Five Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
Remote work is no longer a distant concept. Now a popular practice in different countries, remote work refers to the form of work arrangement which permits an employee to work from a location other than the company’s central office. This arrangement has also, over the years, been referred to as Work from Home (WFH) or Telecommuting.
While it may appear as though remote hiring is the latest rave, the tradition of hiring remote workers isn’t new. It dates way back even before the digital age. Companies in the 20th century, such as IBM, experimented with telecommuting via phone calls. Over the years, it has proven a reliable strategy for conducting business around the globe.
The digital age more than ever has amplified the need for this strategy. This is also thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the need for people to conduct business from various corners of their homes. The pandemic era saw a huge transition to the remote work culture and post-pandemic and many have come to adopt the hybrid style such as Apple, Twitter, Microsoft, and Spotify.
Companies have adopted this form of work culture due to increased productivity, conservation of cost, low level of office politics, efficient employees, and so on. Engaging the services of global PEOs and EORs such as WeHireGlobally has made this adoption easier.
However, who is a remote worker? A remote worker is one who works outside of their organization’s geographical location. Remote work affords individuals the opportunity to choose a convenient locale to work. This could be from home, a workspace, a coffee shop, or any suitable environment. Individuals who engage in remote work do so due to the ability to effectively manage their work time, less stress, and job satisfaction among other reasons. Converting commute time to other tasks helps to improve this work-life balance. A flexible lifestyle, which is desirable by most, especially millennials, is an offering of the remote work lifestyle. Most do this in order to have the capacity to cater to other tasks such as acquiring a degree, taking care of family, managing health, and other sources of income. Remote work bridges the issue of physical availability and geographical location. The aim is to get the job done. This can be done from any part of the world, depending on the nature of the job. It helps employees work in the environment they find most inspiring. Ultimately, this leads to increased interest in work and productivity. This arrangement can be managed to suit both employer and employee, especially if it is being done for the first time.
Remote work is not only engaged in by employees of a company. Independent contractors and freelancers are equally on this list. Due to the rise in demand for remote workers, several platforms have been made readily accessible online to individuals who seek remote jobs. Companies, small businesses, and startups among others often seek remote workers. However, there is a number of factors to be borne in mind when recruiting remote workers. Weighing the pros and cons will help guide your decision.
Pros of Hiring Remote Workers
Business owners and organizations hire remote workers for reasons best tailored to suit their interests. Many have found out several benefits accrued to not having your employee work in your physical space. Some of these include:
- Cost cutback
Considering the amount of resources that is put into setting up a subsidiary, the lengthy, rigorous processes can be avoided. This is because hiring remote staff eliminates the need for a subsidiary. All of the cost that goes into the acquisition of a physical location or building and purchase of office resources such as furniture and equipment can be converted into other purposes.
Another important factor is the opportunity to establish a global business in a foreign location. This is especially true of small businesses who want to take their business to the shores of other nations. It is quite easy to get entangled in the web of bureaucratic matters which may delay the setting up of the business, thus not costing only time, but money as well.
Hiring remote workers eliminates the need for a physical subsidiary in a foreign location and in the event that one is needed, the processes involved in establishing one will not hinder ongoing work. In addition, bringing employees from countries with lower cost of living on board saves more cost than hiring a higher percentage of staff from your location. This is because they get paid according to the work rates of their location.
- Large pool of skill and talent
Talents and skills are hidden in different cities across the globe. Hiring remote workers helps access this global talent pool, thus helping you maximize these resources for the growth of your organization. An organization seeking remote workers can cast their net beyond the talent pool in their physical location.
Having the multiple choice option is one of the perks of hiring remotely, especially as they suite your requirements. It helps to reach beyond what is geographically available. The hassle of work visa and the red tape associated with employees crossing borders is eliminated. There will be no need for certain types of taxes and insurance, thus affording the opportunity to offer better incentives to potential remote employees, providing an edge over other global competitors. This way, the best of the best can be accessed to fill whatever position is required.
- Efficiency and productivity
Another perk of hiring remote employees is increased efficiency. FindStack reports that 77% of remote workers in the US say their productivity is higher when they work from home. This stems from working in an environment with lesser distractions and interferences. Employees don’t have to deal with commute time, traffic, settling into the office and all other distractions that come with sharing working space with co-workers.
The remote worker gets to work and sometimes finish before the fixed time. The flexibility that comes with this sort of arrangement even helps the employee curate their own workspace to suit their tests. Working in a calm, relaxing environment ultimately leads to better productivity. Schedules can be adjusted. Targets can be reached within the appointed time. Whether it’s in a coffee shop, at a desk in their room, at a workspace, wherever it is, the employee’s comfort leads to the ultimate health and well-being.
For people who cherish freedom and flexibility, millennials are sure to get their tasks done to free up time for other activities. Employees don’t have to spend on transport and miscellaneous expenses that arise when commuting, thus conserving resources and energy. A healthy employee is in a better position to get deliverables done. A productive employee is a productive company. This often leads to retention of workers. Employee turnover gets reduced and productivity gets optimized.
- Team diversity
Curating a team of skilled experts from different parts of the world fosters company culture. Building a diverse team remotely takes place faster than will occur under other circumstances. Companies who seek to improve diversity, equality and inclusion can do this via hiring staff remotely. It also gives room for company policies to eliminate bias, such as disability and gender biases. Also, visual biases in terms of employees’ fashion choices can also be brought to a low or totally eliminated.
People can be represented at all levels of inclusion without fear of exclusion. Organizations can also focus on forging work values, as opposed to culture-driven values. This will help foster employee management and engagement. Having a diverse team gives room for employees to bond virtually and share ideas to contribute to company growth. Organizations can also eliminate location bias by employing remotely. This helps to improve company outlook.
- Measurable results
For business owners and companies, measuring output and productivity is a must. With several software tools and technology available in the tech space, measuring results of remote workers is a walkover. Once company policies have been put in place for measuring employee productivity, it becomes easy to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and set milestones for each tasks.
Organizations can use project management software to track tasks and hours spent at work. Remote employees can turn in weekly reports of tasks. This helps to maintain accountability and foster the drive to work. The advantage of measuring results helps raise the bar in output and productivity, ultimately leading to company growth.
Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
Building a team of skilled individuals from talent pools across the world is not without its disadvantages. Here are some you need to know.
- The ultimate search
Finding the right fit out of a sea of talented people could be a tough row to hoe. This implies that the search has to be thoroughly carried out. Rigorous screening needs to be conducted to filter the right candidates. It could also be tasking to do this without a hiring team or EOR.
However, engaging an effective team of hiring experts helps eliminate this disadvantage. WeHireGlobally has carefully curated this team to help with recruitment processes.
- Compromise of confidential information
Conducting business in the virtual world poses quite a number of risks, one of which is the leakage of sensitive information. The inability to limit the number of people who have access to confidential information creates the need for tech investment by an organization. This is because several possibilities including insecure networks and viruses endanger sensitive company information.
It thus becomes pertinent to take measures to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked. Because the remote worker-employer relationship is virtual, this relationship has to be built on zero trust as one is unsure whether company data is being sold to competitors. What zero trust implies is the need for authentication and verification before employees can gain access sensitive data. Another way to prevent data breach is to educate employees on cyber security and keep them up to date with the latest technology. This can be done during the onboarding phase. However, it is also important that this is done from time to time to avoid information gaps. In addition, when an employee no longer works with the team, access to company accounts should be updated. Their ability to access company accounts should also be revoked. Endpoint security measures such as firewalls, multifactor authentication, VPNs and malware removal can be put in place as well.
- Communication vis-à-vis team connection
Much of team work requires communication, and that communication should be done rightly. In the event of language proficiency issues, extra attention has to be paid to how information is passed and received. This is to hinder misinformation and also prevent misunderstanding as phrases in one language may be offensive in another.
Also, team bonding requires more effort than if it were to be a physical team. Nonetheless, this problem can be solved by ensuring remote employees engage in virtual fun activities. There could also be informal bonding meetings after work hours. This can be achieved by means of messaging channels and video conferencing apps as it will foster creativity and exchange of ideas among members of staff. Employees can also be grouped or assigned to teams to ensure participation.
In addition, employers may have to go extra mile to ensure the wellbeing of their remote staff. This may include regular checks as well as messages of encouragement from time to time.
- Time zone differences
While workflow is an important advantage, balancing time zone differences may pose a challenge. This is because there could be information gap as one employee may be awake working, while another is asleep half across the globe. It may also be difficult for employees to communicate as some tasks may require immediate responses. Miscommunication may also lead to long hours of misled work if the one who ought to correct it is not available. It may also be difficult to schedule meetings with employees because of time zone difference.
One way to get around this is to identify points at which the time zones overlap. This will also help to schedule meetings and not leave anyone out. Also, meeting can be held regularly as deemed fit by the employer, whether weekly or daily. It is also important that the team utilizes a 24/7 channel where asynchronous texts can be left such that they are accessible at any time. This will help bridge the time zone gap. Detailing minutes of meetings and emailing them to members of the team also helps not to leave anyone out, regardless of where they may be.
- Risk of misclassification and compliance
When hiring remotely, defining the role of the worker is very important. This is because roles can get mixed up and an organization or business owner can end up being sanctioned over misclassification. Whether you’re looking out for a full-time employee, an independent contractor or a freelancer, defining their roles will help you avoid the error of misclassification.
A full-time employee cannot be treated as an independent contractor. This is because independent contractors prefer to work on their own terms. While an employee is fully bound to the rules and regulations of the company, even whole working remotely, the same cannot be said for an independent contractor as a separate agreement has to be drawn up for such arrangement. In addition, taxes have to be calculated and deducted for each employee, payroll has to be drawn up and benefits such as insurance, family and medical leave, pension and so on have to be properly defined. It is also important to keep up with the regulations of the country in which the independent contractor works.
Employing across borders requires requisite knowledge of the laws and regulations. One runs the risk of compliance if these laws are not understood. Defying these regulations could also lead to heavy fines, ban of business and bad business reputation in such foreign environments. As an organization or business owner, keeping up with these regulations can be taxing. Running the risk of compliance is not worth it. This re-emphasizes the need for capable hands to cater for such matters. Global Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) or EORs (Employer of Record) are better suited to handle this burden. This is because they have structures in place to ensure that business owners and organizations are not handicapped by foreign laws and regulations. They also have the capacity to employ and onboard remote employees, take care of visa-related issues, including payroll and taxes. Thus, as an employer seeking to hire remotely, leveraging the services of a global PEO such as WeHireGlobally, will help reduce the risk of compliance and worker misclassification.
How WeHireGlobally Can Help
WeHireGlobally provides services for organizations who want to spread their business to the shores of other nations. Our specially curated team of experts are available in over 150 countries of the world. Helping you attain your business goals while maintaining compliance with the regulations of your country of choice is our ultimate priority. Without fear of setting up a local subsidiary, leverage our services which will help you employ talented individuals from across the globe.