Covid-19 has radicalized businesses globally, shifting them from on-site work to remote work. Organizations with existing flexible policies and technologies easily adapted to the remote work model. Remote work is becoming new normal and the IT industry has been at the forefront of the remote work trend. The IT industry has significantly evolved in its operations, making the user experience more seamless on the front and back ends. Availability of advanced technologies to collaborate (such as Google hangouts, Zoom, Webex, Microsoft teams, Slack, Skype, and several other video conferencing tools) has made this transition from work at office to work at home much easier.
Supporting Statistical Evidence
There is a myriad of evidence that supports the rise of remote work, and these upward trends were occurring well before COVID-19. According to Gartner, 40% of businesses would have implemented a remote work model within three years. Another Gartner survey of company leaders found that 80% planned to allow the workers to work from home at least partially, and 47% plan to allow full-time remote work. A Global Workplace Analytics report states that 77% of the workforce would prefer working from home in the USA, as the circumstances return to normal post Covid-19.
According to Upwork, 41.85% of the US workforce is currently working remotely and it is estimated that, by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely. Many top business companies, including Twitter, Google, Shopify, Microsoft, and Amazon have shifted to remote work or hybrid work models during the pandemic.
Hybrid Remote Work
As the pandemic swept across the globe, many businesses planned to move to a hybrid working model, which a combination of on-site and remote work. The hybrid working idea is becoming highly popular as it promises more productivity, increased flexibility, cost savings, and improved employer and employee experiences. Ultimately, it offers a better chance at improving company culture for many organizations.
Best Traits to Look for In Remote Workers
With the adaptation of the remote-first business model, the first and most challenging thing is employees’ recruitment. With the IT industry leading a great example, it’s important to consider how they work remotely as well as how they hire. Here are a few important qualities to look for:
Self-motivation and self-confidence
Self-motivation is one of the most crucial traits that a remote employee should have. Individuals who are enthusiastic about their work—rather than those who work just because they have to— are much more likely to thrive in a remote role. To assess self-motivation and self-confidence, ask questions that give you clear and concise information the traits of the interviewee. Assessing motivation can be achieved by combining questions about the candidate’s work history, how they perceive success and failure, what their other interests, and more.
Assess and test skillset.
IT workers are thoroughly tested on their skills before they’re even consider a viable applicant, and it’s important that you test your potential remote candidates, too. Consider software developers and IT works who use scrum and devops methodologies to streamline their workflows.
For instance, you might test someone on their ability to “socksify” connections on a network layer via go-tun2socks and ask them about what development and project management tools they use. You also want to assess their behavior for company culture fit, their emotional intelligence, and remote work potential. This can be assessed through open-ended questions or by assigning the candidates ‘trial tasks’ and then evaluating how they prioritize essential and urgent requirements over less important ones.
Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle works efficiently. The candidate must be able to determine the urgent and essential tasks to optimize and use time effectively. Great remote workers are good at troubleshooting and solving problems. They’re well aware of the situations when they can solve their problems and when to seek assistance. To assess the candidate’s problem-solving approach, ask them about their past experiences and how they overcame problematic situations in creative ways.
Another critical quality to look for in a remote worker is their ability to write communicatively. To determine written communication ability, pay close attention to their cover letter or any other message/email received. You can also give them simple written tests.
How can businesses implement a remote working strategy securely?
Running a remote business inherently leaves you vulnerable to additional risks. One of the biggest challenges that the remote work model can create cybersecurity gaps. Here are a few things you can do to launch a secure remote workforce:
- Monitor their real-time activities using advanced tools (while still respecting their privacy).
- Access management, IT infrastructure, and network architecture must be in complete control. Work with a third party security company to ensure your data is protected at all times.
- Design policies to avoid any disputes among the business and employees.
- A risk management plan must be in place. For example, if an employee loses a device with sensitive information, it must be tracked or deleted remotely.
- Implementing telework policy, secure remote connectivity, and end-point security can all work effectively to make a remote-business model safe and secure.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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