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After reaching a stage of financial maturity, the next logical step for growing companies is scaling. Scaling a business means setting the stage for company growth without wasting substantial resources. If costs need to increase, they should do so incrementally.
For example, say your company gained USD 50,000 in new revenue but had to hire a new employee with a USD 50,000 salary to achieve this — that is not scaling. When companies scale, it means their earnings surpass their losses to not only accomplish company growth but achieve financial gain.
This process can be complex and requires planning to ensure the right systems, staff, resources, and technologies are in place.
So how does one successfully grow their company without blowing the budget? As the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, once said, “Success depends upon previous preparation.” In that sense, one of the best ways to prepare to scale is to switch your operations to a remote-first model.
What is a remote-first model?
Remote work is a model that does not require employees to be physically present at an office. Instead, employees use digital tools to work, collaborate with colleagues, and accomplish tasks. Remote working enables companies to access global talent pools, work across time zones, and save revenue by not having to rent an office space and pay for all the utilities that come with it.
According to Global Workplace Analytics’ Work-From-Home Experience Survey:
- When working alone, which accounts for 58 percent of an average worker’s day, employees working from home say they are productive 75 percent of the time, compared to only 62 percent at the office.
- 86 percent of workers feel fully productive at home.
- Remote workers gain back an estimated 35 minutes daily due to fewer unwanted interruptions.
- By adopting a hybrid system, a typical employer can save USD 11,000 per worker. This is from reduced turnover, absenteeism, real estate costs, and increased productivity.
However, given the almost overnight shift to remote work due to the unexpected global pandemic, some employers still doubt the long-term effectiveness of this model and question whether a company can scale with a remote team.
What to consider when scaling a remote team
The main difference between remote and in-office is the lack of physical headquarters and face-to-face interactions. Thus, traditional methods for onboarding or building team culture cannot be used in a remote setting. Without in-person training groups or office activities to socially bond employees together, it can be hard to know if your remote team is ready to scale. Companies can assess their growth readiness by asking themselves these questions:
- Do employees feel like an integral part of the team and culture, or are they lonely and isolated?
- Which employees need more guidance and feedback?
- Are employees aware of company growth opportunities?
- How can managers balance oversight and performance tracking in a remote setting?
- These are all questions that need to be solved to ensure a remote team is ready to help a company scale. So, how can companies tackle these dilemmas?
1. Create an ideal candidate profile
Hiring is one area a company should never cut corners. This is especially non-negotiable when it comes to establishing a remote workforce. A bad hire can quickly have catastrophic and long-reaching negative impacts and costs.
As your company scales, you will have less time to monitor employee performance; therefore, it is crucial to nail hiring decisions the first time out. So, what should you look for when hiring remote workers?
The first step is acknowledging that remote work is not for everyone. Many tend to highlight the plus sides: flexibility, the ability to work from home, and the chance to travel and embrace digital nomadism. Few people recognize the downsides: isolation, anxiety, and depression.
To counteract the potential negative impacts, companies should look for candidates with the following traits:
- Independent self-starters
- Self-motivated and driven
- Good communicators: They should be able to respond clearly and concisely to verbal and written communication promptly.
- Trustworthy and dependable
- Well-organized problem-solvers
2. Provide digital tools to nurture communication
This brings us to the next important element of effectively scaling a remote team: communication.
As your workforce will be located in different countries and continents, you must assemble the best digital tools to maximize effective communication. Technology is what makes remote work possible; therefore, investing in software like Zoom and Slack will ensure that your dispersed team will take root and bloom.
The right tech stack will help your employees feel connected and engaged, which will positively impact productivity. Without purpose-specific tools that optimize your communication methods, your remote employees may feel isolated or left out.
An excellent performance management tool for remote workforces is 15Five. This solution is designed to drive engagement between employees and managers. Employees take 15 minutes to document their weekly goals in a templated report sent to their manager. Managers then take five minutes to read and respond to any issues raised. Simply put, 15Five enables managers to see their team members’ achievements and professional development.
3. Set the stage for productivity to flourish
In-office company culture can be easier to build than remote company culture. There are natural advantages to having everyone gathered in the same room and interacting face-to-face daily.
When you have a dispersed team, enforcing the traditional 9-to-5 workday is challenging, primarily if your workforce is scattered throughout different time zones. Additionally, working from home can blur the line between work life and personal life. In the long run, these issues can impact employee productivity.
Therefore, it’s critical to reinforce core company values and find innovative ways to make them resonate with your global employees. One simple, but often overlooked, method to enhance productivity is giving your team the flexibility and responsibility to manage their schedule.
Studies have shown that employee satisfaction increases significantly when employees manage their working hours. According to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, 54 percent of workers would leave their job for one that offers flexible work time.
As long as projects are completed on time, enforcing strict working hours for remote teams is redundant. A better work-life balance will help support employee wellbeing and inspire engagement and commitment to common company goals. All of these are key drivers of increased productivity.
What makes a successful remote team?
When scaling a remote workforce, team cohesion is one of the top challenges. But, when you hire the right candidates, implement the best communication tools, and build a solid company culture through trust and flexibility, companies can achieve revenue growth in a fraction of the time. A remote team enhances productivity, which unlocks unlimited possibilities of success.
Let Globalization Partners (G-P) be your global growth guide. Our Global Growth Platform™ enables companies to hire and onboard skilled international talent while maintaining legal compliance. Our HR team offers 24/7 assistance for employee payroll and benefits management, allowing you to concentrate on your daily operations.
Contact us or request a proposal to learn more about how G-P can help your company go global.