Remote staffing is a new way of working. Just like capital, technology, enterprise, even talents are globally accessible. Entigrity has revolutionized accounting community by its remote staffing solution and has helped accounting firms accessing global talent. With our deep domain expertise and experience in the industry, here we list the best practices to work with remote staff that give optimum results.
There is no alternative to your personal assessment; hence, it is highly recommended to interview the person by video interview and take online tests to check for knowledge and experience. Through video interview you don’t just interact with the candidate in real time but also examine the body language, facial expressions, communication skills, personality, etc. This helps you in knowing the candidate better, deciding who would be the best fit and finally having the best person on job. Not just that it also helps you determine the potential longevity of the particular staff in your firm.
Because of the time zone difference, the staff will accomplish the task even while you were not at office and when you get back to work you will eventually see that most of the task is completed. At Entigrity we always recommend to have three to four hours of overlap and regular online meetings in that duration as it all depends on how well you understand each other’s work. Your office keeps on working even while you were asleep. As a usual practice of working with remote staff, you can assign him the task before leaving office and check in the morning how the task has been performed overnight.
The overlap time is the best and sometimes the only time to communicate with your remote staff in a whole day and can be used to convey the task assignments with them. You could also review and discuss the previous day’s work during this time. The real time communication during the overlap hours is the opportunity to discuss work in detail and provide fair chance to the staff to obtain desired output. We always advise our clients to keep at least 3 to 4 hours of overlap time with their remote staff. This will allows them to communicate, discuss and review the workflow in real-time.
A better understanding of the work will make the staff more productive and deliver better. You will have to explain to the remote staff about the nature of tasks he/she has to perform, brief about clients, their nature of business, their way of work and of course, their expectations. The briefing might also include the frequency of the reports to be sent. The more you collaborate with him the more he will be able to expand his expertise towards his job. An efficient collaboration is necessary to make him understand his functions better and get his potentials utilized to an optimum. This will be ultimately be beneficial to your workflows and processes carried out efficiently.
The more you maintain regularity in communication with your remote staff, the better it motivates them. Staying in continuous touch with the remote staff also keeps you informed about the status/progress of the assigned task. It also helps things get reconciled and resolved as and when they occur. It keeps away the shocks of encountering long avoided errors in work done due to infrequent reviews. Hence, one less reason to worry in long term as well as a motivated team working under you.
Chatting with someone in real time is much more interactive and there is ultimately less waiting around. In essence, it feels like you’re actually having a real, human conversation with somebody. Chat / text messages are a seamless way of communication and resolve queries in real time and you get immediate feedback on the subject as well. Chat keeps everything on the record and also hints what’s important. It can be an effective tool to exchange work related messages in real time and get things done at relatively shorter waiting.
As your remote staff matures, he gets more and more efficient at the tasks he performs becoming integral part of the firm. Like any other staff, a remote staff too gets productive with time and inculcates the ability to do his own work besides managing few more people under him. Hence, hiring a remote staff is overall a long term solution and not a one time or short term adventure. Your investment in remote staff for a long term is a win-win situation for both, the employer and the staff. Issues are resolved faster with own hired staff while third party vendors could exaggerate their capabilities. Why outsource when you can hire your own resource.
It is always better to retain an efficient staff rather than thinking you could get a new and better person quite easily. It could be a costly mistake. An outgoing staff leaves behind
Long term employees have considerable knowledge of the company’s culture and its services. Consequently they understand what works and what doesn’t. In performing their job duties day after day, they develop a strong knowledge base, which results in higher productivity because fewer mistakes are made.
Communication over Skype is a convenient as well as effective mode of conveying your instructions to your remote staff; as it gives you liberty to verbally as well as formally mention everything and allows sharing of files too. Likewise usage of CRM Document Management System, Workflow Management System, etc. work as tools to enhance productivity, by helping you and your whole team keep track of the ongoing, upcoming as well as closed tasks. One can also post the latest updates phase by phase as the project progresses. So a great method to contribute to productivity.
Educate your remote staff about your company and the way that you do things. Do as much as you can to get them adjusted to your company and to learn how to perform in their role. It is necessary to allow him some breathing time so that he could figure out his responsibilities on his own as he is yet to adjust into the new environment. Even though the newly recruited staff is experienced, giving him some comfort to settle down will give him much needed motivation to start working in a favorable environment and make him more productive as a result.