HR Strategy

The future of work is here: how managing remote teams has successfully scaled the search for talent

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If we started out the year telling HR professionals that they’d be managing remote teams on the fly within a matter of months, with very little warning, chances are that a whole bunch of LinkedIn profiles would have been beefed up quick sticks and CVs would have been sent off at the speed of white light.

See, the idea of managing a remote team when you’re used to having all your talented chickens coming home to roost in a single, easy-to-navigate proverbial coop is enough to send the wheels spinning. But in the end, that’s exactly what happened when the COVID-19 pawpaw hit the corporate fan.

With nations around the world going through periods of confinement and extreme lockdown, the adoption of new business and work models that were already in the process of shifting was greatly accelerated.

As is almost always the case, necessity once again proved itself to be the mother of invention. It turns out that when companies had no other choice than to become more open to digital processes, it quickly became apparent that employees don't need to be at desks in a brick-and-mortar office to add their value and skill to the mix.

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Naturally, this is a complete game changer, because if you aren't limited to hiring people who can make it to the office every morning, you are free to optimise and diversify your workforce by hiring from, well, wherever.

There are a great number of companies around the world that have already achieved enormous success based on the ‘hire from anywhere’ recruitment model.

This includes training and education enterprise Cactus Communications, academic support organisation Achieve Test Prep, web design and online marketing agency Coalition Technologies, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, IT development company X-Team, labour marketplace platform Toptal, data analytics and SaaS developer, and many more.

Now, managing remote teams during the COVID-19 crisis have also brought other companies on board.

CEOs who were sceptical about the feasibility of dispersed teams before are now looking at making a permanent shift to this model. This includes Zillow, the US online real estate platform, which already revealed that they will stick to the WFH (work from home) model until at least the end of 2020.

READ MORE: How can organisational culture be managed with remote working?

A Gartner survey early in April showed that 74% of the 317 CFOs and financial leaders surveyed would be moving a minimum of 5% of their current in-house team offsite on a permanent basis; while an IBM survey among 25 000+ American employees showed that 54% would prefer to work remotely on a permanent basis, while 75% would like the option to do so more frequently.

Besides, the business advantages of hiring remote staff are too amazing to ignore.

Here are a few ways in which your company stands to benefit when you open the scope for hiring globally to supplement a diverse, dispersed team:


Reduced overheads

Real estate prices have been getting out of hand in major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg for a while now. Buying and renting as an individual is one thing, but it's when you start talking corporate rental rates when it becomes apparent that every single business can do with a reduction in overheads.

To give you an idea, in 2019 the rental rate associated with average grade A+ (or premium grade) office market rental in Rosebank, Johannesburg stood at R245/m², with Melrose clocking in at second place with R230/m² and the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town earning third place at R220/m².

Pretty pricey, right?

If most of your team were given the option of working from home, or at least remotely in a space of their choosing, it would be possible to keep rental costs much lower.

While most businesses would probably still prefer to have a type of home base where their core team can congregate and they can meet with clients when necessary, the need for a vast expanse of desk space would be greatly reduced with a remote team.

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A near limitless pool of talent

The talent war is a real thing.

Top-notch job candidates don’t grow on trees, and these star players also like to have their pick of working conditions. When you open up the floor to global hiring by making your business accessible to a remote workforce there is much more scope to seek out highly skilled employees who are a great cultural fit.

READ MORE: 4 Strategies to avoid employee churn


Skyrocketing productivity levels

One of the reasons why many companies dislike the idea of a dispersed team is the belief that employees are likely to slack off the moment you take your eyes off them. However, productivity stats are showing that, on average, most employees are much more productive when they are allowed to work remotely.

There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, when you remove a daily commute from the equation, you already free up a lot of time for employees to get their day started even before they'd normally arrive at work after a harried morning spent in traffic. Offices also happen to be full of distractions - unscheduled desk-side 'drop-ins', chatting colleagues, less-than-ideal climatic conditions, etc. Not to mention the fact that some people do their best work at the crack of dawn, while others prefer the midnight oil.

In short - remote employees are able to tailor their work schedules and spaces according to their exact needs, which is 100% fantastic for overall productivity.

READ MORE: 10 Ways great leaders empower employees and boost productivity

See, what did we tell you? Sounds all sorts of amazing, doesn’t it? Best of all, managing remote teams and keeping tabs on employee engagement when your talent is situated all around the globe doesn’t have to be an insurmountable hurdle when you have SaaS-based tools like bountiXP at your disposal.

Find out more about our user-friendly employee recognition and reward platform by signing up for a FREE trial. It makes managing remote teams a breeze. Click the button below 👇 to get started.

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