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November 26, 2014

Considerations for Building a Remote Workforce

Business

Jeff Cochran

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Strong leadership is integral for a remote working environment to be successful, as is a firm grasp of negotiations training to boost interview skills. Remote opportunities offer flexibility for workers, expand the hiring pool, and reduce overhead costs for companies, provided you’ve hired employees you can count on to follow your lead. Because hiring the wrong worker can negatively impact your business’s success, look for employees with the following four traits.

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Self-Motivation

When working from a remote location, there are myriad potential distractions. From kids coming home after school to the temptation to check social media during work hours, remote employees are susceptible to procrastination, diverted attention, and poor productivity. Seek candidates who have a strong history of self-motivation. Generally, these individuals are more focused, determined, and efficient when completing work-related tasks. Hire managers equipped with the knowledge provided by sales training and negotiations training to quickly identify whether a candidate is a self-starter.

Previous Experience

Like applicants for any other position, previous experience is a definite plus. While performing required tasks and navigating company processes can be taught, accomplishing goals while working remotely brings an entirely new set of challenges if the candidate lacks experience. When interviewing candidates without previous experience working remotely, ask pointed, situation-based questions and carefully evaluate their response. Questions like, “Given the requirements of this position, how would you structure your day?” will help determine if an unexperienced candidate has potential to succeed.

Problem-Solving Skills

Unlike a physical office, working remotely requires the ability to independently problem solve. Though leadership should be accessible for complex questions, remote workers must think critically, quickly, and have confidence in their ultimate conclusion. Exceptional problem-solving skills are essential for remote employees, but you can’t always take a candidate’s stated strengths at face value. Negotiations training is recommended for leaders and hiring managers, as it helps hone interview skills. Asking the right questions at the right time during an interview will reveal whether a candidate is truly an experienced problem solver or merely added a buzz word to their resume.

Good Attitude 

Job flexibility is attractive to many workers, as is working from home (or any convenient location). However, it’s important to hire remote employees who maintain a good attitude and are dedicated to fostering a positive team environment. Ask candidates how they might handle a stressful task, rude co-worker, or a request to perform a service outside of their job description. Often, responses will provide you with telling information about their on-the-job attitude.

COMMENTS (1)
  • All great recommendations for keeping the remote workforce productive while away from the corporate campus.

    Another couple of critical skills needed for individuals working from home are; being organized and good at time management. This will come handy or else the individual will be working too much or too little which defeats the purpose of working from home. Many companies in Silicon Valley (California) allow “tele-commuting” or working from home and encourage their employees to setting up a dedicated office space at home, scheduling work timetable, taking regular coffee breaks and “stretch breaks” and more importantly dressing up as if you were at office. These best practices help the tele-commuting employees in staying focused, keeping a sharp and productive mindset while avoiding the home-bound distractions.

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