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Team Success! No Brick And Mortar Building Required

Guest article from ideaspired.com by Tina Martin

If you’re looking to launch a new business but would also like to keep up with the digital age, having remote employees is the way to go. Not only do you not have the overhead of a brick and mortar establishment, but you can also reap the rewards of an expansive workforce. Before you get excited, you should know that your success depends on how you prepare and the people you choose. Here are some tips to help you make the most of a virtual workspace.

Find the Right People

Bar none, finding the right people is the most important part of this process. The people you place into your organization have to be comfortable working on their own and have the ability to manage their time without constant supervision. But how do you find them? There are a few ways that make the most sense. First, network with people you already know. You can use your real-world contacts or those you’ve met through Linkedin or other business networking platforms. This can take time, however, and there may be a better option.

If you want to broaden your horizons, consider utilizing freelance talent. Upwork and similar sites allow you to fill positions with people who have the experience you need and that can work the hours you require. You might not, for example, need a full-time writer, designer, or web developer, but could use them for 10 to 15 hours each week. Likewise, if you’re not yet large enough for dedicated sales for administrative staff, a freelance job board such as Upwork can put you in touch with the ideal candidate. What’s more, as an added benefit, you get a chance to evaluate their effectiveness with no strings attached, which can help you make a decision whether or not to offer them a full-time job later on.

Regardless of which method you use to recruit, don’t skip the interview process. Freelancers are pretty much guaranteed to have the qualities you need for a remote position, but those who are accustomed to working a traditional nine-to-five job might not. So, make sure to ask how they plan to keep themselves motivated and what qualities they possess that will help them excel outside of traditional office constraints.

Gather Your Tools

If you go the freelancer route, chances are that they will already have all of the tools and equipment they need to perform their function. But if you recruit full-time employees, you may need to provide certain items, such as a laptop and a dedicated telephone line. Everyone should be connected via a workflow program, and if your employees will need to communicate often, seriously consider investing in a team chat app.

Set the Rules

When you offer a remote job, your employees expect at least some flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that you can go completely without structured policies. Define working hours and make sure that your employees understand what notice, if any, you require before they step away from their duties. Keep in mind that if you are using freelancers you cannot mandate when they are available and how often they will work. If you do, they’ll likely be classified as an employee, and that comes with tax rules that can get you into big trouble if not followed. 

You’ll also need to let your employees know what you expect as far as data security. When you have people spread out all across the country — or globe — you have more security vulnerabilities to contend with. CMS Wire’s experts recommend two-factor authentication, reliable encryption software, and firewalls and antivirus software. 

Don’t be downhearted if you experience a few bumps in the road. As a new business owner taking advantage of digital capabilities, you may experience a few growing pains here and there. However, with preparation, the right employees, tools, and rules, you can make your business a resounding success without ever having to sign an expensive lease.

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