Guest Post: How to Efficiently Hire and Manage Remote Workers

I am very pleased to be presenting a guest post from Sierra Miller of Job Descriptions. In this article, she overviews the process of hiring remote workers. This is a topic that I have a great deal of experience with throughout running all of my online businesses.

I hope you enjoy it!

Corporations and businesses are slowly embracing the practice of allowing their staff work remotely. There are multiple perks for those who adopt this working arrangement. Staff working at home means less overhead expenses for the corporation. For the remote staff, less commute means less gas expenses, more time for family at home, and more personal savings. A company hiring more remote staff contributes to a greener and more environment-friendly city. One less car on the road means less traffic and less carbon emission.

Hiring the Right Staff

Change is good if done well. Shifting your work paradigm means facing the challenges that comes with change. The fist challenge facing management is how to hire the right person for the job. A regular 8 to 5 job entails a lot of coordination between staff and management. In a virtual workplace, where there is less face-to-face interaction between management and staff, communication is key to establishing a link to the workplace. This is one skill that the hiring manager should look out for during the application process. An applicant who is having problems with verbal and written communication is not a good match for a remote work set-up.

Technology and the Remote Worker

It is important to explore and use new technology to complement management efforts. Internet-based technology such as Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and e-mail are some of the tools a manager can use to monitor remote staff. There are also websites that provide hosting services for virtual conferences and meetings. This online service enables companies with several remote staff to conduct meetings and trainings in a common virtual environment. Cell phones and pagers are also handy in situations where managers need to coordinate with staff immediately.

Measuring Performance in a Virtual Workplace

It is easier to develop and implement performance measuring tools for regular 8 hour workday staff. There is regular interaction between staff and managers in a typical office set-up which a virtual office doesn’t have. In a remote set-up, deliverables and expected staff output should be clearly outlined by the manager. Schedules and target dates should be established. This also entails changing the focus on deliverables instead of daily activities of staff.

Change in Management Style

A micro-management approach will not work in a remote workplace environment. Any manager who agrees to hire remote workers should change their approach and adapt a more flexible working attitude. This could be difficult for those who are used to implementing a more hands-on approach.

Finally, make sure that your remote workers understand and agree with the goals and values of your company. Establishing trust and loyalty within staff in a traditional organization is an important factor that affects productivity.

This article was contributed by Sierra Miller from Job Descriptions. Learn more about the business world by reading her business job descriptions.