Remote work has been the trend even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It has increased since March. And, it will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
Structuring a virtual team has been essential in maintaining many firms over the past six months. If you plan to hire new employees or replace lost workers during Coronavirus, you will likely have at least some of them work from home.
Five Remote Worker Qualities
If so, some rules of thumb regarding the five qualities you want to look for in your remote workers are:
1.Pleasant and Friendly
You might believe if someone performs competently at their job, it makes little difference whether you like them as a person – especially if they’re working remote. That may be true until you hire member of staff you can’t stand.
A great worker at what they do, however, presents a dilemma. Do you keep them on board because of their skills, even if they get on your nerves when you interact?
Co-workers who are negative, complain excessively, and act negative toward you will poison communication with them or dealing with them in any capacity. Releasing them will frankly be a massive burden off your thoughts.
Clearly there are candidates you can find who possess both talent and don’t drain your work enjoyment.
It’s even acceptable to employ a person who’s just reasonable in performance but has an inspiring outlook. If they’re teachable and willing to be trained in the way you company handles things (see point number three), then you can help them develop into their role.
Teaching someone to be more pleasant to work with, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as easy.
You need remote workers who are going to take action on their own or take the initiative to come to you when it’s appropriate like when they:
- face a technical issue
- need guidance or clarification
- have a suggestion for how the process could be improved
Ideally, they should report the problem to you so you could address it. They shouldn’t ‘fly blind’, and then you have to redo their work.
When you’re interviewing and hiring remote workers look for people who come across as slightly more aggressive and outspoken. These are frequently people who tend to be more proactive.
3. Open to Being Taught
Your business evolves over time so your remote workers need to be willing to adapt and change. That means they have to be willing to be trained. If not, then they’re not going to be able to continue to perform effectively.
A remote employee that refuses to accept teaching and is complacent about absorbing changing practices can’t continue producing high quality.
4. Timely Communicators
When your staff is not collocated, communication can slow down. Instead of face-to-face meetings, you send emails, or maybe make phone calls.
But there’s no guarantee when you’ll get a response.
Willingness and ability to communicate in a timely manner is an important quality – especially in remote workers. But emails that go unanswered for days or messages that don’t get returned can’t be tolerated.
In these uncertain business conditions, quick communication could be absolutely vital to the success of a project or even survival of your company.
5. Receptive to Feedback
You hire people to boost your business and to take pressure off you. When you offer them feedback and constructive criticism, they should respond positively. Plus, they should use these comments to put them into practice and improve their skills.
So, if you offer a virtual worker constructive criticism and then you see they don’t apply it – they’re not qualified.
Additionally, keep in mind the added cost of team members who won’t relate to feedback. When you pay someone to complete an assignment, and then you have to spend extra time fixing their work, it eats up your hours and your budget.
However, if a remote worker ignores feedback, gets defensive, or doesn’t use criticism to improve their ability- – Bye, Bye!
Hiring and training remote workers has a learning curve. Look for candidates who are proactive, receptive to feedback, open to learning, quick to communicate with you and pleasant to work with. If you can do that, you’ll build a team that will help you take your business to the next level.
Want to improve your team recruiting strategy even further? Call Flexicrew to help you attract talent who can effectively work remote as long as this pandemic lingers.