Remote employees (also known as a distributed workforce) can add considerable value to an organization. From greater productivity and cost savings to the ability to recruit from a broader and more diverse talent pool, flexibility is the name of the game in the modern workforce. But with location freedom comes a greater degree responsibility.  Putting the right systems in place to manage and integrate remote employees is the key to maintaining a successful and productive remote workforce.

The Benefits of Hiring Remote Employees

It’s no secret that happy and motivated employees are also productive and loyal employees. As technology and project management tools make it possible for small companies and startups to create a truly global and borderless workforce, there are more opportunities than ever to attract more diverse talent.

Some of the advantages of hiring remote workers include:

  • Saving on office space and operational costs
  • Recruit from a broader and more diverse talent pool across geographic locations and time zones
  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Retain valuable employees that might otherwise resign due to life circumstances like starting a family or a move
  • Attract dedicated employees who value flexibility over other job perks
  • More “hours in a day” thanks to the elimination of stressful commutes

The Challenges

Managing and coordinating a remote workforce across multiple locations can present logistical challenges as well. For the arrangement to be successful, remote employees must be motivated and disciplined enough to stay productive and engaged without the same level of supervision as on-site workers. Excellent communication skills are also essential in order to keep everyone connected and effectively manage workflows on cross-functional teams.

Tools and Technology to Make the Most of a Remote Workforce

Productivity software and technology have made it possible for virtual workplaces to develop and thrive. Some of the most commonly used tools among remote workers include:

  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Google Drive
  • Zoom
  • Skype

In order to make the most of the arrangement for your organization, start by setting up a framework to measure and encourage ongoing productivity for independent workers, and choose tools that will keep teams and projects organized and allow for seamless feedback and communication.

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