A Director’s View on Remote Working
The idea of working remotely has exploded over the last decade. In fact, every year more and more workers opt to work remotely. For example, in 2018, over 70% of professionals worked remotely at least one day a week. These advancements bring on new challenges for businesses and managers looking to effectively lead remote work forces.
As an international company, Capital GES employs staff all over the world. With offices in Brazil, Ireland and Switzerland, and remote staff based in Europe and the United States, effective communication and collaboration becomes essential.
In this post, we spoke to Nick Broughton, Chief Revenue Officer, who manages our sales and business development teams. We asked his views on the hiring process, various challenges he faces daily, as well as the benefits of employing remote workers.
1. What type of candidates do you look for when hiring remote workers?
For me, it’s critical for a remote worker to be self-disciplined and an excellent communicator. More so than a list of skills, it’s a certain personality-type that I look for. Someone who is both autonomous yet can comfortably collaborate with the relevant teams. Obviously, we can provide training and assistance in technical skills if needed, but the worker needs to have the soft skills in order to be productive.
Additionally, I need to know that they are independent and self-motivated. As a global company we work with clients based all over the world, so we need to employ staff based in different time zones. Our remote workers can’t always rely on the support of their colleagues from head office during their working day. Some of the time they will be working on projects alone, so I need to know they can do that without anyone watching over them.
2. What do you think is most important when managing working remotely?
Team culture is the key. Within it, you can establish trust as well as an effective framework for communication to flow freely. This allows for the setting of clear goals and expectations.
Trust: This is the base of our working relationship. As a manager, I must trust in their ability to operate remotely and do the job correctly. One of the ways I achieve this is to clearly define their goals and monitor their progress.
Effective communication: To feel like they are part of a team; a remote worker must know what is going on in the company. For our weekly team meetings and one to one’s, we use tools such as skype for business with the video turned on. Being able to see each other makes things more personal. And most importantly, it makes it easier to make sure that all the issues are discussed, and the key questions are answered.
Promoting team culture: The most common fear remote workers have is being isolated and not feeling part of a team. At Capital GES, we promote a team culture right from the start. Firstly, during on-boarding, all our employees spend time in our head office to get the know our company, their role and their colleagues. This helps begin building relationships right from the start. To reinforce these bonds, our remote workers have daily Skype calls with their colleagues. Here they can discuss projects as well as catch up on the gossip.
3. How do you feel about a remote workers productivity?
Working from home has many benefits. For instance, remote workers will usually create a dedicated and highly personalised work space in their homes. This allows them to work distraction-free within a space they are personally vested in. In contrast, while working in an office space can have many advantages, interruptions are frequent and often lead to reduced productivity when compared to a remote worker.
Another major advantage of remote working is, of course, the non-existent commute to work. This eliminates a lot of stress, and set’s them up for a successful and productive day.
4. What are the benefits of employing remote workers?
Employing remote workers enables us to have the best talent working for us, which would not be the case if we requested all workers to be in the office.
Secondly, as we provide our services globally, having workers in different locations enables us to be on the same time zones as our clients, resulting in a better customer service experience.
And finally, one of the important factors in our company, is that our employees are happy. Having the flexibility to work from home, allows our employees to be close to their family and friends and have a good work life balance.
5. What are the negatives of remote workers?
I think the biggest negative is their dependence on technology. While it’s easy to find the right technology for remote workers, sometimes their connection can become faulty. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it can cause frustrations on both sides.
6. What would you suggest for companies wanting to hire remote workers?
I would say if you are considering hiring remote workers, do not rush the recruiting process. It’s important they match your technical requirements but also have the soft skills I previously mentioned to cope with the challenges of remote working.
Regarding the technology they will use, it’s best to make sure that the correct infrastructure is in place. It makes it easier for both the worker and manager to communicate. Even though it could be considered as a cost, in the long run, good technology is a time saver.
Finally, it’s vital that the manager is communicative and organised. It is important that he/she communicates often, and that the workers do not feel left out or treated differently because they are remote. If possible, it’s a good idea for the remote worker to visit the office to be able to bond with their colleagues.
Capital GES facilitates the employment of remote workers in countries where companies might not have an entity.
If you are considering expanding your business and hiring staff – contact us at email@example.com or via phone +41 32 732 9700 or +1 833 972 6346 and a member of our team will be in touch.