How can companies ensure cohesion amongst staff with geographically scattered workers?

The key to successfully implementing a remote workforce is to offer the structure and resources necessary to keep remote employees connected.

The gig economy is growing at a phenomenal rate and the remote workforce within that has increased tenfold over the past fifteen years. Remote workers today make up a large percentage of the global workforce, creating challenges for companies to overcome when trying to integrate them into their business.

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace states that 39% of all companies now allow some of their staff to work remotely and the practice is proving more and more successful with organisations worldwide. And as the need for freelance experts intensifies, this trend is only set to increase over the coming years.

A general shift toward a broader remote workforce is becoming clearer as time goes by. Employers are now recognizing and embracing this new work shift and are taking steps to develop successful, productive and connected workers within all areas of their business.

According to Entrepreneur Europe, remote work allows employees to develop a more seamless work-life balance. Employees who work from home set their own schedules, avoid office-based distractions and can inject an independent impartiality to any work environment.

Research has found that there are more pros than cons to using remote workers. Not only do they tend to log more hours than their office-based counterparts, but are more engaged with the work and bring a new and healthy perspective to the company.

The key to successfully implementing a remote workforce is to offer the structure and resources necessary to keep remote employees connected. Cohesion is the key to ensuring remote workers feel not only part of the team, but also like they are their own boss at the same time.

Leadership and engagement

A survey from Gallup found that remote workers can feel disconnected from their co-workers and unsupported by their managers. It’s therefore fundamentally important to ensure connection, integration and engagement are paramount at all times.

The key to running a tight and effective ship is the captain. A remote workforce can be a huge asset to any team if they are led and integrated well, and are included in the decision-making process. It is leadership’s responsibility to ensure that the worker is incorporated successfully within an already existing team, and are engaged with the project and overall business ethos throughout their engagement.

Technology

Technology is the key to business success. It’s therefore not only important for businesses to adapt to change, but to skill workers in the latest technological advances that will help them get ahead.

To ensure a remote workforce is connected with the rest of the team, it’s fundamentally important to invest in the latest web tools that will help bring remote workers to the office. Video conferencing platforms, task and project management apps and team building websites all make it extremely easy for remote workers to become a part of the office-based environment from anywhere in the world. Not only do both office-based and remote workers need the latest office tools to perform their roles and responsibilities, but they need them for communicating with each other to get the work done.

As we’ve previously highlighted, taking advantage of the latest apps, tools and technology – like Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Asana or Zoom – are crucial for building cohesion between workers and for creating business success.

Mixing the workforce

Although more and more businesses are employing remote workers, it doesn’t mean they have to be strangers all of the time. Maintaining a social aspect to the team is important for integrating the office-based workers with a remote workforce. Team building sessions, social gatherings and key holiday events provide the perfect opportunity to integrate workers. Not only does it help build a better team, but creates a friendly work environment at the same time.

It also makes sense to bring a freelance expert into the office on a short-term contract before embarking on long-term engagement, so they can demonstrate their skills and prove they are the right fit for your business. Once the freelancer has proven themselves, it makes sense to create a remote-based position so they feel comfortable within their role and can contribute to building a better business.

Working hours

Ensuring your business operates within the correct timeframe, within “normal” business hours is an important part of building a successful team environment. Employees should be on-hand to communicate with the team during office hours – be ready to inject their input and be prepared for team meetings when needed. Creating a timetable not only ensures that your business runs on time, but helps workers get their work done in a timely manner, during sensible working hours and within deadline.

Finding the best talent

Finding the best talent isn’t easy. That’s why trusting your decision-making process to an online freelancing platform which specialises in finding experts in any given field is crucial to business success.

More and more freelancers are finding work on a regular basis by creating a profile on a leading freelancing website – like Upwork, Alifery and Freelancer – to promote their expertise and to find new clients.

One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to highly-skilled and vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads.

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