In the wake of COVID-19, many organizations had to swiftly transition into remote workplaces. Prior to this, only 3.6% of the American workforce worked from home. After the pandemic, for many companies, this was something completely new that they had not ever implemented.

However, hiring remote employees can actually have a positive impact on the company as a whole. Not to mention, it lowers the possibility of one of your employees falling ill and missing work by using shared items and surfaces. Here is why you should be changing your remote hiring policy, if you have not done so already.

The Rise of “Zoom” Employees

By the end of 2021, 30% of the workforce in the United States will work at least a few days a week remotely. The increase in demand for flexible jobs that you can work from anywhere has been on the rise for decades, with around 80% of employees wanting to work from home. One-third of Americans even said they would be willing to take a pay cut to work remotely.

Now, with more people experiencing a work-from-home environment during the pandemic, many employees don’t want to return to the office ever. Though this may mean some initial policy changes and realignment in workflow processes, working from home can have a profound impact on a business’s success.

Hiring for Skills vs. Location

For employers, being willing to hire remote employees can open up fantastic opportunities. Instead of being limited to the people within your area or those willing to relocate, you can open the door to thousands of other potential candidates who would not normally qualify due to location.

For hiring managers, this affords the opportunity to focus on an applicant’s skills versus location. If during the interview the person displays the right attitude and has the qualifications needed, you may have found a right fit employee you would have never otherwise encountered without remote hiring.

Additionally, remote workers have reported being more productive in their home offices. There is also less turnover, increased employee wellness, and savings for the organization.

Tools for Leading a Successful Remote Workplace

Many business owners’ and managers’ biggest concern when hiring remote workers is how they will know the work is getting done. For the most part, they are used to managing people when they are right underneath their noses. Because working from home is gaining popularity, there are plenty of tools to assist with this concern. It starts with clear communication on expectations, goal setting, and establishing KPIs. Then individual score cares to track daily production, progress toward goal, and alignment with KPI’s.

Programs like Google Drive help team members share documents, edits, and work with one another in real-time. Slack is another program that allows employees to stay in contact with one another surrounding projects and workplace matters.

Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype offer effective and reliable ways for supervisors to stay in touch with employees and have on the spot “face to face” conversations. You can also research project management software, such as Trello and Asana, and see what platform will work best for your team’s needs. All of these tools allow for remote monitoring and communication.

COVID-19 aside, virtual workspaces and remote offices are gravitating toward becoming the norm for many companies. Considering work from employees is uncomfortable territory for many managers but change has been thrust upon us. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”. All would be wise to map a remote employee strategy if they don’t already have one.  It could result in less rent and utility costs and be more profitable!