4 Unexpected Implications You Should Consider When Hiring Remote Employees
When the coronavirus hit, it was a monumental moment for many companies to switch to remote and virtual work. In this article, we’ll explore the factors such as employee engagement, company training, taxes, and team dynamics that can cause problems when hiring remote employees.
When the Coronavirus hit…
When the Coronavirus hit, it was a monumental moment for many companies to switch to remote and virtual work. As the dust settled, many companies began to notice the benefits – access to an abundance of talent, the win-win of less commuting stress, heightened availability, in some cases increased productivity and other monetary benefits. In fact, a recent Microsoft research report suggests over 70% of employees do not want to return full-time to the office.
However, as remote work has proven useful for business continuity, you can’t access the benefits of a strong workforce without going through some challenges. In this article, we’ll explore the factors such as employee engagement, company training, taxes, and team dynamics that can cause problems when hiring remote employees.
We know that companies with a highly engaged workforce enjoy better business results. Keeping remote employees engaged, on the other hand, can prove challenging. Challenges often cited by our clients include less interaction with colleagues, a lack of alignment with and sometimes commitment to the organization, and managers not being present to provide critical and timely feedback. All these can directly impact workplace productivity and employee retention.
With the right approach to keeping employees engaged and happy, utilizing long-term strategies such as creating “watercooler” moments and showing recognition often can help employees stay motivated. Not only does feedback need to be timely in a remote setting, but so do recognition and celebration. Even though you are no longer in the office, managers need to take the time to celebrate employee achievements whenever they can.
Early attrition has been a long-standing challenge in various industries. In call centers, for example, as much as 45% of newly hired employees, will leave within the first 90 days. Much of this is attributed to a poor onboarding experience in a virtual environment providing an effective and engaging onboarding experience becomes all the more challenging.
When you think of the term “remote training,” most people’s first thought is how they will adapt instructor-led sessions and training materials online. Simply moving from physical classrooms to a Webex meeting tool and posting PowerPoint presentations online is not enough.
When designing a remote onboarding program companies need to develop a digital-first learning experience using digital first learning tools – ones that were designed to begin with remote learning in mind and that support self-directed learning, offer built in learning engagement mechanisms, and enable collaboration and interaction with one’s remote peers.
Before you dive into drafting the job posting for your new virtual employee, take a moment to determine one often overlooked aspect of remote work policies; the hidden costs of unexpected tax liabilities and added costs when hiring remote employees. Depending on the exact terms under which you hire a remote worker, there may be significant tax and legal obligations to consider, such as:
- Do your prospective remote employees work in the same state?
- Is there proper withholding from paychecks?
- Do you need to open another office in that state to comply with state or local laws?
- What permits are required for remote employees to obtain?
- What state laws are in place regarding worker’s compensation and employer liabilities?
If you didn’t know about those potential tax implications, you’re not alone. Over 40% of adults who worked remotely during the pandemic were unaware that each state has its own laws related to telecommuting, according to this AICPA survey. So as an employer, this process isn’t one that should be rushed. By taking these points above into consideration, you’ll ensure that your new remote worker transitions seamlessly.
Leadership Skill Gaps
Overseeing a team of remote employees may not come naturally to many managers acclimated to seeing their employees in the office every day. Some managers might question if they have the proper tools and skillset to monitor their team’s performance or deliver feedback effectively. These challenges stemmed from managing through disruption can lead to poor team dynamics, friction, and misalignment.
Providing managers with actionable training, offering tools to identify employees who may need additional support, and encouraging daily check-ins will directly impact team engagement. If managers have all these tools, they then need to take action to develop a cadence of communication with their reports that will therefore create accountability even in a remote setting.
As more companies transition to remote and hybrid work models, new challenges begin to surface. One important thing to consider in this new environment is that it requires a mental mind shift. Team performance is about quality of output, not time spent in a chair; meaning hiring remote employees requires a different approach. You’re not just looking for the right skill set, but also for the overall suitability for work in a remote working environment.
While these challenges may be unique to the remote hiring process, platforms that serve to bring together people, data, and performance information are helping many of the world’s leading organizations go through this transition more smoothly. At Centrical, we help organizations such as Teleperformance, Microsoft, Synchrony, and BT, be more agile in terms of operational functionality, employee training, performance management, and engagement. Looking to see how we help companies achieve this? Click here to see our platform in action.