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How To Train a Growing Global & Remote Workforce


The internet has revolutionized the way in which businesses across the globe can source new talent. Thanks to advances in business-based tools and platforms, remote work, or telecommuting, is easier for both companies and workers today. According to a recent study, 37 percent of employees questioned had worked remotely, a significant increase from just 30 percent nine years earlier.

As the internet is so ingrained in everyday life today, accessibility has transformed the hiring process at a global level. Traditionally, companies on the hunt for fresh talent would advertise in newspapers, at online job sites, and perhaps by headhunting from other businesses nearby. As all of this was confined to the company’s local area, the potential for finding the perfect person for a vacancy was somewhat small. Hiring was usually based on picking the best of the candidates available, regardless of how underwhelming they may be.

Telecommuting’s modern ease helps businesses truly find the best candidate from a worldwide talent pool. However, managing a remote workforce is naturally more complex than overseeing an in-house team. Distance, diverse time-zones, and connectivity issues all stand to complicate the process. How can you effectively train and manage a growing team of remote workers?


Provide Comprehensive Training with Clear Communication

Without effective training and clear lines of communication, remote workers may feel both undervalued and cast adrift with no real idea of who they are working for, and why. In order to help employees based around the world acclimatise to their role, make sure yourself or a designated worker is available to provide valuable assistance and answer questions.

With in-house employees, training would be provided over a number of days, weeks, or even months. A senior member of staff would talk newcomers through the company itself, their responsibilities, working processes, common problems to avoid etc. This is the ideal time to address potential concerns, ask questions, and ensure the new employee feels they have all the information they need to get off to a successful start.  

While this may appear more challenging with a remote workforce, it need not be: online communication is easier than ever today, with real-time messaging, video calls, and collaborative software ensuring training can be provided as and when needed.


Focus on your Team’s Productivity

When working with employees in an office, monitoring their activity and productivity is fairly easy: if someone is failing to pull their weight, you will be able to see it.

However, just because a worker is based at their desk for seven hours a day does not mean they are a productive member of the team. In a full day, they may well produce only a few hours’ worth of work, but are paid to provide the company with a certain number of hours per week nonetheless.

Remote workers, on the other hand, tend to work differently. Freelancers, for example, are usually paid by the work they produce rather than the hours they invest. If a telecommuter completes a task in half the time one of your in-house workers might, the quality will likely be just as good despite the faster output.

If a remote worker is spending less time than you think they should on work and achieving poor results, this may be a problem. However, someone creating strong output in a small time-frame should be judged on the work itself rather than the time invested, so focus on productivity overall.


Embrace Technology for Easier Collaboration

Collaboration is vital in most working environments, and this is no different even when your workforce is separated by thousands of miles. Embrace the full variety of tools designed for online collaboration available to maximize a sense of team-work and company culture.

Project-management applications allow you to create and allocate tasks, upload resources, and message workers at any time. This ensures employees all have access to the same information, and can post messages back and forth for everyone to see.

Cloud-based office suites allow teams to view, edit, and comment on documents in real-time. Rather than emailing different drafts back and forth in a time-consuming, often frustrating process, workers can instead see changes as they occur.

Combined with a strong real-time chat platform, applications and tools like the above make long-distance collaboration incredibly simple. Even with half a world between them, workers can still form a solid team.


Use Video as Often as you Can

As we mentioned above, checking in with your remote workforce is key, and video plays a major role in this today.

Businesses should use video technology as often as they can, to create a more personal bond with workers. Speaking face to face helps you to build more trust both ways, while you can also use visual materials to demonstrate particular working methods or concepts in real time. This is far more convenient, faster, and simpler than trying to articulate ideas over text.

Most of us are familiar with apps like Skype and Google Hangouts, yet connectivity issues can be problematic when calling workers in foreign lands, particularly in countries with a poor internet infrastructure. For example, weaker bandwidth is a common issue, leading to frustrating lag and even brownouts, interrupting the flow of conversation and overshadowing the overall process.

Tony Zhao, CEO of video chat company, explored the problems such technical flaws pose: “In order to maintain a solid, rewarding working relationship with your remote workforce, video chat is indispensable. This technology allows you to check in with your team and provide valuable feedback, ensuring a steady flow and minimizing the risk of misunderstandings. However, weak network connections can lead to audio and visual faults, souring the video-chat experience for businesses entirely.

“Without video communication, companies are really putting themselves at a disadvantage, exposing their business to more ineffective management and weaker bonds. Businesses need a system which allows for clear, uninterrupted real-time video streaming across the globe, providing high-quality performance in even more remote areas.”


Check in on a Regular Basis

Your in-house team will see you everyday, and should feel they can simply knock at your door if they have any questions or issues to discuss. With a remote workforce, the relationship between employer and employee may appear harder to establish and maintain without that close proximity.

To combat this, you must check in with your team as often as possible. Make appointments to chat with workers and ensure they feel comfortable and satisfied with their role. Offer them the chance to ask questions, address concerns, or just take a few minutes to chat and build rapport.

The more comfortable your team feels with you and your working arrangement, the more efficient they will be.


By focusing on these tips, businesses of all sizes can make the most of remote working, ensuring their team is productive, happy, and striving towards the same clear goals.



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