Globalisation has had a huge impact on every sphere of business, on the HR departments as well. The move from local workforce to the global one, especially in the places where workforce is expensive, has become a trend. In the western corporations all business processes are well organised and the individual qualities of a person does not make a big deal, the employee is just a small element of the whole system. That is why it is better to hire staff from developing countries that are ready to work for food and the precious line in CV. The ability to work remotely is way easier to involve that kind of staff.

Organisations keep understanding how remote hiring policies assist in attracting and retaining the best candidates, meanwhile reducing expenses on keeping expensive offices and saving time. Moreover, in some countries governments are already making new laws to regulate remote work and make it available for everyone.

Since COVID-19 has identified some rules in the world, like social distancing, working remotely has become the way to survive for many companies and businesses around the world. However, there are activities which can not be done remotely. For instance, in Spain, only  49.8% of technical and scientific professionals as well as 20% of administrative staff and accountants were able to perform remotely. 

‍Picture 1 Trends in remote work growth

‍Picture 1. Trends in remote work growth

There has been one major concern regarding remote working. That is productivity and performance of employees who work remotely. That was especially essential for the companies which never used that model. Some surveys were  conducted, and it was found out that around 42% of employees claimed they feel more productive working from home. Meanwhile, companies also observed an increase of 20 % in team performance. However, to keep a clear track on that, it is necessary to measure employee performance regularly.

There are different ways to measure remote work performance. It is essential to choose one and keep following it.

The key criteria is quality and quantity. This is how KPIs can be measured. Mainly, it measures the amount of tasks completed and the quality of work. To assess the way tasks were performed, usually managers compare the results of two individuals of the same grade. The best way to see if the performance was great, it is necessary to look at the outcome received and see if the person reached the objectives. Manager and employee must reach the common point for the result they want to see.

Metrics based on expectations for every employee also can be a good benchmark. Meanwhile, the clear explanations of the tasks performed also play a great role. When the person who is distributing the tasks to employees clearly expresses expectations, with the set deadlines and exact details, the chance of the perfect KPI is growing. One more way to measure performance is internal feedback. Implementing a series of automatic surveys is the best way for that. Every company employee can assess their colleague’s performance and highlight strengths and weaknesses. 

Referring to the remote working trend, there are some advantages and disadvantages to be considered. Apparently, both pros and cons can be applied to employees and employers. 

Benefits for employees:

  • Flexible schedule. Every employee can set his/her own schedule, even though they should have a notice of meetings organised at work.
  • Life balance. The employer сan balance work and family life by working from home.  
  • Reduced stress. The way an employee goes to work, traffic jams, all significantly levels up his stress. 
  • Saved time. The employee saves time that he/she wastes for road, eating. Moreover, he/she does not need to wake up 2-3 hours before the work starts.
  • Lower costs. By working from home, an employee reduces the cost for road tickets, food, etc.

Benefits for employers:

  • New labour markets at the global scale. Organisations can attract employees from different parts of the world, at the same time they might have better qualifications and can be paid less.
  • Better talents. Highly skilled people can work remotely even if they stay in different countries.
  • Better performance. Working from the office, an employee might be away regarding sickness or whatever. Remote working will solve that problem. 
  • Less expenses for the company. Companies will also save money. They will not need to rent huge and comfortable offices. 
  • Better productivity. For some time companies were able to see the rise in productivity of the staff working remotely. People are more concentrated while working from home.
  • Objectives do matter. Having objectives to assess the results of a single employee lets him/her stay motivated and focused. 

Along with advantages there are disadvantages for employees:

  • Sense of loneliness. Extroverts might feel lonely and isolated. To eliminate that effect, the enterprise might organise informal video conferences (as an example). Or virtual coffee breaks several times per week.
  • Less sports activities. Working remotely all the time, the employee will be moving less. However, it is important to stay healthy, do some exercises every two hours or wander around the house.
  • Issues in disconnecting after work. It is necessary to stay along with working hours. The HR Department should have a proper look for those who work overtime and the reasons why someone is working more than necessary.

The other side for employers:

  • Adjustments to the company’s organisational culture. To insert the new working model, some changes are required inside the company, like processes, methodologies, tools, etc.
  • Limited  teamwork. Working remotely, employees are getting more individualised. That is why it is very important to offer employees tools where they can connect with colleagues and discuss different topics. 
  • Difficulties with creating a company’s culture. It is sophisticated to create a remote working culture, however, it is possible. The virtual dynamics within the small groups can be created and the sense of belonging can be fostered.
  • Performance tracking can be complicated. It might be difficult for a company to control the employees’ performance and measure productivity. The situation can be easily saved by implementation of a performance management software.

Even though there are pros and cons of working remotely, the question of how to find the right person on the cheap labor market still is on the go.  There are startups which facilitate HR and employment processes.

Deel is the startup that lets businesses use payroll, compliance tools and a variety of  services to assist businesses to do everything in a better way. Recently it announced $30 million to double down on the opportunity.

Papaya Global is an Isralian startup. It has hiring services as well as onboarding and compliance for enterprises that hire full-time, part-time employees. And also contract candidates from different countries. This startup has recently raised $40 million.

Lattice has a platform which is aimed at tracking, rewarding and setting goal achievements in the workplace. Recently the platform has raised $45 million.

Factorial is the Spanish HR automation platform targeting small and medium enterprises. Mainly it manages payroll, employee onboarding and the other HR tasks. Recently the platform has raised $16 million.

Utmost is a platform for hiring temporary employees. In general the platform lets the company get visibility and also to be able  to check real-time dashboards, worker classification,  their skills, etc.

Turing is a platform for searching for cheap software developers in developing countries (mainly in India). Developers from such countries can have better jobs in the US. Last year the platform raised $32 million.

Andela is the platform that searches for African developers. The startup raised $100 million last year.

When all the employers are hired, there are more software tools which help to facilitate communication processes. For example:

  • Project management softwares.

This software lets plan the working time by organising and appointing the responsible person for appropriate project tasks to make sure that projects are completed in time. Communication in the team and productivity get better automatically. There are the best apps for that: Trello, Asana, Basecamp.

  • Communication applications / softwares  inside the team.

These applications let employees communicate with each other faster.  The most popular and effective tools in this category are: Google Hangouts, Slack,  Skype.

  • Applications / softwares  for video conferences.

Video calls let users see each other even if they work remotely. The best examples are: Zoom, Hangouts, Skype.

  • Storage systems.

Such a system lets you share documents and add necessary information in real-time. This is an online filing system which manages the user’s access. The best examples are  Dropbox, Google Drive, Wetransfer. 

Remote HR has broadened opportunities. Employers can be easily hired from different countries where the labour force is much cheaper than on the local market. This is a win-win situation for both enterprises and employees, especially from emerging markets. However, remote employees should be well managed too. There are different ways to track the performance, results. Meanwhile, in order for employees not to feel lonely, there are different applications for communication in the organisations. Remote working is getting popular and this might replace office work in the future.