Remote working has radically changed the workplace. With the innovations of the past decade, the physical presence of an employee is now “optional”. Who would’ve thought that we could now work literally on our bedside? (Coincidentally, I’m writing this article on one right now.)
So now, you are sold on the possibility of a freelancing world. You are ready with hiring your remote workers. But how do you transform your business idea into a full pledged mobile startup? Do you need a large sum to transform your brainchild to a telecommuting cash cow?
Luckily, with the help of this guide, you just need 3 easy steps to launch your remote business for free (almost).
Setup your Primary Communication Programs
Communication is important in any business. This is the avenue where you check what’s going on, articulate your ideas, and direct the company to its vision.
There are so many messaging apps that flocked the app world. But then, if you are looking for a free solution, you can always go back to basics.
Skype has been there for as long as I can remember. And almost all employees know how to use it. Using this will save the company training costs. And since the free version has so much in-store already, the need to upgrade to the paid one is entailed only for expansion.
For the free version, you can use Skype for direct messages, group messages, video calls, and screen sharing. Most of these are already all you need for communicating with your team. Also, it comes with a group video call feature (25 people at a time) for those ad hoc meetings when necessary.
At the very least, this is what we currently use in our team. And it’s working smoothly as planned.
Additional Note: It is best that you create a separate work related email to streamline the process for you and your employees.
Instead of keying your personal “ILoveJustinBieber143@gmail.com” as your work email, use descriptive email addresses like “firstname.lastname@example.org” for ease of use.
Set a Tasks Sheet and Cloud File Storage for your Company
Hiring remote works may mean that you work at different time frames. It is best that you create a written task sheet for your employees to check their To-Do’s even when you are not online.
You can tailor fit the elements of your task sheet depending on the needs of your business. Also, look for a cloud file storage service to save all the input they made into an organized manner.
For a similar reason prior, the use of these well-known apps can lessen the amount of training time for the company. Almost all employable candidates have used the basic functions of Google Sheets (It is uncannily similar to Microsoft Excel). It makes it easier for them to catch up to the current workflow of your virtual office.
An example task sheet would be:
It is just simple. For example, at 7 AM (GMT +8), assign a task for one of your employees and indicate a deadline. At his/her 7 PM (GMT +8) work shift, s/he sees the task lined up for him. The employee indicates the “Y” to acknowledge the task.
Upon accomplishment of the task, s/he indicates “Y” on the Done Section and attaches the link to the file saved on your Google Drive.
When you now log the next day, you now see a magically done task for your business needs while you were sleeping.
Setup Tracking Parameters
Now you have the backend setup of your business. You are ready to launch.
But as the saying goes, when the cat is away, the mouse will play. How do you keep tabs on your remote workers? How do you make sure that your employees work productively despite the different working hours?
Homebase can monitor your employees for attendance. The app can organize the time your employees schedule their work shifts. And this can also cater to their requests for change in schedules.
But it is not enough that they are just present. They should also be productive. Screenshot Monitor can be your best “supervisor” of your employees.
This app captures screenshots of your work hours. And tabulates snippets of it in the manager app either online or offline. With this, you can review if your employee was really having a hard time with the task, or just watching purring cats on Youtube.
This app is unobtrusive because the capture will only happen when the app is turned on. You can be assured of your desktop privacy (unless you browse it on work hours. *wink*).
Screenshot Monitor will create a pseudo-supervisor to keep your employees on point and on focus.
This remote working future is imminent. We will not be surprised if Virtual Reality would even be incorporated in this new workplace just to adhere to a truly virtual office. Who knows?
But this is for certain, adapting to the trend, where the company can salvage so many costs and gather world-class talents, it is certainly a brilliant move. Kudos to you!