Before you sign away your profits by leasing more office space, take a minute to consider saving money by hiring virtual employees. Using virtual employees not only helps conserve expenses involved in providing physical space for employees, it can also increase your options for finding quality workers. Jobsearch site Flexjobs found a 27 percent increase in the number of remote jobs posted over the last year, signaling that the option to work from home is becoming more accepted and widely available across industries.

It’s a smart concept, but can you make remote hiring work for your business?

Believe me, it is possible. While I sometimes miss the atmosphere of a busy office, there are so many positives about having virtual employees, I want to share how my business has made it work.

  1. Get a good cloud system. Whether you use Google Docs, DropBox or another cloud storage system, you’ll want an easy way to store and share files between you and employees. It’s also a great way to share large files and ensure everyone has access to the most updated versions.
     
  2. Set expectations from the beginning. Managing remote workers means putting together a clear system of procedures and communication. What hours do you expect the workers to be available and what do you expect in terms of response times? If you and your employees work in different time zones, schedule specific times to talk or at least weekly conference calls to make sure everyone stays in the know.
     
  3. Talk and talk some more. You can set up weekly Skype calls or have an actual videoconference with a tool like GoToMeeting.com or Chromebox for Meetings to share slideshows, PowerPoint presentations and more in real-time online. If you live close enough to meet in person, make sure you get together at least once a month to maintain company enthusiasm.

About the Author(s)

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship and SmallBizDaily.com.

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