The gig economy is rapidly establishing itself as the future of the business world, yet many entrepreneurs and corporate professionals alike have no idea how to properly approach the topic of remote workers.
Despite the fact that remote workers who labour from afar are becoming a more ingrained part of our economy, many employers know little about how to treat and recruit such workers.
Here are five common myths of hiring remote workers, and why you need to be aware of them if you’re hoping to thrive in the gig economy.
1. You don’t have to worry about company culture
One of the reasons many entrepreneurs are flocking to the idea of a remote workforce is that they believe it relinquishes them from any responsibility when it comes to forging a positive company culture.
It’s easy to be misled into thinking that remote workers don’t need a company culture; after all, these workers labour from their living rooms, making it peculiar that you’d need some sort of office culture for them to become familiar with. In reality, however, remote workers need to understand your principles and be operating on the same moral level as everyone else in your company if they’re going to succeed.
Rather than throwing your hands up and believing that remote workers are incapable of being schooled on the company culture, you should be prepared to take special steps to help boost your culture’s salience with your remote workforce.
2. You won’t need to fret about IT spending
Another popular reason why business managers attempt to foster a remote workforce is that they think it can save them some serious cash when it comes to IT spending.
Remote workers are expected to bring their own devices and laptops when they’re working from home, the myth goes, and thus employers can save tremendous sums of money that can be redirected towards other business ends.
However, unless you want a lacklustre remote workforce incapable of communicating clearly and accomplishing its goals, you need to wake up and realize that IT spending isn’t out of the equation.
Knowing what office supplies and IT gear you should be equipping your remote workforce with is an essential part of making it in the gig economy. Far too often, major companies expect individual remote workers to shoulder the hefty burden of running a modern business on their behalf, yet you can’t forget about IT spending if you want your workforce to be efficient.
3. Remote workers manage themselves
Countless companies have put out advertisements soliciting “self-starting freelancers” or other remote workers who can manage their responsibilities without a manager breathing over their shoulder.
These companies think that a remote workforce enables them to give up on management altogether, as their faraway workers are effectively given total control over their schedules and workload.
However, if you think that remote workers manage themselves, you’re in for a rough ride as your business will haemorrhage money due to inefficiency.
Remote workers need oversight and consistent guidance from your leading managers and company leaders, so don’t think you can cut back on costs by removing managers from the equation.
Having constant digital contact with your workers is a good management tip, but you shouldn’t be afraid to arrange in-person interviews and performance reviews, either.
4. Remote workers live stress-free lives
Many managers have misled themselves into thinking that remote workers live stress-free lives simply because they’re not stranded behind a desk in an office all day. In reality, though, remote workers are uniquely vulnerable to a number of stressors, including loneliness and communications breakdowns.
This could lead to claims for workers compensation, though such a claim is unlikely you need to be covered. If you think your remote workforce can be ignored and considered to be happy at all times, you’re asking for a revolt to break out on your watch.
Making sure that your remote workforce is having all of its needs met and that your far-off employees feel as if they’re being heard is an essential part of getting it right.
If you’re not willing to step up and help your remote workers avoid loneliness, burnout, and other negative conditions that will impact their happiness and productivity, your company’s remote workforce is going to fail.
5. Remote workers can’t integrate with your team
Finally, many companies are shunning a remote workforce because they mistakenly believe that remote workers can’t integrate with the rest of the team. Some managers insist that their office workers would never be able to effectively communicate and cooperate with workers who are at home in their pyjamas.
In reality, however, modern workers are so deeply familiar with digital communication techniques that staying in touch and in high regard with one another is easy regardless of distance.
Remote workforces can easily learn your company culture as long as they’re properly guided and can become effective members of your team just like traditional employees. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they can’t integrate – remote workers often become essential parts of the team.
Original news is from e27.