Top 5 Simple Tips for Motivating Freelancers

Top 5 Simple Tips for Motivating Freelancers

5 Simple Tips for Motivating Remote Employees

 

A cold hard truth that one needs to understand to have engaged employee- You need to be an engaged manager first. There is a concept called, the world is your mirror. Whatever is reflecting you from your external world is due to the result of something that is going on within you. So if you are finding that your employees are not engaged in your team, in your company, then it has something to do with a lack of potential engagement from within yourself. 

Hence, if you were, to be honest with yourself, can you say that you are fully engaged as a manager everyday hundred percent of the time? 

If you look around, there would be hints here and there that show lack of engagement within yourself. It should be no surprise that there is a lack of participation in your employees as well. 

Motivating Freelancers team just like motivating internal work team is the greatest thing you can do to drive home productively.

 

  • DETERMINE THE TYPE OF WORK

Motivating a remote or outsourced work team is not the same as driving an in-house team. Firstly, it is essential to determine what type of work you are collaborating on. If it’s a quantitative work based on per unit either per minute of audio transcribed or leaves gathered, you are going to pay them on a per unit basis. This way your costs are directly correlated with their outputs. If it’s more of a qualitative project make sure you have clear instructions and expectations and deadlines at the outset and then go ahead and pay per hour or per month of work delivery.

  • SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

During the hiring process, it is essential to discuss what to expect from your employees. Be sure to cover hours of availability, communication expectations, including responsiveness to emails and phone calls. The employee must understand their work responsibilities and how their products will be measured.

Also, decide on what kind of non-monetary rewards you want to give your team. Set up challenges and reward them. The award may not be just money but, it may be any value that offers a feeling of recognition.

  • ENGAGE OFTEN

To ensure that your freelancers feel like an essential part of your team, you must engage them. Be in contact with your staff daily via phone calls, email, or other channels. Be sure to include them in the weekly staff meeting. Also, plan individual phone calls with each freelancers to see how things are going on on a personal level, and to make sure there are no obstacles in their way. 

Make sure that you FaceTime using both audio and video. A lot of people treat their teams like they treat their computers. Get on Skype video chat with them and have a general conversation about how they are doing in their life, as you would do with a regular employee in the office. Also, if you have the time and money, it is excellent if you can make a trip out to your freelancing team to boost the teams’ morale.

  • PROVIDE RELIABLE TOOLS

 

Today, the technology is so advanced we can work from almost anywhere in the world seamlessly. The following apps could be beneficial: 

    • Zoom or Skype for conference calls or video meetings.
    • Trello for project management.
    • Evernote app is excellent for sharing business and meeting notes with others.
    • Zixmail is a superb tool to transport sensitive data over the internet. The HR professionals are required to protect the data of their employees. This tool ensures that everything is encrypted, secure, and they are compliant.

These are a few apps that are in use, mostly. Many other apps might work great for you and your company.

 

  • TRUST YOUR TEAM
TRUST YOUR TEAM

 

When you manage a freelancers, you have to trust that each person is working towards your shared goals. Focus more on the results and the quality of their work endless on what they are doing at any moment. As their leader, you must behave in a way that shows you trust your team to do their jobs well. They will likely live up to your expectations.

 

BONUS TIP: During the group calls to add a unique “what’s going on” topic to your agenda. This conversation will help each person to briefly discuss non-work-related activities such as graduations, family trips, or their grandchildren. It will encourage personal connections between your team members, and everyone will benefit from that.

 

About Shweta

I am a solo mom of two beautiful angels. I have worked remotely for several years now, and it has been an extremely positive experience both for the companies I worked with and for myself. 

Great work can be rendered from anywhere, and you are most creative and productive when your people and your surroundings inspire you. At Remotepanda it has been a life changing experience with a group of interesting people. I am an experienced back-office virtual assistant with experience in building a complete back-office process from scratch and run it.

Hire Shweta
Top 4  Engagement Ideas & Activities for Remote Employee in 2020

Top 4 Engagement Ideas & Activities for Remote Employee in 2020

Remote Employee Engagement Activities

 

Your employees want to work from home, from the coffee shop even from the beach. Are you ready for that? 68% of American workers say they expect to be able to work remotely at least one day each week, and that number is only going up. However, remote employees also say they are less likely to receive meaningful feedback or even speak to their managers about future goals. For your current remote team members, you will have to go the extra mile to ensure the team plugs into what’s happening. Set aside sometime each week to visually connect with your remote direct reports in team meetings and individually also if you are celebrating a victory in the office don’t forget to include your remote workers send them the rewards as well, or they will feel left out.

Working with remote employees can have a lot of benefits. It can save you money; it can save you space, it can also save you time. But how do you make that work? Here are a few tips that I found make remote employees very successful.

 

  • To have regular calls and meetings. To meet regularly one-on-one via video such as Skype. These meetings allow you to convey the nonverbal messages and make a little more human of a connection. To keep people engaged, try to do as much with video conferencing as possible. Nothing replaces good old fashioned human connection. But for those who sit by themselves all day, the video helps. Start using video for your calls; it is incredible how much clearer the communication is. Not only can you take cues from body language, but it also helps keep people more engaged in the conversation.

 

  • Give autonomy and accountability. One should have regular reporting with the team. These reports will let you know, consistently what they have been working on and what challenges the employees’ risk.

 

  • Make get-togethers, exciting occasions. Include them in the company culture. Just because they are far away doesn’t mean that they can’t participate in humor and jokes and activities that your business is doing. Help them feel unified with everyone else.

 

  • Chat in real time. One of the biggest challenges for remote employees is a feeling of isolation. Working alone can be great for productivity, but it can also be lonely. One way to combat loneliness is to have scheduled daily checking calls or huddles with your team. These daily huddles do two things. One, they make sure that everyone is focused on the right task each day. And two, it gives remote employees the human connection that they need not feel like they’re in it alone.

It’s no secret that working as a remote worker, is the new normal for many business people today. But with everyone spread apart, you and your employees have to stay on the same page.

Technology advancements have made remote working more productive and engaging than ever before. If you need help with technology or build a team of remote employees, talk to us at Remotepanda.

 

About Shweta (Support/Technical Assistant and Blogger)

I am a solo mom of two beautiful angels. I have worked remotely for several years now, and it has been an extremely positive experience both for the companies I worked with and for myself. 

Great work can be rendered from anywhere, and you are most creative and productive when your people and your surroundings inspire you. At Remotepanda it has been a life changing experience with a group of interesting people. I am an experienced back-office virtual assistant with experience in building a complete back-office process from scratch and run it.

Hire Shweta
Why Can’t We Rock the Cradle and Walk Our Dreams Side by Side?

Why Can’t We Rock the Cradle and Walk Our Dreams Side by Side?

why-cant-we-rock-the-cradle-and-walk-our-dreams-side-by-side

This blog is originally written by one of the remote workers of our network – Shweta Jain, as a tribute to all the working mothers who are doing their best to balance both sides of their lives.

“Remote work” or “Work from home” are terms that to some extent offer wings to a girl to fly a bit higher within the sky, follow her dreams while not undergoing the guilt of leaving her world behind. Her small nest is her world. To not be able to be physically present at home the majority of the time, really deprives her to be there for the most precious possessions of her life.

 

Mother doing remote work

 

Remote jobs are on the rise. And because remote work will usually cause more significant flexibility, more and more moms are jumping on the remote work bandwagon.

Myself included!

I’ve been operating remotely for over six years currently.

And in that time, I have nurtured my kids and saw them all the way from kindergarten to junior school without having to put them in daycare. Not once!

I like to think about all the money I saved as a remote working mom, but the most important was being part of all the major landmarks because I was at home with them and not restrained to a cubicle 8+ hours a day.

You too may be considering a switch to remote work. And luckily, there are plenty of remote jobs for moms (and dads too), you can use to keep your career warm, contribute to finances, and generally enjoy the ride of motherhood while keeping your own identity.

What Makes Remote Work Attractive To Moms?

 

To be honest, raising a family is time-consuming. Whether you’re a single parent, co-parenting, or somewhere in between, parenting is a 24*7 job.

And even though the number of stay-at-home moms is not as high as it was in the 1960-70s, it’s still an attractive option for many families. Firstly, it allows a mom the freedom to spend more time with her kids. And it also gives women the convenience to build their careers while maintaining a household.

 

So, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

 

And, of course, several benefits come with a flexible remote job that gives you the best of both worlds as a stay-at-home mom and a breadwinner. There are many jobs with work from home options especially designed for women. It helps in balancing both professional and personal life especially if one has small kids to look after.

 

Perks of work from home Moms are:

 

1.Flexibility: You can plan your schedule so that both office and household chores are completed in time.

2. Reduce time to travel: The daily commute from office to home and home to office. Facing traffic jams and delays is a big pain which does not exist in working from home.

3. Saving on pocket: Work from home does not require any specific dress code or formal wear. For ladies, it is a great saving on their pocket.

4. More time with your children and family: You can spend more time with your children and family. You can see your little one completing every development milestone like the 1st walk, 1st word he/she spoke.

      1. It provides children with an academic edge.
      2. It is beneficial to both non-school age and school-age children.
      3. Less childhood stress, anxiety, and aggression.

5. Saving on office rent: If you are not working for a company and have your own office, working from home will help you to save the office rent.

      1. Fewer turnover rates
      2. Greater employee satisfaction
      3. Lower overhead costs

 

mother doing remote work

 

I wish more “work from home “opportunities would appease to more lives and allow women to not only nurture their world but live their dreams side by side. Allow them to lay the warm cooked meals to the kids, snuggle them more often, and also be present in the board room. To be there for the ailing member of her little world rather leaving them longing, to rush for the office in time. To be able to hold the little fingers more often than punching the swipe cards in offices. Technology has blown to its maximum size. Why not use it to the good to maximize this concept and affix its size? Why should not companies think about it and segregate more profiles of these types only to add to such jobs that are “work from home”? Why can’t one get the fun of both lives? Hold a career and still care and nurture her child.

When you are armed with how to spot a real job from a scam, where do you uncover this great work from home opportunities? Thanks to the Internet, apps to connect a company with remote workers, and the progression of a more flexible work economy, these jobs can easily be found if you know where to look. And for employers looking to hire these work-from-home moms, these sites offer great talent pools.

 

mother doing remote work

Find The Right Balance For Yourself

 

It is not necessary that all remote jobs for moms are created equal. Some will require a 40-hour-a-week commitment with set hours that make it challenging to find time for family. Yes, you’ll save time and money every day without having to commute to an office, but you won’t have the flexibility.

For example, if you have an infant in your care, you need something flexible. That way you can work around feedings and nap time. Freelancing often offers the most flexible way for moms to work remotely when you have younger kids.

For moms with older, school-aged kids, a part-time or full-time remote employee position may be a better fit. These types of jobs are like traditional office jobs — set hours, steady pay, and benefits — without a daily commute.

Moms may even yearn to be mompreneurs — they start a blog. A small business. Or another type of income-generator from the ground up. The possibilities here are ENDLESS. Get creative. Do what you love, and follow it with the wildness only a mother can!!

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – More power to you all.

 

Want to hire professionals like Shweta?

Choose from our wide pool of talent.

Get in touch with us.

How RemotePanda Supports Women to Get Back to the Workforce?

How RemotePanda Supports Women to Get Back to the Workforce?

Women-in-Remote-Work

 

A woman is an ultimate multitasker. The way she manages to juggle between work and life is something to be worth appreciated. When it comes to education, women have never failed to close the gender gap. Similarly, on the work front, they are the real heroes. But these heroes also need a break; the reason could be anything, from marriage to starting a family and raising the child.

However, taking a break from work can be both liberating as well as an intimidating task for a woman. A couple of years down the line when she decides to make a comeback into her working life, she finds it difficult to find a job that best suits her schedule. Mostly, a woman, after starting her family, wants the flexibility of working hours so that she could be around her family when needed. Research says, in India, almost 50% of female employees stop working after 3 years, either due to marriage, childcare, or aging parents. This data roughly accounts for 10 million graduates and post-graduate females. Perhaps, several women want to resume work but are unable to do so because of strict, rigid working hours with a competitive work environment.

At RemotePanda, we support the career success of women returning to work and connect them with remote work opportunities. These women are highly motivated, with less overhead cost and provide a high retention rate. From research and copywriting to virtual assistance and customer service, we create new possibilities for women at all stages of their career.

Additionally, we provide them the training that can help them to get at par with the changes in the industry and the demands of the job.

 

Our Talented Women Workforce

 

1. Rutuja W.

Rutuja-W Profile

2. Nikita K.

Nikita-K Profile

3. Vishakha D.  

 

Vishakha-D Profile

4. Madhuri G.

 

Madhuri-G Profile

 

5. Shweta J.

Shweta-J Profile

 

What Our Clients Have To Say For Our Female Talentpool

 

What-Our-Clients-Have-To-Say-For-Our-Female-Talentpool

 

Conclusion

 

RemotePanda strives to help women build their skills and support them for their career growth by assisting them to work at the comfort of their homes. Also, we actively support and champion the successes of women passionate about their work. Remember, women will be valuable assets in every role they play, not liabilities.

 

why you should not hire a remote employee in 2019

why you should not hire a remote employee in 2019

remote-employee-in-2019

 

Everybody in an organization wants for their business to grow as fast as possible. Many must be thinking about adding a few more skilled employees to their arsenal, and the idea that must be popping up in your mind is “Should we go for hiring Remote Workers?”. Let’s explore the pros and cons of this decision.

“Isn’t hiring someone local more convenient?”. There is an advantage to meeting a person face to face, wandering around their desks and checking in on what they are doing and how much of the work they have actually completed. Catching up with them on coffee breaks and water cooler talks, engaging in interesting (sometimes futile) conversation. You can’t do any of that fun stuff with a remote team, can you?

Well, you must have read a lot of blogs telling you all about why you should hire remote workers, let me tell you why you shouldn’t.

 

1. I would rather hire from a small local pool of talent

The Internet has led to the rise in remote workers becoming integral parts of organizations. The ease of communication and various collaboration tools have further led to ease in acquiring talented employees from all over the world.

But why to look for someone who is physically distant when you can hire someone who you can meet with every day?

Granted, this local person might not be as skilled as the remote workers, but at least you have the benefit of being around him, checking in on him whenever you want, addressing and solving the issues he might be facing. To do all this with your remote team, you’ll have to have access to a simple collaboration tool, a communication channel.

 

2. I hate having extra money to reinvest into my business

Yes, it’s true, hiring remote workers can save you a lot of money. You don’t have to worry about the employee’s desk, computer or any other thing that is needed to work efficiently: remote workers take care of themselves.

But if you hire a local employee, you have the chance to go furniture shopping, buying a brand new, high tech computer sounds so fun, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that, would you? And if you build a team big enough that it can’t possibly fit in your current workplace, you have the option of finding a new and bigger place!

Remember the scene from Batman where Joker burns down a whole pile of cash? You can enjoy a very similar feeling.

 

3. I don’t like increased productivity 

According to a recent survey, remote workers are more productive than the in-house team.

Related: Remote Teams Vs In-house Teams

You know what happens when employees become more productive right? Goodbye timepass!

Feeling bad that you aren’t getting more time to have those fun, futile conversations with your team? Tired of seeing your employees pour their heart into their work and delivering the best results and that too at the expense of the precious fun time? It’s a blessing that the in-house team isn’t as productive all the time as the remote team. I mean they are productive no doubt, but they can always take some time out during important work to have some fun.

4. I prefer a higher turnover rate

If you treat your remote employees right, they are the most loyal employees you will ever come around, which reduces your employee turnover rate. But do you really want to be stuck with the same old faces for the rest of your life? Hiring new employees is a good thing, meeting new employees, introducing them to your company culture, training them, and teaching them new skills is such a great activity to bond, and definitely, one to look forward to.

5. I don’t care about global warming

Who doesn’t enjoy a long commute? Bring on the one hour journey to my office in heavy traffic, turning up the music as loud as I can (to drown the honks), burning up gas, and causing pollution. More of that, please!

Remote employees miss out on the fun journey; they work from home or a coworking space. Or a beach. They don’t get to turn up the music in their cars or contribute to the already clogged roads.

6. I don’t mind employees taking unexpected vacations and sick days

Remote employees tend to take fewer leaves of absences than the in-house team. Sounds boring right? Being available all the time to work, delivering projects before their deadline, being productive and proactive.

The real fun is in taking a vacation, turning off all modes of communication with your office, and just lying on the beach sipping on a pina colada. We can always get back to work after a good time spent away from it.

I wonder how digital nomads manage to work and travel all at the same time; I find it dreadful to even look at my laptop while I’m on vacation. Who cares about work, right? We’ll be at the office after a couple of days doing the same thing.

Well, I’ve run out of sarcasm, and I hope I have given you enough reasons to start 2019 with remote hiringWhat I described above sounds like a complete disaster.

That’s because remote work is the future of work. You already know all the benefits of having a remote team, such as increased productivity, reduced turnover, reduced leaves of absence, etc. But if you’re still unsure, then you can start with one engagement first, and then keep building more efficiency than an in-house team.

If you need to know the current trends of remote work and how to manage a remote team, we have an entire report dedicated to it; you can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.

 

About RemotePanda

RemotePanda is a personalized platform for companies to hire remote talent and get the quality work delivered from the city Pune. The resources in our talent pool are our close network connections. While connecting them with you, we make sure to manage the quality, growth, legalities, and the delivery of their work. The idea is to make remote work successful for you. Get in touch with us to learn why RemotePanda is the best fit solution for your business requirements.

Politics in Remote Teams

Politics in Remote Teams

 

One of the most despised thing in a co-located office is the politics which doesn’t seem to cease. People turn to remote work for various reasons, one of them being fewer politics and more focus on the work, but does this really hold true? Is remote team completely free of politics and bias as compared to the in-house team? Remote workers are humans, after all, they are driven by their own passion, goal, ego and more of a mix of all the negatives and positives.

In this whole charade of politics, what the employees don’t understand is that they are disrupting the amazing culture which has been inculcated over the years through tremendous hard work and fun activities. Such a blow to the company culture not only affects the management but also affects the profitability of the company. Now we usually think that politics only happen when the employees are co-located, being physically distant might be the trick to avoid it, but let’s see how remote teams feed the fire that can give rise to this devastating phenomenon.

 

1. Cross-Cultural Differences:

 

When I was interviewing CXOs and developers for our#MakeRemoteWork survey report, I met a developer in the US. She had tremendous experience of working remotely and had been through this roller coaster before.

 

Cultural-Differences

 

She told me that one of the reasons why it happens is that a team has members from different culture and background, so people sharing similar values get along really well, while those who don’t, feel a bit ostracized. There is still a bias towards, race, religion, country and what not.

These are the things that can break an extremely strong team, what employees need to realize is that they are here to work in synergy and harmony not to judge a person on personal traits and discriminate.

 

2. Less socialization:

 

Slack is the virtual office for all the remote workers. You see less of their faces and more of their text messages. Remote workers are generally so involved in their work that they barely talk about their personal lives on the communication channels and talk more about work.

Less-socialization

 

In this process, nobody gets to know what the person on the other side is like. We tend to form a perception about that person based on his work and not for the person he is. This is usually one of the reasons that remote employees feel less engaged in activities other than work, which leads to a difference of opinion between the team. So what’s really important here is COMMUNICATION. On a positive note, remote team members are not great on an emotional level compared to their in-house counterparts, so their efforts to influence internal politics are pretty low.

 

3. Ego Clashes:

 

Shoutouts and all are cool, but it sucks when a kissass employee gets it over a kickass employee.

 

Ego-Clashes

 

It’s true that rewarding an employee boosts the morale of not just employee but sets a standard for other employees as well, but when you’re working with a remote team, you should take into consideration the entire team and not just a single member. In the end, everybody is codependent and desires to be appreciated equally. A team is like a Bad Boys movie, we ride together, we die together, bad boys for life


Now that we know what gives rise to politics in remote teams let’s go through some tips to diffuse these politics.

 

1. Company culture:

 

It’s the responsibility of the management to enlighten their employees about the culture that has been established in the company.

 

 

Company-Culture

 

You shouldn’t let employees learn more about the company through water cooler talks and gossips, this won’t do anyone any good, it will only lead to further misunderstanding of how the company works. So it’s the management or the leader’s responsibility to show his employees the ropes.

 

2. Communication:

 

Organizations who embrace remote work have advanced technology to make communication easier and seamless within the team,

 

 

Communication

 

it’s imperative for the team members to use these communication tools, not just for work, but to stay in constant touch and build a better team as well as company culture.

 

3. Focus on work:

 

It’s no surprise that we are at an organization to work in unison to achieve personal as well as the organization’s goal, so, one of the best things one can do to stay away from all this politics is to focus on the task at hand.

 

Focus on work

 

At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel satisfied and appreciated for the work they have done, and it will only happen when the focus is less on politics and more the work.

 

4. Build Trust:

Trust is one of the most important factors behind every team and organization’s success.

Build-Trust

 

The organization should plan certain team building exercises which would revolve around making long term or short term strategies and also creating a stronger bond during the entire process. This is a win-win situation for the team as well as the organization.

 

Conclusion

 

Politics within a remote team is quite different than the one you’ll encounter in the office, there’s no backstabbing or the usual office drama, although certain cases persist like taking credit for somebody else’s work. It eventually comes down to how well a manager can encourage healthy communication between his team and how well a team can harbor a feeling of trust and respect. 

The Process of Hiring Remote Workers

The Process of Hiring Remote Workers

the process of hiring remote workers

 

Number of Millennials, joining the workforce is increasing every day. And they are very much inclined toward working from a local coffee house.

Of course, companies are okay with that, well, why don’t they be? They get a productive and high-yielding employee while cutting down the overhead cost moreover saving up to $20,000 per year.

However, hiring remote workers is a tad bit different from hiring an in-house employee. A great in-house worker doesn’t necessarily be a great remote worker. Before hiring any digital nomad, it is essential to monitor their communication skills, work ethic, and time management skills closely. Hiring remote workers can be difficult for firms who have not used it. Now, there are two approaches you can take here. First, you can go for the personal perspective approach. This basically means that you will be the guinea pig for your own organization. You will try to hire and work with remote work although you don’t have any experience of it. Or you can take the second and more comfortable and relaxing approach. I call it the sit back approach. In this approach, you basically get to sit in a comfy couch and get to read the guide we have created for you while sipping coffee.

 

Many recruiters are merely pasting old school strategies onto the virtual employee search—and unsurprisingly, it doesn’t always work out for the best.

It’s important to screen candidates during the hiring process and look for characteristics that indicate their ability to work without in-person supervision successfully.

Qualities to look in an ideal remote worker –

A) Proactive Communication

B) Productivity and Flexibility

C) Self-Management Skills

D) Time Management

A specially tailored recruitment process has to be put in place. Let’s see what the hiring process looks like for the remote workers.

 

Hiring Process

 

1.Plan Before You Put The Pedal On The Metal

Now with the availability of global talent, I know you must be eager to jump the gun and start hiring remote workers. But before you do that you have to invest some time in planning and clearly defining the path, you are going to take moving forward. Dale Carnegie Quoted: “An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing” and that’s true.

You have to figure out whether the domain you work in is suited for remote work. Computer-based work such as programming or graphic design where it’s not necessary for the employee to be on site to fulfill their job responsibilities are best suited for remote working condition.

Setting up and running a remote team requires some serious planning and commitment. Especially if you are transitioning from the traditional 9-5 job to a remote setting.

 

Plan Before You Put The Pedal On The Metal

2.Create A Job Post Which Has The Potential To Attract The Worldwide Talent

Now that you are determined to go with the remote workers, its time you set out on your journey. To begin your journey, you first need to find some talented and capable employees. The best course of action here is to create a job post which could be featured on hiring platforms. It’s best to create a job post which clearly outlines the purpose of your company and the qualities you are looking for in an employee.

You can check this guide on how to create astonishing job posts.

There are multiple platforms where you can post your job requirements. Each of these platforms offers something unique on its own. It might get a little too confusing as there are too many to choose from. Well, fret no more as I have prepared a list of the top unconventional platform that provides remote workers. You can check out that list here.

 

Create A Job Post Which Has The Potential To Attract The Worldwide Talent

3.Screening Applicants and Organising Interviews

The best thing about hiring platform is the vast pools of resources who register on the platform. You are destined to find the dark horse you are looking for.

You have posted your request on the hiring platform, so naturally, you are going to be bombarded with the requests. Now the real work starts as you have to go through all the applications received and analyze whether the applicant is a good fit for you or not.

After you shortlist a few of the applicants that piqued your interest, you move to the next phase which is the interviews.

Now the interview is the area where you can actually judge the potential of the applicant.

How to structure a remote interview?

Before you begin interviewing candidates make sure you make a list of characteristics you are looking for in a remote worker. Since the person will be working remotely, it is essential that you align your requirements with the candidate’s abilities.

Few things that you should keep in mind while interviewing remote worker are –

A) Face-to-Face contact – It’s not like that this person will be sitting across from your desk. Getting the personal and in-person feel about the candidate is essential. You need to evaluate that person’s self-motivation, productivity, skills, passion, and his/her thoughts about company culture. This all can’t be achieved by reading an email. Instead, using a video interview, you can quickly evaluate all these.

 

B) Try not to ask the wrong interview questions – You need to remember that remote interview in different from your traditional interview. Also, virtual employees need different attributes compared to ordinary employees. Ask behavioral questions to determine not only the candidates’ skill levels, but also their organizational skills, career passion, and self-direction. Ask for candidates to explain scenarios in which they worked independently and manage their own time.

 

C) Don’t skip skill assessment – I have mentioned it before as well that since you are hiring a remote worker it is super important to make sure that the new person is an excellent cultural fit for the company. You need to closely monitor the soft skills of that person, skills like effective communication and time-management.

 

Now that you are interviewing potential employees make sure you include a test task in your process. Assigning a test task and monitoring how that person performed will provide you with the details on how skilled and experienced he/she is. There might be a case where you are confused between two applicants, assigning the same test task can provide you with insights on which one is better suited for your company.

 

Top Interview Questions

Have you had experience working remotely before?

How do you work alone?

What’s your ideal type of working environment?

How much of your social life comes from work?

Tell me about a situation when you dealt with conflict in the workplace.

These are the kind of questions that can provide you with all the information you require.

After the interviews are done its time to evaluate the applicants and hire the best personnel.

Screening Applicants and Organizing Interviews

4. Put them through the trial

You have hired the best person, do you think your job here is finished, well, you are wrong. Although you have hired the best available applicant, there might be the case that the person is not a good fit for your company culture. It is advised to put the newly hired remote worker on probation. This will allow you to understand his/her working habits and also help him/her to understand your working culture and practices better. This is also an excellent way to test that person’s team compatibility.

Put-them-through-the-trial

5.Build a culture for your remote workers

Post-hiring, you have to keep your remote workers happily working with you.

Make sure you have collaborative tools and services in place. Communication is an integral part of building a culture for remote workers. Think innovative ways to get everyone to sync. Rather than being a skeptic of change, join them.

E.g Most of the times employees listen to music while working; it could be an excellent option to provide paid music service to the employees. You can even create a dedicated Slack channel where everyone can share what song they are jamming to.

Another approach you can take is to organize a yearly workcation and in-person meetups — this helps in building a strong bond between the employees.

By applying these small tricks, you can make them feel that they are a part of something big and a part of your company culture.

 

Build a culture for your remote workers

Conclusion-

Eager to give remote work a try? We’re always happy to spill “insider” secrets on what makes for a comfortable, effective telecommuting team. Drop us a line anytime and let us know what questions you have about the wonderful world of remote work! Also, we can help you take the right steps to build one. Hire Best Talent at RemotePanda.

How To Effectively Manage A Remote Team

How To Effectively Manage A Remote Team

how-to-effectively-manage-a-remote-team

 

Remote work isn’t a trend that has surfaced recently, although it has picked up pace now, it has been going around for quite some time. Everyone has at least once in the professional life worked from the comfort of their homes or have hit that ON SWITCH on their laptops, surrounded by the surreal beauty of nature. With the rise of millennials, there has been a rise in flexible work policies. We live in an era where we can’t bind talent to a chair and a desk from 9 to 5, millennials wish to work from wherever they want and whenever they want. And if you look at some of the studies conducted by renowned institutions, you will realize that remote workers are more productive than their in-house counterparts.

It’s no surprise that every company wants such talent to be a part of their team, but it’s not entirely easy to find such talent. Even if you do build a remote team successfully, the other part of the equation which is hard to solve is, managing that team effectively.

Now don’t let this get your hopes down, managing a remote team is a bit tedious than leading an in-house team, but, if you do things right, there is no other bliss like working with a remote unit, and it’s sure that all your efforts will pay off and you’ll rise victorious.

As people have a tough time managing a remote team, why don’t we take a more in-depth look at the things you should do to make your management effective. I’ve got some handy tips and tricks you can implement in your routine and see the magic happen.

 

1.Communication:

This is the point I like to emphasize a lot every time I write a blog related to remote work and the remote team because we often overlook effective communication in a remote team. Communicating as much as you can is necessary. You’ve got to take into consideration the fact that you don’t have the privilege of bumping into your coworkers as you do in your office, so there is less chance of hitting up a conversation, be it about work or after work plans. There are certain things you can do to ensure that your team is communicating freely and effectively.

  • Have an open chat room:

Keep a chat room open for each team where they can freely leave messages for their team members, it’s essential to make people feel connected as a team, but make sure that people don’t go overboard and start distracting one another.

You can also keep a chat room open for chats which aren’t related to the business, kind of like a water cooler talk session.

  • Choose the right medium for communication:

The channel you use for communication is as important as the message itself. Hence it’s inexorable to select the channel wisely. For instance, if you want to have a quick conversation with your colleague about a project you are working on, it’s best to use email. It’s a win-win situation, you have a discussion and the log of it. So you’ve got proof if things go south.

For real-time interaction there are so many chats and video conference applications, use one that suits you the best.


 

communication between remote teams

 

2. Encourage Transparency:

Encourage Transparency between remote teams

Now, this is like killing two birds with one stone kind of a situation. You are managing a remote team, your team looks up to you, so it’s your responsibility to bring that leadership quality in action and lead by example. The most important factor behind any successful team is trust; your squad won’t interact with each other, discuss topics and opinions unless you do it. It’s your responsibility to show them the ropes and harbor a culture of trust and transparency.

Get your team involved in the decisions you’re making, share the company’s vision, mission, and objectives. Let your squad align their goals with the company’s goal, set clear and feasible goals for them, also spare some time to talk about things other than work.

 

3.Meetings:

Meetings between remote teams

This one is quite tricky as every member of your team might be in a different time zone. But it’s possible, and a lot of companies have been doing it for a long time now.

Meetings are the best practices to understand your team members, what they are working on, are they facing any difficulties and how they can be solved. We at RemotePanda usually conduct daily stand-ups with our remote teams to stay on the same page, to know and plan out schedule and tasks for the day, and to solve the challenges faced by our development and marketing teams.

The best part about these virtual meetings is that you don’t have to worry if one of the team members won’t be able to make it to the meeting. As everyone is working from the comfort of their zone, some might join from home, some from a coffee shop, but one thing is for sure, it’s always going to be a fun and collaborative meeting.

 

4.Productivity:

Productivity of remote teams

This one tops the list of analyzing all the employees. Well, that’s fair, you’re only as worthy as your productivity. But again some things hinder you from achieving your real potential and goals. The worst part is that when you’re working remotely, there is nobody to nudge you in the right direction or send that jolt of energy when you’re feeling lethargic, so, here’s what you can do to ensure your team stays productive all the time.

 

  • Establish a process:

Establish-a-Process

Business tends to fall apart when it doesn’t have specific methods or systems in place. Your team is your biggest asset, so it’s imperative to set proper processes for the team to follow. The co-located team members can work with minimum procedures in place, as they have the liberty to talk to their peers whenever they face an obstacle or are just bored staring at the computer screen, but when it comes to a remote team, each member is working from their comfort zone and might set processes which are suitable to them. It becomes tough to collaborate when everyone is working according to their methods and when those processes don’t mesh well with each other.

So it’s better to document or standardized specific processes that your team can follow to achieve most of their goals efficiently.

 

  • Make room for consistency along with the freedom of flexible working:

 

The privilege to work from anywhere and anytime, of course, that’s what remote work is all about, but it’s necessary to have a degree of consistency along with it. Can you imagine how hard it would be if you set up a conference call and only half the team shows up while the other half is doing laundry or feeding their cats? Thus, the point of consistency, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

 

  • Tracking work output:

Tracking-work-output

One of the most critical aspects of measuring an employee’s productivity, OUTPUT!

Whether your team is co-located or virtual, measuring your employees’ productivity is a must. You need to be clear about the goals and tasks of your employees and set some Key Performance Indicators(KPI) to measure their performance. It helps in gauging if your employees are really being productive or just pretending to be.

 

 

Conclusion:

I hope all the above points gave you a deeper insight into the ways of maintaining effective management between remote team members. If you have questions related to managing a remote team, let us know in the comments section below.

 

About RemotePanda

RemotePanda is a personalized platform for companies to hire remote talent and get the quality work delivered from the city Pune. The resources in our talent pool are our close network connections. While connecting them with you, we make sure to manage the quality, growth, legalities, and the delivery of their work. The idea is to make remote work successful for you. Get in touch with us to learn why RemotePanda is the best fit solution for your business requirements.

Building Managed Remote Teams

Building Managed Remote Teams

building-managed-remote-teams-banner

 

I am sure that you must have observed the recent shift in the workforce perspective when it comes to working in a cubicle. A workplace is no different; it’s also evolving and adapting to the needs of employees.

By leveraging technology and collaborative tools, companies are shifting from traditional 9-5 job to a remote working setup. And it seems like a good option too. This option makes it simpler for employees to maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal life, thus reducing all the trouble and mental stress.

In today’s world, people value flexibility in work, and working remotely is the best option for that. And for employers, it provides a broader talent pool at a more affordable cost, also evading complexities associated with keeping everyone on-site.

But is this transition that simple? Is it just like you wake up one day and decide that you are going to turn the rock and go full remote with your company? It’s not that easy; Remote teams have blockades different from those observed in traditional on-site teams.

Read here – Remote Team vs. In-house Team

For starters, radical trust and good communication are crucial between employees and employers who don’t see each other regularly. Now, this might not sound like a big problem; all you need to do is communicate, right? Well, this might come as a surprise to say that not everyone is capable of having effective communication with one another, and this is also one of the primary reasons why remote teams fail.

Now, this is perplexing; you must be thinking that in the beginning we talked about how many companies are transitioning from 9-5 job to a more remote setting, and now we are talking about the issues working with a remote team…

Well, I am sure that you want to grow as a company and ride the remote work train but worried about the complexities that it proposes. What to do now? The answer is simple – build a Managed remote team.

 

Remote Team vs. Managed Remote Team

Remote-Team-vs.-Managed-Remote-Team

 

What does it mean to have a managed remote team?

Well, there isn’t much difference between a remote team and a managed remote team. In both the cases team members share information, collaborate, and offer assistance to each other – the job is the same. But the reason that makes a managed remote team one up the traditional remote team is an additional layer of management.

Remote work does pose some challenges in unexpected ways; however, having someone to ensure that you set KPIs for the work and build accountability within the process can be helpful.

Significant areas where a managed remote team outshines the traditional remote team –

1.Effective Leadership

Leadership is one of the critical areas to determine the success of a remote team. Appointing a team leader who is responsible for managing and ensuring that they meet their performance objectives without affecting the timeline and quality of the deliverables.

In case of a traditional remote team where there is no additional management layer, all the heavy lifting has to be done by the startup owner. As a startup owner, you already have so much on your plate that you don’t have time to babysit a remote team which ultimately lags behind.

2.Set Clear Goals or Priorities Among Team Members

With a managed remote team, you can set clear goals and priorities for the team members. With each and everyone in a different timezone working on a flexible schedule, things can get confusing and two people might start working on the same thing. Setting tasks and goals for each team member with individual priorities helps them understand what tasks they need to complete.

 

3.Initiating Engagement and Cooperation

If you have ever talked to a remote worker, you must have heard them saying that they can’t engage with other members of the team. By placing a Success Manager as a middle layer, the engagement between team members and the employer can be made simpler.

Success Manager should regularly assess the team by asking the following questions:

– Are all the members contributing to conversations and projects?

– Are they attending and actively participating in team meetings?

– Are the team members motivated to take on new work or are they feeling overwhelmed?

– Are people working well together or is there any constant and unproductive team conflict?

Organizations that work with a managed remote team have substantially better odds for success than those who start their team on a whim.

 

The Process to Build a Managed Remote Team

The-Process-to-Build-a-Managed-Remote-Team

 

Now that you are aware of the benefits of having a managed remote team over the traditional remote team. The next question that must have popped up in your mind would be how to build a managed remote team and What’s the process?

Going Remote? Is it the best option for your company?

How many times have you heard companies saying that you need to get in a room and sit face-to-face and brainstorm ideas to be successful?

Well, I think that it’s not true at all, ask Buffer, GitLab, Zapier, and Basecamp. These are some fully remote companies that let you work from anywhere.

Setting up and running a remote team requires some serious planning and commitment. Especially if you are transitioning from the traditional way to a remote setting, it will completely reshape your organization’s culture.

Before you jump the gun and decide to go completely remote, here are a few things you should ask yourself –

1. Is there a compelling reason why your team needs to be in the same cubicle every day?

2. How to bifurcate tasks that you can work on from home and for that you need to be on site?

3. Which tools and services will you require if you decide to go remote?

4. How to use your team’s varying schedules and locations to offer better services and solutions?

Working with a remote team is not for everyone, but under the right conditions and an additional management layer, a virtual team can be capable of running itself.

Developing Your Personal A-Team

Developing-Your-Personal-A-Team

 

Now that you are determined to go with a remote team, it’s time to start focusing on some specifics regarding your hiring processes. When building your A-Team, you need to consider the skills and abilities you require in your remote employees. It’s crucial to test out a potential employee before getting them too involved in your business. The best way to do so is by assigning a test task and observing their progress as they complete it.

The process of developing a competent team starts with finding qualified remote employees (obviously). So start looking for those remote workers who will make your organization shine like a halo. According to a survey, most people prefer working with remote employees who are referred to them. If you don’t know anyone who can refer to you a few remote workers or you don’t like the ones referred for some reason, the next place to look for would be the freelance platforms. Trust me and you will find some experienced and skilled professionals, for sure. There are several freelancing platforms available that it’s almost difficult to choose from. Every freelancing platform offers a unique feature of its own such as Secure Money Protection, Pre-defined Job Posting Template, etc. Here is a list of the top unconventional freelance platforms that bring something unique to the market.

Once you are registered to a freelance platform, you are all set to begin your search for those dark horses. The first step is to post a job where remote workers can apply. It seems like a straightforward job, but there are specific rules which you should stick to. Don’t post the specs of your entire project because there are people who scan sites daily looking for projects to steal. Instead, focus on publishing a general description of what you want to build using the required coding languages.

Check out the best ways to write a job advertisement

After you have posted a job requirement, you are destined to receive the spam requests. The real challenge begins now; you have to weed through all the requests you receive. Naturally, you will receive a lot of useless applications as well, to analyze those and select a few worthy candidates.

You can create a list of basic skills that are required in remote workers to work efficiently. These skills could include things such as –

1.Communication Skills

2.Proactiveness

3.Flexible Management Style

4.Trustworthiness

5.Self Management

 

Interview

Interview

 

You should build comprehensive interview points to test out the skills, experience, and expertise of an individual. You can include questions that help you better learn the perspective of the interviewee and understand the motivations for getting a remote job.

 

Best Remote Work Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to work remotely? – It can give you some insights into what the person is looking to gain by not having a traditional office job. This can be helpful to bring out the inner thoughts of an individual and understand them better.

 

2. Can you self-manage yourself? – Now, most of the times individuals choose to work remotely because it provides them with the flexibility that can’t be achieved in the traditional 9-5 job. There might be a situation where the employee has to work on the edge, so it is vital to know whether a remote worker is capable of managing it or not.

 

3. How would you rate yourself when it comes to communication? – The whole team’s efficiency depends on proactive communication. And since everyone in the team will be working from different locations and using technology to rely on all sorts of conversation, it is imperative to have excellent communication skills.

 

4. Why do you want to work with our company? – This is the most common question in an interview. This helps the interviewer grasp how much an individual is invested in your company.

 

Since hiring remote employees is different from hiring traditional employees, you need to tweak your approach a little. Here are some tips to help you through the process.

1.Conduct a live discussion

No matter if you are interviewing a traditional employee or a remote employee, it’s in your best interest to have a live discussion. The body language of the interviewee can answer some basic questions like is that person really interested in the job? You can also get an idea of how an individual will behave and act in a stressful situation.

2.Have a trial by combat (Test their expertise)

Most of the time interviewees tend to hide things during the interview about their specific skills that turn out to be different later on. This might affect your entire project. It’s good to assign a test and ask them to complete it in a given timeline.

 

Also, there might be the case where you are confused between two individuals and can’t decide who to choose. You can assign the same task to both and then compare who did a better job at completing it.

 

How to Successfully Manage Remote Team

How-to-Successfully-Manage-Remote-Team

 

Now that you have assembled your A-Team I am sure you are eager to start working with them. As a leader in your organization, you need to be willing, able and excited to take the responsibility of moving projects and tasks forward to meet deadlines. This is a massive part of virtual team management, and it’s what separates you from the rest of the organization.

 

Few tips that can make it easy for you to manage your virtual team –

 1.Managing Tasks and Setting Priorities

When assigning tasks to the team members to make sure you keep the number of tasks limited. An ideal number of the task would be around 2-3 at a time. If you assign too many tasks, it will create confusion and room for error.

Defining clear priorities is essential. You should be able to pinpoint important projects to work on and the most important tasks

within a project.

2. Embrace Technology

Remote work revolves around using technology. Technology is the glue that holds remote workers and the organization together. Technology plays a vital role in setting up your remote team correctly. Key areas where you can leverage technology to make sure that you succeed are Communication and Monitoring.

There are multiple tools available that can help you set up an effective communication and monitoring system.

3. Build a culture

Building a culture is really important. Since everyone in your team is miles apart from each other, you need to find ways to compensate for the fact that you are not bumping into each other.

Making your remote team feel a part of something big is really important. You can arrange yearly trips where all of the team members come together. On birthdays and special occasions, you can gift your team members. This will help you solidify the bond between team members as well as with you.

4.Create Documentation and Processes

Blueprinting the task really helps. You can create templates, plans and process to streamline everything. With a proper process in place, in case of emergencies, anyone can take a look at the process and come up with solutions.

Also, when you set a process, it tells your employees the “Why” behind any task. It is going to be a tough task at the beginning but as time passes and once a repetitive task is blueprinted, it’s done forever. It’s an effective way of scaling your business.

 

How RemotePanda Operates

 

What makes Remotepanda different

RemotePanda is a marketplace to hire remote workers. What really sets RemotePanda apart from the other platform is that RemotePanda offers that additional layer of management which is required to ensure the success of any project.

RemotePanda exists because of the rise of CXO’s who want the benefits of working with the remote team but also don’t want to waste their valuable time and energy into managing them.

RemotePanda has developed a marketplace with unique features that are like a concierge service to outsourcing, and where a successful manager is assigned that helps throughout the journey from matchmaking, setting of the process, building the KPIs and reporting.

 

RemotePanda’s Process

 

RemotePanda follows a very streamlined process. As soon as a client shoots an inquiry regarding a project, the team at RemotePanda go through all the resources and select the top 4-5 profiles of the people that fit the client’s requirements. The client can also go through all the resources on the website and pick the one which suits him. The team at RemotePanda is determined to make the process of finding the right remote resource as simple as possible. After the remote resources are shortlisted, interviews are scheduled a successful manager is assigned to the client. The success manager acts as a medium between the client and the remote employee. Success manager aids and function as your personal assistant that is invented to assist you in achieving the specific goal which involves your hired resource. This assistance will entail; help from the time of hire all the way through receiving your deliverables. In essence, it functions as your team member.

 

Conclusion

Building a managed remote team is not an easy task. There are multiple pieces of the puzzle which need to be collected and assembled in order to see a bigger picture. You need to focus on things that seem like some small stones on the side of the road and if overlooked, these small stones can turn into a big rock blocking your road to success.

Eager to give remote work a try?

We’re always happy to spill “insider” secrets on what makes for a happy, effective telecommuting team. Drop us a line anytime and let us know what questions you have about the wonderful world of remote work!

Why Do Millennials Prefer Remote Work?

Why Do Millennials Prefer Remote Work?

According to a survey by Deloitte, more than half the millennials reported that remote work made them more productive. Three-quarters of the respondents also said that they would appreciate if more such opportunities were presented. Here are a few reasons why the millennial workforce vouches for remote work.

  • Better work-life balance:

Millennials prioritize work-life balance apart from financial benefits while evaluating a job opportunity. The mere hallmark of achievement no longer appeals to them and they instead look for meaningful work. With the help of modern technology, it has become possible for millennials to get fulfilling work while giving ample time to their families and personal goals.

 

Better-work-life-balance
  • Avoiding burnout: 

Providing a flexible work culture is a great way of gaining employee loyalty. Millennials are looking for remote jobs that enable them to work from anywhere and anytime. They wish to define their own hours and make the most of their productive hours. It is absurd for them to simply conform to a regular 9 to 5 work culture. They truly value productivity even if it is beyond the defined working hours.

 

Avoiding-burnout
  • Remote work is practical:

 Millennials understand that remote work is not only a trend but a necessity! While the staff gets flexibility, employers get better productivity. Isn’t it better to reap the benefits of technology than to enforce unrealistic expectations on the employees?

 

Remote-work-is-practical

 

Conclusion:

So according to surveyors positive & beneficial responses, millennials prefer remote work due to flexibility in work culture, good work life balance, and many more benefits.