Companies worldwide are looking for ways to increase employee productivity and reduce management costs while getting their projects delivered in an effective manner. The advantages of hiring remote contract workers, especially in the IT industry, are many: lower costs, less infrastructure management and less maintenance overhead. Remote workers must be aware of the goals and objectives of the project they are hired for, and specific expectations with respect to the project. The world of remote contracting has been in existence for a few years, but companies are still getting the hang of managing remote teams.
Over the past decade, giant strides in the world of technology and communications have made geographical distance and time zones practically irrelevant. Having a distributed workforce has become the norm, rather than the exception.
Companies worldwide are actively looking for ways to increase employee productivity and reduce management costs while getting their projects delivered in an effective manner.
The advantages of hiring remote contract workers, especially in the IT industry, are many:
- Lower Costs – the expense of looking for, interviewing, and hiring new employees is minimized.
- Less Infrastructure Management – Since remote contract employees use systems and resources at their own locations, there’s less maintenance overhead.
- Unhindered Access to Great Talent – Distance, location, office space restrictions and updated visa rules do not hinder you from getting talented, creative workers for your project.
- Scalable Team – The number of people working on a particular project can be easily scaled according to the requirement.
- Increased Diversity – You can have a wide variety of people across race, gender, religion, and ethnicity working for you.
While the world of remote contracting has been in existence for a few years, companies are still getting the hang of managing remote teams and communicating effectively. It’s best to adhere to the following best practices to ensure seamless management of your remote contractors.
1. Pick the Right Team
You might have several options when it comes to contracting remote workers, but it’s recommended that you hire people who are associated with a proven tech company. Peruse the company’s website and go through their client list. Reviews on reputed websites would give you a better indication of the company you’re entering into a partnership with.
Since your team will be working remotely, it’s essential that you are absolutely certain of the specific people you’ll be working with. Set up meetings to converse with potential members of your remote team and be sure of their knowledge and skills before you hire them.
2. Set Expectations Early
When you enter into a legally binding remote contract agreement, it’s better to be as clear as possible. The project scope, duration, number of work hours, cost agreed upon and other provisions must be spelled out.
The remote contract worker must be also aware of the goals and objectives of the project they are hired for. Give them a clear indication of their roles and responsibilities, and specific expectations with respect to the project.
3. Keep Communication Lines Open
One of the main challenges of managing a remote team is making sure everyone is on the same page. The only way to overcome this challenge is to have as many open and honest conversations as required. While regular emails, calls, and meetings might be time-consuming, they are essential in this case.
Consistent communication is key for effective management of remote contractors. If you’re working with a team from another time zone, do factor in the time difference when scheduling meetings. Let the remote worker know you are reachable, and maintain consistent email communication, so there’s no miscommunication.
4. Insist on Process Adherence
Employees of your own company may be well aware of the in-house processes they need to follow, but remote contractors may not know the nuances of your systems and processes. Take time to get them up to speed when they start working on your project; this will save a lot of misunderstanding and rework in the long run.
Documentation is an important part of any project, and more so if a remote worker is involved. Let them know the details of what needs to be documented and at which stage of the project. If possible, assign an experienced employee to coordinate with them till they are on track with the processes involved in your projects.
5. Provide Adequate Feedback
Both positive and negative feedback is required to ensure your remote team grows alongside your business. Be quick to heap on praise when expectations are exceeded or when high priority tasks are promptly tackled. If someone falls short, be sure to provide constructive criticism so they can work on their weaknesses and get better at what they do.
It’s essential that your remote contractors also feel they’re a part of your team. Including them in team communication and praising their achievements will make them feel accepted and motivate them to do their best.
Remote contracting is a great way to expand your team and get the work done without much effort from your end. Picking the right company to partner with is just the beginning. When the expectations are spelled out early in the project, it gives both parties time and space to get acquainted with the processes and work accordingly.
As you work together, you’ll get more familiar with the remote contract workers and you’ll be able to establish an active work relationship with them despite the geographical distance. We’re certain the best practices outlined above will help you find success in remote contracting for your organization.
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