The novel Coronavirus re-visioned the way people work drastically in just a few short months in 2020. Still, it also introduced prospects that remote work is a possible fix not just as the pandemic is going on but also far beyond the future.
Many benefits are presented to the employee working from home: the lack of commute and the ability to save money, to name a few, but companies and employers are now seeing that the benefits could also be extended to them. So, where do they begin, and how to hire remote employees?
What is remote work?
Remote work has been on the radar but sees resurgence, especially at the height of the pandemic in early 2020 for safety and health reasons, but what is remote work exactly?
Remote work is a work situation where employees are doing their job outside of the traditional four-cornered office and building. Remote work gives you the flexibility to work from home, from a coffee shop or even a co-working space.
Remote work benefits the employees and, notably, also the employers themselves. The elimination of commute to and from work helps the employees while employers acquire added recruiting and employing advantages are some of the gains.
What are remote employees?
The advancement in technologies and the rise of non-traditional workplaces gave rise to employing and hiring long distances. This makes it possible for people anywhere in the world to find opportunities outside of their state or even outside of their own countries.
People working remotely for other corporations and working from home, whether locally or internationally, are called remote employees. Promising international remote employees will not only bring business but will also add the diversity and culture to your company or enterprise.
2020, Pandemic and Remote Work
Remote work situation that saw an increase as the novel Coronavirus broke out is a preview of how the future workforce will operate. Before the pandemic, only one five people worked from home permanently.
Still, the number rose to 71% as the pandemic forced labor to shift and operate at home in order to survive and to ensure employees’ health and safety.
What’s more, according to the Pew Research Center survey, more than half or 54% of the respondents are more than willing to continue working from home even if the pandemic mellows out.
At the dawn of the pandemic, large corporations such as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google mapped out plans and laid down remote work mandates to every employee worldwide.
For tech companies like Microsoft, technology is a big part of the ease in the transition. Videoconferencing via Zoom is now the round table company meeting, while file sharing, usually done online, still reigns as workers shift to remote work. Remote work also shifted the focus to outcomes-based over time spent at the office.
The remote work setting also made it possible for people to work outside of cities and, in turn, decongests what is considered as the hotspots for the novel Coronavirus. Working from home has also always been a solution to combing notorious traffic problems in the metro. According to research by Remote, 81% of workers agree that they would be considering moving to a different state and even country if it means that they could do so without sacrificing and giving up their jobs and career.
Remote work also made it possible to humanize the usually toxic work environment. It tackled the problems of employees who are parents, although imperfectly, and gave people the added time they typically lose in long commutes. Childcare and a boost in empathy among coworkers are just some of the plus.
For businesses and corporations, the remote work setting made it possible for them to gain access to more talents and top performers, international or otherwise. With the absence of the four-cornered office, companies are now able to pool remote employees. So, how does it work?
What are the benefits of hiring remote workers?
Remote work took off the factor of geography, which is usually one of the deciding elements of hiring and applying. Gone are the days when firms and businesses require their prospective work candidate to live at least in the same region as their workplace. And with companies taking the geography out of job requirements, they can pool prospective candidates out of state and out of the country. So what are the benefits of hiring remote workers?
Hiring remote employees offer an increase in productivity and creativity
Hiring local and international employees out of your company’s vicinity allows for an increase in creative ideas and processes.
A broader range of skills and perspectives among employees could bring about unique solutions to a company and workplace’s problems and dilemmas. The variety of experiences in a diverse workforce also gives the possibility of an increase in productivity.
Hiring remote employees also increase cultural awareness
For companies looking to expand worldwide, the best solution close to tackling the different nuances in every area of business is hiring remote international employees. The added benefit of being fluent in another language, for example, can lead to improved associations and ties in your area of operations. Not to mention that having diversity can also stem from a company being a great employer that treats everyone of all backgrounds fairly and inclusively.
Hiring remote employees increases marketing opportunities
The 21st century workplace is diverse and ever-expanding in inclusivity. Future partners and customers of a company who embrace this concept will gain a better representation and reputation, attracting more business for the enterprise or corporation.
Hiring remote employees is overall better for employees
Not only did the pandemic take off the long commute to and fro work, but that has also always been a problem, especially for different-abled employees. Remote employment gave them easier access to well-paying remote work and made work conducive and more accessible for them.
This also goes for employees with children and caretakers who are confronted by the closing of schools and increased risk of contracting the virus in both hospitals and nursing homes for their loved ones.
Even more flexibility for remote work, like letting your employees decide when and where to do their assignment and job, also benefits the company or business in more ways than one.
According to a study by Prithwiraj Choudhury of Harvard Business School, there is a significant increase in productivity, decreased turnover, and notably lower organizational costs. Companies like NASA and Github follow this work from home plus setup and have seen a 4.4% rise in productivity than the traditional work from home setup with a schedule and a requirement to still live near the office.
You might be interested on how to hire the best remote workers and build a better team.
Things to consider in your decision to hire remote workers
Employers looking to hire a remote employee are awarded many benefits and opportunities to grow. Still, there are challenges too, and one needs to consider these possibilities before taking the plunge.
Payroll is usually taken care of by an accounting team for more prominent companies. Still, smaller ones like small businesses or startups payrolls are generally taken care of by the same people.
Hiring internationally and handling payroll is a whole different ballpark entirely, and one needs to follow local laws to avoid legal problems. This particular problem can be remedied by outsourcing your international employee’s pay to an international payroll management agency.
Every employer needs to pay an employee more than a liveable wage to compensate for all the works and services the employee is providing for their company or business. Questions like fair pay in their country, the cost of living in their country, the benefits a company should be giving their employee, or will they pay an international employee the same as any local one should be considered and answered. One should find a perfect balance in considering problems regarding finances.
Risk Regarding Taxation
Every international corporation or business to another country is subject to taxations imposed by the host country. In the world of business, these are called permanent establishments. Permanent establishments are corporate taxes. This is only a rough sketch of the permanent establishment, and one should read more to get a full view of it.
Contractors to Employee
A company or business should learn to classify an employee or a contractor because misclassification can lead to penalties and business bans which are worse than fines. So what’s the distinctness between an employee and a contractor?
An employee is included in a company’s payroll and receives regular wages and benefits, which binds them to follow its rules and guidelines, including paying the appropriate taxes. On the other hand, a contractor is an independent worker without the benefits like health insurance or even a day off. However, they have much more flexibility and leeway in their workings, and they don’t pay taxes.
Failure to define job roles, including whether an international remote worker is employed permanently or is bound in a short contract, will lead to the international business paying fines and even canceling operations in the host country in addition to facing criminal charges.
Intellectual Property and Invention Rights
Companies are aware of their intellectual property and invention rights intra-building, but adding remote international workers on the mix risks new implications and opens them to more vulnerabilities. Companies and businesses looking to expand operations abroad can lose this right because of unfamiliarity with international laws. They risk major lawsuits and more.
Employee Income Tax
To remain compliant with taxation laws in the corporation’s and the employee’s country, one should know where your employees are bound to pay their taxes. A corporation with financial management can figure this out easily as pie, but it is much harder for small businesses and startups looking to employ internationally. The good news is, there local employment law experts you can hire locally to help you with the logistics from scaling to even recruitment.
How to hire remote employees
Hiring remote workers will require a lot of planning, and deciding the job and finding remote workers is only the apex of the iceberg.
Finding Remote Worker
The first step is figuring out how to find remote workers. There are many ways, especially now that advertising online is the primary way with the pandemic still ongoing. But there are three main ways that companies utilize.
- The first is directly contacting a remote worker on their blog, website, or email. A blog or website usually features their works and other contact information, so it would be easier for you to determine if they are a right fit for your company or not.
- The second way is hiring remote employees through your network. Networking by consulting present employees or other managers can sometimes be the key to the perfect hire. Recommendation from people you trust and know your company’s objective is valuable since they can vouch for a candidate’s history and track record. This option also includes contractors and freelancers you have recently worked with.
- The third is advertising your remote work opportunity on various sites and platforms, including social media and other job site platforms. Social media, in particular, will reach a variety of audiences through shares. Many companies also find talents this way since most freelancers, artists, and writers keep their profiles public to attract gigs and commissions. Expect to pay a premium for freelancers who have a lot of following and have had their works featured on various platforms and publications.
Aside from social media, online job boards and platforms targeting remote workers. Many people scour and comb these sites for their next works, and one of them might just be the person who will further reach your business to new heights.
Creating a Job Description
Job descriptions will make the future candidate know precisely what they are applying for, the role, the requirements, and what they would do when assuming the position. It is vital to keep it specified and brief, including the job title, the employment type, summary of the role, the role’s responsibilities, job qualifications, the culture of your business or company, and your contact information.
Selecting from Candidate Poll
Resumes will start rolling in once your job offer is posted on various platforms, and the next step is reviewing everything to give everyone a fair chance. Sort the resumes and portfolio, if applicable, from people who meet the requirements and those who don’t. Sort it further by assessing each candidate’s skills and how they could contribute to your company’s overall culture and objective.
Video Call Interview
Although slowly becoming a norm, remote hiring will call for the more unconventional interview via video conferencing. This step will come from all the potential remote work candidates who showed promise in their resumes and portfolios. Schedule an interview with a specific date and time.
Appraising worker’s potential
Employers conduct interviews to assess a candidate of their skills and capabilities. Ask them all the possible questions for the job they are applying for, including their experience and expectations with remote work as their primary mode of work. This will also make you see what your future remote worker is like in terms of being a team player in a long-distance work setting.
Effective Remote Work Communication
One of the things you need for your company or business to flourish is making sure that are open lines of connections between your workers both locally and internationally. Communication is especially crucial for employees with different time zones.
Setting clear communications expectations to all of your future remote workers is essential. This might mean that you would provide funds for added technological needs or not, especially if the prospective remote worker candidate shows potential.
Management During Remote Work
The first step to assessing management in remote work conditions is to make sure that your remote worker knows exactly what their role is in the initial interview and hiring process. Once a remote worker and workers are cleared as hired, initial introductions on everyone and walking them through every phase of how things are done are crucial.
Regular meetings are one of the surefire ways to make sure that your remote workers are working seamlessly, and this meeting will also give them a chance to ask questions.
Background checks are done through references. Many potential hires are asked to provide a reference person of two to view how the candidate is outside of their perception of themselves. This will also give you an idea of how a candidate is required to work by themselves or with others, their leadership style, their communication style, and others.
To get a view of these factors, it’s essential to make sure that the references person assumes a managerial role over your candidate. If you are employing a freelancer, ask for former clients as your candidate’s reference.
A hire is made official with the contract. The contract will include every arrangement, including the roles the employees are expected to assume, their work schedule, and every benefit they get as a new remote hire to a company or business.
It is important that everyone agrees with each stipulation and clarifies everything in areas of concern. A contract for traditional employment will do, but it is important to adjust them to be flexible enough for permanent remote work.
Once a contract has been drafted, an offer letter that includes the project detail, the compensation, and the contract is sent to the ideal remote client.
This calls for negotiations and biding to meet all the candidate’s wishes and demands. It could go either way with you hiring the perfect candidate or the other, so always make sure you keep a shortlist for other candidates who show promise.
Now you have your remote worker, managing administrative tasks for each is the next step. This will include setting up a payroll for the new remote employee or agreeing on a mode of payment and other stipulations for the remote contractor worker.
This is where the risk of tax and other compliance problems comes in, so it is essential to consult your HR and legal team for corporations or at least hire an expert that could help you if you are a smaller business or enterprise.
Remote Employee Orientation
Alas, the last step to your first remote hire. The employee will need to orient themselves in every aspect of the work, especially in the department that they will be assigned.
A meeting with the entire team is crucial for the remote worker to get the hang of things and interact with other group members.
Onboarding also calls for training in every aspect, especially communications and project management, to make sure that they are effective remote members of the team.
Things to avoid when hiring internationally
To make remote employment smooth sailing for all your workers updating systems and processes to ensure that everything is connected, esteemed, and aligned just as highly as you would a regular office worker.
Early 2020 has given us a taste of what to do and what to avoid, and we could only go better as the second year of the remote working norm will commence.
One of the benefits of office work is the camaraderie and friendships built in and out of the workplace. Since that is almost impossible in the current remote workplace, steps to ensure that morale is boosted are crucial.
A company makes sure of this by simply providing clear communications and making the work environment welcoming between and among company and business workers worldwide.
Scaling international employment
One way to build your business is by scaling the workforce once a single hire is done and is a success. A company or enterprise might want to consider networking from the same area since it has proven successful.
What does a remote-first culture look like?
A remote-first work culture is guided by the company’s vision of building a global workforce that champions the company’s success and caters to a diverse workforce that values individual career growth and high inclusivity. This inclusive work culture encompasses geographical barriers, and each team member upholds this work culture.
To commit to these goals, companies and business needs to make sure that each member of the global team is encouraged to meet and work with other employees. Although work hours overlap, team members need to feel that they are working and collaborating in a team amidst the time differences.
A way to achieve these goals initially starts with onboarding new hires. Onboarding is the remote worker’s initial experience inside your corporation.
Orienting them with the ins and outs of the organization and its culture is vital on the first day. Effective asynchronous communication can make sure that your remote employee is effectively instructed. Assigning them a buddy with the same timezone as theirs, significantly when you’re scaling, will also make sure that nobody will be feeling out of place.
There are risks to hiring remote employees, especially international ones, but the benefits will outweigh the risk in the long run. Remember that it will be challenging initially, and figuring out logistics is complicated, especially if you don’t have a team and is a starting startup or a small business enterprise. You can always learn, research, and even consult to learn the know-how. Good luck with this venture and it will be worth it!