The remote work world has opened up a myriad of opportunities. Businesses great and small can indulge in a worldwide workforce replete with affordable, experienced talent.
There’s no doubt that the new global, remote workforce concept is a powerful tool in the hand of any CEO. However, it also comes with its challenges. If you’re making the leap to global remote work, here are some of the key areas of business that you should keep in mind as you make the shift.
1. Button Up Payroll
Payroll should be a top priority when taking your workforce in a global direction. Remember, you aren’t just trying to pay people in full and on time. Nor are you dealing with a single tax code or set of labor laws.
Global workforces complicate payroll in more ways than one. For instance, a recent Global Workforce Report from Remote highlighted that 30% of decision-makers are worried about issues relating to local compliance and tax laws. However, the good news is that, while this should be on your radar, it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker.
There are excellent international global payroll solutions available. These can streamline the business of hiring and paying your employees while remaining in full compliance with international requirements.
2. Remember And Respect Time
The remote work revolution has upended the traditional workday model. Gone are the days when professionals could count on a predictable 9-to-5 grind year-round.
Modern remote employees demand a certain degree of flexibility. This isn’t just a perk, either. If a remote work team is going to succeed, it needs a solid dose of individual autonomy. When you complicate this with the addition of multiple time zones, it becomes even more important.
As you hire employees around the world, make sure to consider how their availability and time zones will factor into your operations. Will you be able to easily connect, or will you be on opposite work schedules? This can have a major impact on how your team functions.
3. Let Go of Oversight (Somewhat)
Another consideration that goes hand in hand with time is the oversight of your team — and the lack thereof. It’s no secret that managing a global workforce means you won’t be on-site with your staff.
By extension, you’re also going to have less oversight. It’s a reality that you’re going to have to get comfortable with if you want your remote team to thrive. And the truth is, it’s okay to have less oversight — as long as you know how to make the most of the oversight that you do have.
For instance, make sure to track productivity and results rather than hours worked. If your employees are delivering quality work on time, let them do it with minimal oversight. If they aren’t doing so, use that fact as a reason to step in and start asking questions.
4. Address Isolation
Less oversight is an acceptable factor of a modern remote workforce, especially when it’s scattered around the globe. However, it’s still important to address the fact that remote workers tend to operate in secluded pockets. You don’t want your employees to atrophy in isolation.
A virtual office is a great way to address this. Set up a collaborative online workspace. Use messaging systems and video conferences to stay in touch. In other words, do what you can to keep your remote team connected and engaged.
5. Unify Your Software
Many of these areas of consideration revolve around technology. It’s a fundamental element of the global remote work concept.
And thus, there are a lot of technological solutions available. This is great on the surface, as there is an answer for everything. From communication to collaboration, privacy to scheduling, tech has an endless number of options to choose from.
However, it’s easy to become inundated with the overabundance of software choices, as well. While the tech world has gotten better at integrating competing programs, often using tools created by different third-party vendors can lead to chaos.
Make sure you codify the official tools that your staff can use. Then create an updating schedule or task your IT department with keeping everything up to date. That way your team can operate without technology bogging you down.
6. Remember Cultural Sensitivity
It’s always important to keep cultural sensitivity in mind in the workplace. It’s a factor that is exponentially increased when you go to a global workforce.
When that happens, you won’t just be working with individuals who have past experience growing up in or living in a different culture. They’ll still be living in them.
Now, a portion of the responsibility does lie on the remote worker to be sensitive to this reality. However, as an employer, you also took the step to bring a remote worker across international borders. That means a portion of the burden falls to you to ensure that they feel welcome, respected and understood.
7. Build Your Company Culture With Care
It’s also wise to tailor your own company culture in a manner that supports the remote and global aspects of your new workforce. You don’t want a stagnant or backward work mindset to hold back the progressive evolution of your company.
Instead, embrace a growth mindset that is open to change. Encourage your employees to always be looking for ways to expand their knowledge and learn new skills. By keeping your workforce in a state of growth, they will be able to adapt to the different cultural expectations and technological tools that will shape your global remote team.
Remote work is the future, and as such, it needs to be embraced today. But if you dive into remote work — and on a global scale no less — without a second thought, you’re going to run into issues before long.
Instead, take the time to consider things like time zones and company culture. How will your pursuit of elite global talent impact your payroll or your team’s collaborative efforts?
If you can come up with solutions to these challenges in a proactive manner, you can position your company to profit from a global remote work situation as much as possible.
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