7 Keys to Scaling a Remote Workforce

Your small business has started to grow? Before we congratulate you on this milestone, we must warn you about a few common pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid once you start scaling your remote workforce. Like scaling too fast, for instance.

Running a remote business can be a huge money-saver, but it still requires some smart investments. Today we’ll talk more about why you should not be frugal when it comes to talent and technology, just as well as why company culture is key to success.

Here’s How to Scale your Remote Workforce in 7 steps:

1. Find the Best People for the Job

There’s one thing you should never be tightfisted about as a remote employer – talent. In the long run, hiring an under-qualified employee will cost you not only money but also time. If you get them for cheap now, you’ll have to pay for this decision later.

Keys to Scaling a Remote Workforce

In 41% of companies, a bad hire can cost $25,000 or higher.

In 25% of companies, this can grow to $50,000 or higher.

When you’re not careful about the applicants you’re accepting, you’re risking decreased productivity and teamwork, dampened morale, increased turnover, and reputational damage. Skilled hires don’t want to waste their time working with inept people.

Besides, having a team of competent experts means faster ROI.

These employees will not only know how to contribute to your business goal without your guidance but will also nurture enthusiasm about being a part of a successful collective. Qualified hires will boost both your revenue and your brand.

2. Remote Training and On-boarding

Onboarding is never easy, not even in a traditional workplace environment. Remote employees don’t get to enjoy the same level of guidance and support as their in-house peers, and your onboarding program must compensate for that lack of immediacy.

But first, your remote employees need to be trained.

This is one of the few instances where remote hires don’t fall behind in-house teams, as both models rely on online training to provide the best possible results. Statistically speaking, eLearning saves time and money and boosts retention rates by 25-60%.

But when it comes to onboarding, remote employers must go one extra mile in helping their hires assimilate into the company. Assigning each of them an onboarding buddy can compensate for the lack of informal mentorship and traditional work friends.

3. Invest in Collaborative Technology

It goes without saying that every remote team depends on high-quality technology. Without smart digitization, there wouldn’t be remote work in the first place. At least not in the modern sense of the word. Here’s what you need to get, software-wise:

  • LMS software to help you create engaging online training courses
  • Employee training software to help you distribute learning material
  • Time management software to collect time-track and billing data
  • Team management software to keep everyone on the same page
  • Collaboration software to help employees brainstorm together
  • Video conferencing software to provide quality face-to-face time

Collaborative tools are designed with remote teams in mind. They allow them to communicate in real-time, exchange ideas, and swap documents. As a financial investment, many of these platforms won’t burn your pocket – they will make you richer.

4. Invest in Shared Incubator Hubs

Remote teams are so tempting because they ensure significant savings. How much money have you already saved on office space, for instance? Having said that, the need for a physical meeting space becomes greater once your remote team begins to grow.

Many brands are chipping in for shared incubator hubs.

Shared Incubator Hubs

The benefits of this investment are multifold. Your remote employees will be able to use this hub for face-to-face meetings with clients, brainstorming sessions, and team-building activities. The further they are from each other, the more they need it.

Having someplace to turn to when they can’t work from home will help boost their engagement. They will see their company logo on the wall and feel like they belong. And shared incubator hubs are inexpensive too – you share rent with other brands.

5. Build a Positive Company Culture

Positive company cultures boost employee satisfaction and reduce unscheduled absences. Because they make employees happy and fulfilled, they also help increase company-wide productivity and collaboration, thus saving employers a lot of money.

But building a company culture is not as easy when your employees are scattered throughout the world, most of them knowing each other only digitally. But it can be done. Onboarding buddies and collaborative platforms are a great way to start. Preventing isolation is an obvious concern.

That’s why incubator hubs are such an effective solution as well. Scheduling one-on-one face time with remote teams is just as important. If you have two or more hires working near to each other, encourage them to meet up and form a subgroup.

6. Establish a Delegation System

The bigger the team, the bigger the responsibilities.

But this is also a good time to start letting go of your bad habits. You cannot possibly micromanage a scaling remote team, no matter how hard you try. The best you can do is set up a reliable delegation system and establish a couple of uniform rules.

Think about the new structure of your company. Will it have different departments? Are you going to need a separate communications infrastructure for each team, geographically and departmentally? How are you going to ensure accountability?

It’s never too early to start thinking about these things. If it so happens that your company’s growth rate exceeds all your expectations, you need to be ready to catch the momentum and take the next step. You need to start looking ahead now.

7. Stay Patient and Thought-Out

The last key to successful scaling? Don’t do it at any cost.

Improvement is much more important.

If your business is flourishing and you’re finally earned an opportunity to invest in the future, it may be better to perfect your main selling point first. Many companies take a leap and end up lowering their quality standards in the name of quantity.

Whatever you decide, make sure you’ve done your research. If necessary, hire a consultant to help you with opportunity analysis. Maybe this is not the best time for expansion due to external reasons such as economy, unstable market, or talent pool.

Closing Remarks

But if you decide to start scaling your remote team anyway, we wish you all the best. Equip yourself with the best people, high-quality technology, and time-tested training practices, and you won’t need us to wish you good luck.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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