As you know, building a strong team that contributes to your company's success and growth isn't an easy task, and for e-commerce businesses, remote work can only make it more difficult.
Startups and forward-thinking companies have been using remote working for some time, not to mention the help of cloud-based SaaS software and faster Internet connections. With the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up the world, remote working has become our new reality in the future. Today, it's impossible not to ride the wave of remote working.
A recent survey published by Global Workplace Analytics found that up to 90% of professionals prefer to work from home. The use of a structured approach to building a competent and skilled remote workforce has been proven to reduce costs, improve productivity, and boost profits for several forward-thinking online businesses.
About 30% of employees believe they can accomplish more work at home, and 70% of managers agree. A remote team could help you snag the best talent for your eCommerce platform, with 60% of job seekers expressing a desire to work remotely.
According to research, the number of people who work remotely at least once a week has grown by 400% over the last ten years.
A remote team is made up of people who work toward a common goal, but they're not confined to an office.
Remote teams, also known as distributed teams, are comprised of employees who are geographically separated. Instead of having a centralized location or headquarters, this company treats the entire world as its office.
Employees have the right to work wherever they choose, as long as it's a place that allows them to perform well. Whatever the company's goals may be, wherever they choose to be, they must always be committed to contributing to them.
1. Develop Clear Roles
Identify your recruitment and talent needs first. Analyze the positions you already have filled and the roles you need to fill. List the roles and designations, and then describe the ideal candidate for the job.
Talent requirements for your eCommerce business will vary based on its growth stage. To effectively integrate remote employees into your existing workflows, you must consciously identify these areas.
By delegating work in these roles to remote employees, you can focus on operations like order management and order fulfillment, which are important in an eCommerce business.
2. Establish Clear Goals
Any remote team needs specific goals to work toward. Working remotely can make it easy to lose sight of goals. An important factor in reaching this goal is having clearly defined individual and team goals.
Measurable and trackable goals help remote teams maintain productivity and deliver their best work. They can see the path to success by setting specific goals.
Set up a process for reviewing progress on goals once KPIs or OKRs are defined and mapped. Ecommerce changes quickly, so it's important to track progress regularly. This will keep you accountable and help you achieve your goals.
Your team knows just how to solve any problem, whether it's finding Shopify alternatives or changing plugins.
3. Recruit the Right Remote Workers
As an alternative to role-specific skillsets, let's delve into the qualities of an eCommerce company's best remote employee.
E-commerce experience will always be an advantage. Ecommerce is a high-pressure business that requires expertise to function efficiently. They won't need to learn any specific industry knowledge and practices, either.
Success requires self-motivation when working remotely. Avoid micromanagement by hiring proactive employees. As a result, your resources are better utilized, and you will accomplish the work on time.
What are the best places to find such skilled remote workers? Start by looking at remote worker marketplaces. You don't need to deal with the hassles of recruiting. When you hire from a platform like this, you can choose from multiple products and get what you need.
The benefits of hiring remote employees include already being fully trained and deploying them in a short timeframe. By hiring experienced professionals, you save time on sourcing and training.
Irrespective of the position you want to fill, there are a few skills you should prioritize:
- Communication: It's pretty much essential to make sure that you have effective and open communications to ensure your remote e-commerce business's success. Virtual workers need to have excellent communication skills so that there will be no misunderstandings.
- Motivation: Micromanaging your remote team isn't a good idea, so hire remote team members who are self-starters and self-motivated.
- Tech knowledge: If the site's blog goes down, it's best to hire someone who can solve their webcam issues or fix basic code issues.
4. Training Recruits
A remote workforce doesn't have to be built overnight; you can build your remote workforce in stages. Start by allowing selected employees to work from home once or twice a week. Learning how to use remote work tools can be a learning curve for some.
Getting up to speed will be easier for skilled workers who transition from the office to home in a controlled manner. Training your remote team on the use of digital communication tools should be the first step in launching your remote team.
In either case, make sure you support your remote employees. Make sure all staff members are aware of the policies governing working remotely.
You can ask experienced remote workers in your talent pool to mentor new off-site hires if you already have a mix of on-site and remote staff. Leveraging the power of mentoring can facilitate a smooth transition into a remote work environment. You can use the experience of your remote workers to train new remote employees.
Check on your remote workers frequently once the training is complete. Keep an eye on their performance as well. Since remote workers have less supervision, they are less likely to question their performance.
5. Document Every Step
It is doubly important to document your policies, procedures, and processes since your team are not all gathered in one place every day.
Document your team's accomplishments during weekly meetings. Show your appreciation to your team's top performers and highlight how their efforts contributed to your team's mission. Rewarding employees with corporate appreciation awards will help keep morale up and promote a productive workplace. Measuring your marketing efforts will give you the information you need to manage your team and refer to later on.
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A remote worker handbook should outline expectations and etiquette. Document each employee's day-to-day processes so that future employees can step in seamlessly if needed. New employees can easily follow business processes with the help of tools.
6. Treat Them as Internal Employees
The only difference between remote working and in-person working is the place where your employees work. Otherwise, the teams are the same as those you would have worked within a physical office space.
When building remote teams for your eCommerce business, it's important to maintain the same degree of social mindset and interaction. At least the employees they closely coordinate with on a day-to-day basis should be encouraged to interact with each other.
This helps in developing an understanding of how each member of the remote team works. In this way, each remote team member can become familiar with how the other works.
As with in-office employees, remote employees require the same level of care and attention. It also means regular check-ins, mentorship, and guidance. You can learn a lot about remote team members by having one-on-one meetings with them.
7. Set Your Remote Team up for Success
A remote team of an eCommerce business can work as efficiently and productively as a traditional team. For them to be successful, they only need the right leadership and hiring practices.
You will be able to scale your eCommerce business much more rapidly by using remote employees. Your business can grow sustainably when you hire the right team. And work hard to value your employees and dedicate them to employee gifts to value them to keep up their motivation and enthusiasm.
E-commerce businesses may be familiar with managing a team of employees who are not situated in the same location as them. If you have any doubts about the benefits of remote working, consider these:
Wider Talent Pool
When you run a traditional office, you can only hire applicants who live in your area or are willing to commute to the headquarters daily.
The world is your oyster when you work with a remote team. By suddenly having access to a larger talent pool, you increase your chances of finding the right candidate.
As you hire remote candidates, in addition to their qualifications, skill set, and experience, make sure you look for qualities that are indispensable in remote work.
Extra Freedom & Flexibility
You aren't restricted to the regular 9 to 5 schedule employees are required to follow when working remotely.
If you manage remote employees, you are in control. Organizing meetings throughout the week so everyone can work at the time they are the most productive can be one way to do this. You can ask your team to only be online at a certain time or schedule meetings sporadically throughout the week.
Everybody is wired differently. You don't have to operate in the same way as your co-worker because you produce your best work in the morning. While some people are more effective in the afternoon, others are night owls.
As a result, people produce better work when they are working at a time when they are feeling most productive. This gives them a sense of accomplishment because they know they did their job to the best of their ability.
A flexible schedule allows for a better work-life balance when it comes to flexibility. You can no longer expect your remote employees to be shackled to a desk until the early morning. They can also stop commuting for long hours every day.
If you don't have to deal with these constraints, you and your employees have more time to spend with family and friends, the time you wouldn't have if you followed the traditional schedule. Consequently, every business owner wants happier and more productive employees.
Building a team remotely is by far the most cost-effective way to build a company since no office space is required to pay for and maintain, and no transportation costs are involved.
Because you save on rent, you can use the savings to provide your employees with equipment and resources that will help them perform at their best.
They can be provided with laptops, reimbursed for internet bills, or provided with allowances to buy books, take online courses, attend conferences, or work from a coworking space.
Working with Different Time Zones
Time zone management can be challenging. You can't expect remote team members to come online all at once when they are spread across the globe. Some members can have already finished their work for the day while others are just starting their list of tasks. Consider these tips:
· Keep the meeting times consistent
When everyone is spread across different time zones, it can be hard to decide when to meet, and for some, it may even mean making a sacrifice. It allows team members to catch up on each other's lives and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
· Use people who are in the same time zone
While this will limit your talent pool, if you don't want time zones to be a barrier, you can hire people who live nearby. Employing people based in the same country or nearby continents may be the best option.
Ecommerce businesses with a remote team will work as efficiently and as productively as those with a traditional team. They can achieve amazing success with the right leadership and hiring practices.
Your eCommerce business will save operational costs, reduce overheads, and scale faster with remote employees. You can grow your business sustainably with the right team.