You may choose to take your outsourcing to the next level and actually have your software developers, UX designers, or other staff working remotely, rather than physically bringing them in to work alongside your other employees in a single workspace. There are various benefits to this, including lower costs for you and greater flexibility for your team.
However, despite the fact that technology can allow us to outsource services this way, it’s not a perfect solution and there are numerous risks involved if you’re managing a remote team. Some specific challenges and trends we’re noticing in 2017 include the following.
Shortage of talent
Within specific niches, such as the global software industry, real talent can be hard to come by. As of 2016, 40% of employers around the world reported that they couldn’t find suitable candidates for their roles, and nearly 20% are forced to outsource projects, sometimes overseas.
By using remote workers, bypassing the geographical factor, business owners can cast a wider net and explore new markets. Having said that, this poses a slightly different challenge as remote employees also need to possess certain qualities such as self-motivation, openness and great communication skills. Evaluating these remotely isn’t easy, but demand is increasing for sociometric testing platforms as these represent one potential solution.
As of 2016, nearly 20% of employees were forced to outsource projects, as they couldn’t find suitable candidates for their roles.Click to tweet
Transparency and communication
Within any organisation, it can be difficult to ensure team members are contributing everything they can and discussing innovative ideas to improve efficiency and productivity. For a remote team, this is significantly harder.
It mutually benefits both employers and employees if new HR systems focus more on transparency and open collaboration, so team members are encouraged to make use of their own talent, feel empowered and help to create a productive culture. Organisational structure tends to be more horizontal in this case, as opposed to a traditional hierarchy.
Choosing your collaboration platform
Not physically being in the same place can lead to inefficiencies in communication and reduce the amount of knowledge that is naturally shared between team members. A way to combat this is by using a centralised knowledge base where you can work on projects, store notes on your processes and share tips, such as Basecamp or Confluence.
There are an increasing number of HR platforms specifically designed for managing remote employees and collaborating on projects remotely. Choosing one can be tricky, as you will need a system that supports all the integral processes in your business.
Keeping employees happy and engaged
Working from home or different places around the world can be difficult to get used to. Focusing on work without any social stimulation can make employees lonely and demotivated over time.
As a leader, it’s important to ensure everyone in your team is clear on their objectives, your values as a company and what is expected of each person. At the same time, facilitate some team bonding opportunities and make sure people have a chance to build personal relationships. This will make sure you stay on track and hit your performance targets while enjoying all the benefits of managing your team remotely.