Imagine a company based in Switzerland hiring people from places like London, Bangalore, Amsterdam, and Chiang Mai. Geography is no longer a constraint when it comes to hiring people.
The workplace has dramatically changed in the last decade. Companies no longer require employees to show up at a physical location. Remote work saves time and money for both employees and employers.

Who is a remote employee?

Any employee who works from home, or from a remote location, is a remote worker. Technology has made it possible to work from anywhere in the world. However, it has also brought in a new set of challenges.
The biggest challenges with remote work include:

Lack of work-life balance

Many remote workers are flexible with their schedule and work during odd hours. The boundaries between work time and personal time are blurred, which causes burn out and stress.

Time management

Employers expect remote workers to manage their time effectively and get the job done before the deadline. It is easy for a remote employee to take an afternoon nap or slack off watching Netflix when it might be more prudent to get to work. Remote workers can also get interrupted by pets, neighbors, or household chores.

Social life

Some of the perks of working from the company office is interaction with colleagues. A lot of close friendships are made in the workplace, and most remote workers miss out on the opportunity to meet people face to face. Being disconnected from the physical world can be unhealthy. Not having human interaction can make coworkers lonely and depressed. Human beings are social creatures; we need to interact with people for us to have healthy lives.

How to overcome these challenges?

Everything starts with hiring right.
Here are some ways to hire and manage them effectively.

#1 Hire from the right sources

While advertising for job vacancies online is gaining popularity, this is not enough. Successful firms need to go the extra mile. One of the ways of ensuring this is by banking on referrals. Your business connections who give you referrals are already familiar with the culture of your company. So, they are most likely to refer you to employees who have the necessary skills and cultural fit.

#2 Hire people with self-management skills

Remote work involves minimal or no supervision, which requires employees to have self-drive and personal discipline. An employee who needs a lot of handholding may not be the ideal remote worker.

Set clear goals

Communication can sometimes be a challenge, especially when dealing with new employees. However, this challenge needs to be eliminated by communicating your goals clearly. If you expect them to respond within a specific timeframe, let them know about it. Ask them about their most preferred communication tools and communicate accordingly.

Build rapport with every member

Even though your employees are working remotely, managers need to spend time and talk with each individual. It is good to be open so that the employees can also open up and share their insights. This assists in creating confidence and trust. Most importantly, managers will get to know the problems each employee might be facing. This rapport does not come from having a conversation about work. Instead, it happens when the managers take an extra step of trying to know the personality of the employee. It is a demonstration that the firm cares about the welfare of the employee

Enhance video communication

Since many employees might not be able to travel for face to face interviews, it is good to have a video interview. Most of human communication is nonverbal. Video communication needs to continue even when monitoring employees. It is critical in the employee monitoring process. Since you do not see the employee daily in the office, video communication can assist you in having a visual clue of the employee. You can use tools such as Skype and Hangouts.

Having more time for one on one communication

In this working arrangement, it’s rarely viable for employees to visit your office and discuss issues affecting them. That is why you need to have more time for one on one interaction with your employees. It creates an environment to get to know them and address their needs more efficiently.

Explore various interactive technology tools

Have you heard of emoji and emoticons? Remember that most of your communication is nonverbal and involves a lot of emails and chats. The best way to convey your feelings is using these tools. Sometimes words might not yield the results you are looking for. Another advantage of the use of these tools is that they make communication livelier. They show that a manager is a person who is easy to approach.

Be flexible

As a firm hires more and more remote employees, chances are employees will come from different time zones, which can be an overwhelming task. For effective employee monitoring, the firm needs to know the different time zones and have a schedule of when you can communicate with your employees.
Provide a coworking pass
Coworking spaces have become popular all over the world. Remote workers are realizing ways to become more productive by becoming part of a coworking community. Coworking allows remote workers to become part of a community of people just like them. Encourage your remote employees to work out of a coworking space close to their homes. If possible, provide them with a coworking allowance.

Grow their careers

Remote employees are ordinary employees who want to progress in their careers. Do not expect them to be robots. If you hire them, treat them as regular employees. Understand their career paths and assist them in achieving their personal and professional goals.
Conclusion
Remote workers are a big boon to business because it dramatically increases your talent pool. You can now look for talent not just in your local area but anywhere in the world. But it comes with challenges. If you find a way to overcome these challenges, it’s possible to attract some of the best talent to work for your organization.

Author's Bio: 

John Larase, is a content marketing specialist at Time Doctor. He loves to explore new things and ideas.