easier for entrepreneurs to run their businesses on their own. From handling customer concerns, keeping track of cash flow, designing a website and social media, to marketing their products.
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Other companies take advantage of modern technology by hiring remote workers. And from this pool, they create a remote team to do a specific project for them. They don’t need to shell out resources or rent a bigger space for their team since everything can be done online.
Even big enterprises have remote teams
Yes, big businesses also have their remote teams. They take advantage of this opportunity to hire more competitive employees from different countries.
The increasing popularity of business process outsourcing even benefits them in saving on resources. This also gives them the opportunity to expand in other locations where their employees are based.
But this doesn’t mean only they can afford it. Access to more advanced technology made it cheaper for SMEs to hire their own teams. Outsourcing companies even opens the doors for them to outsource their tasks to help them save a lot of money and effort.
Should you keep them in-house or remote?
Hiring an in-house team has its downsides. You need to have another workspace set up for them, invest in new equipment such as desktops and printers, set up office tools, look for new tables and chairs, and make sure they still have electricity and internet connection to work.
Salaries and benefits should also be covered, along with vacation and sick leaves and holiday work. And along with new employment is the additional tax documents to comply.
As an SME with a limited budget and monitored cash flow, providing these needs may be difficult. With this, you turn to the most available and affordable resource for you: the internet.
Hiring remote workers helps you cut back on the costs of these resources and the effort of gathering these. However, hiring these teams can expose you to some risks that can affect your business, such as confidentiality issues.
If this is your first time hiring or you’re still looking for your first team, then you should know the advantages and disadvantages of hiring them.
Pros and cons of hiring remote teams
The following are the benefits and downsides you should consider in hiring remote teams. Take note that these risks can be worked out and challenged to be turned into an advantage for successfully handling your team.
Hire more competitive talents
Hiring local talents may bound you geographically and perceptively. You only hire on your specific location to save you the burden of documentary requirements and other compliances to hire an overseas contract worker. In return, you also limit the ideas that can grow from a specific project.
Remote teams, meanwhile, offers you the best employees that you can get. You gain access to a more competitive talent pool from different countries. A lot of these workers have reputable degrees and reliable work experiences.
Most of them even have strong work ethics and will work for your company for years. With this, you gain different perceptions and perspectives in doing a task. These workers can even help you innovate your systems and process faster than you think.
Save a lot on costs
When you hire a remote team, you get to save a lot on labor and resource costs. Research shows that businesses with remote workers can save up to $11,000 per year. You don’t need to put up an additional workspace since you can connect with them online.
Freelancers provide the tools and equipment they use in working. You can pay them at a fixed rate or by their hourly rate. Outsourcing companies, meanwhile, include the equipment and office space in setting up a team.
They will charge you on a monthly or hourly billing on the time your remote team worked.
Offshore teams also offer cheap labor costs compared with the West. The Philippines, one of the most popular countries to outsource and hire remote workers, offers competitive rates. In turn, they provide high-quality service to their clients.
Gives you more flexibility
Remote workers are not the only ones who have more flexibility. Hiring a remote team can help you be flexible in your operations and schedules. It gives you more time to meet with your clients instead of traveling to your office to meet them.
Remote teams make scaling your business easier and cheaper. It also gives you the freedom to work with them wherever you are. Sharing reports and uploading work documents have become easier through emails and work tools you can use online.
Working with them also gives you more work-life balance so you can spend time with your family and friends.
What’s more, your remote team can even continue operating while you sleep. This gives you access to a 24/7 service to provide your customers with the excellent service they deserve.
This is mostly the case when you hire a call center overseas. Their workdays don’t stop when the evening comes. have teams that adjust to your time zone and ones that can work at nighttime. They even adjust to your holidays while still having the opportunity to offset.
Remote work increases productivity
Recent studies show that working remotely increases productivity by around 13%. Proper monitoring of your employees boosts it even more.
Whether they work from home or a coworking space, they are able to focus on their work without distractions and can finish tasks in a short period. They aren’t bothered by traffic and can even work despite strong weather conditions since they work in different areas.
Overtimes are no worries to them as well. Recent studies show that more than half of remote workers are more willing to do overtime work than in-house employees. And since most of these remote workers are experts in their field, they can do specialized tasks with minimal supervision.
BPO employees, meanwhile, have the opportunity to travel after rush hours in the evening. This makes their travel to work easier, which helps them to provide their services better.
Remote teams lessen turnovers
Indeed, remote employees can easily get more disconnected than their in-house counterparts. But when taken care of, they achieve more satisfaction with their work, causing them to retain in your company.
Remote employees tend to be happier and more flexible since they achieve work-life balance by working outside the office. Getting them engaged in different activities keep them feel connected with their work.
Training them online allows them to widen their knowledge and skills for their work. Rewarding good performance even boosts their motivation to give their services more.
More importantly, your remote team will feel more valued when you provide them benefits, bonuses, and leaves.
Security and confidentiality issues
Hiring and working with remote teams exposes your company to security and confidentiality risks. Especially with call centers, they are the front liners and are the first ones who will receive sensitive information, such as customer data.
Your virtual assistants also have access to some confidential emails to your clients that can affect your partnerships with them.
To prevent this, only give them information related to their tasks. Regularly monitor their performance to track any suspicious activities that will arise.
Agree to use screen monitoring software while they work to lessen the risk of a data breach. This can protect your business from losing information that can affect your image in the future.
Several communication issues
When you have an offshore remote team, it’s possible to experience communication issues. Whether it’s due to an unstable internet connection, time zone differences, or technical issues on both sides.
Nowadays, even work hour differences can affect proper communication with your employees.
On your first day, discuss having a standard time to call or meet with them. It may be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on the availability of your team.
Make sure that everyone uses a singular platform to connect with you. Make voice conferences or video calls if possible. Share your screens to have a live glimpse of their progress.
Lack of proper monitoring
If you are new to hiring a remote team, you might find it difficult to monitor them. You want to monitor their work performance but don’t want to bother them with frequent calls and chats.
You want to know if they’re doing their tasks properly but don’t want to lose their trust with you. Many employers still find it difficult to monitor their employees if they don’t see them regularly and that’s okay.
Even big companies struggled with this at first before learning to properly manage their teams.
You can use collaboration software to streamline your processes, delegate tasks, track their progress, and share documents. Use time tracking tools to monitor their work hours and productivity.
Set short meetings weekly for updates. Generate progress reports and share them with the team. Strategize how you can improve your productivity and deliver better results.
When monitoring your employees, you should also encourage them to look out for each other to ensure they’re doing their job well.
Language and cultural barriers
Lastly, one of the dilemmas in dealing with offshore remote teams is the language barrier. Sometimes you can’t understand each other because of different accents when speaking English.
Other employees even experience culture shock when dealing with their coworkers because they’re not used to the kind of culture their coworkers have.
To resolve this, let them interact with each other during and after their work hours. Give them space where they can talk freely and engage them in different activities to make their bond stronger.
However, still set limitations to their interactions. Excess of these interactions might turn to distractions which decreases work performance.
Also, barriers may be crossed which can turn offensive over time. Set rules but let them create a work culture where they can be comfortable.
Whether hiring an in-house or a remote team, you should always know that you’re hiring persons that can help you ease your workload. In the end, you will still decide on plans and strategies on how to expand your business.
In-house teams are there to help you with duties that need physical contact. However, it can affect your budget if you grow your workforce building these teams alone. Remote teams, meanwhile, gives you more flexibility on time, resources, and scalability.
Though they can’t fill some duties that your in-house ones do. With this, why not maximize your workforce by hiring both?
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The combination of the two helps you grow more and achieve your goals more over time. And besides, the human workforce is still the best resource you’ll have compared to Artificial Intelligence and automation.