In the digital age, working remotely has become extremely common. This is especially true for work that can be completed independently, such as writing. After all, remote work offers a lot of benefits for both businesses and writers. Making remote work an option makes it easier for businesses to recruit top talent in their field. For writers, being able to work remotely cuts down on the costs and hassle of commuting. It’s also ideal for individuals who have difficulty working in a traditional office setting. If your company is considering hiring remote writers as employees or freelancers, read the following guide to learn how to optimize this work arrangement.
Focus on Communication
When employees and freelancers are able to come into a physical office to work together, it makes communication simple. In fact, for many businesses, one of the biggest barriers to working with remote writers is fear of communication problems. However, as long as you have clear expectations, you have nothing to fear. Businesses have a wide range of options that they can use to communicate regularly with remote workers:
- Messaging apps
- Video chat
- Phone calls
- Text messages
The key to communicating well with remote writers is to agree on how you will communicate. That way, all parties will know where to turn if they have a question, and important project details won’t slip through the cracks. If you prefer daily check-ins through email, make that clear in the project guidelines. If you’d prefer to send quick messages whenever a question or problem comes up, agreeing to use text messages or an app, such as Slack, may be a better option. Finally, if face-to-face interactions suit you better, arrange to have weekly video chats with your remote workers.
Manage Time Zone Differences
If you’re hiring writers who live in other parts of the country, you’re likely to have concerns about time zones. However, having people working in different time zones does have its benefits. For example, what if an urgent project arises at the end of your workday? Instead of letting worry consume you, you can send the project to a remote writer whose workday is just starting.
While you can’t set working hours for freelancers, you can for employees—even those who are working remotely. If you want to keep work hours flexible, ask for estimates from your team members of when they’ll be online. Make note of each worker’s planned schedule according to your own time zone. Then, you can begin using time zone differences to your advantage.
Include Remote Workers as Part of the Team
If your team consists of both remote and local workers, you’ll want to ensure that the remote individuals feel as if they are still a part of your business’ team. This will help to keep them motivated to work hard and committed to sticking with your company. After all, finding an employer with a great company culture is important whether you are working in-office or from home.
If you want to encourage a strong company culture, make sure each of your workers, whether local or remote, has a specific goal for their time at your business. Remote writers often feel as if they must work completely alone. However, you can be inclusive by discussing their short- and long-term professional goals. Conduct regular performance reviews, and offer your remote workers the tools they need to meet their professional aspirations.
Another way to encourage a feeling of inclusivity in your team is to use online tools to build a community within your company. Give workers an outlet where they can chat, share funny (work-appropriate) memes, and get to know one another. That way, even if two of your team members never meet in person, they can still become friends and enjoy their time as co-workers. You might even consider hosting online team building events, such as game tournaments, to ensure that your remote writers don’t feel as if they’re missing out by working outside of the office.
Keep Track of Hours Worked
One common concern that you may hear voiced by other business owners or managers is the productivity of remote workers. After all, if you can’t keep an eye on them, how can you be sure that they’re getting their work done? Of course, the best way to ensure that they are fulfilling their job duties is to make sure that projects are being completed on time and at the level of quality you expect. You might also find it helpful to use time-tracking software or an online timecard to keep track of hours worked. This is especially true if you are hiring remote workers who you will pay on an hourly basis. If you are hiring freelance writers to work as independent contractors, then you may find it easier to pay on a per-project basis.
Are you ready to hire remote writers to fulfill your content marketing needs? Writers Work provides the tools to make it happen. Post a job listing in the Job Finder, and writers who are looking for remote work will be able to get in touch with you directly. With the Writers Marketplace, you can browse through writers’ profiles and contact them about your writing needs. Writers Work offers the tools you need to deliver high-quality work. Our features include an exclusive Document Editor with text analysis and time-tracking tools. Our platform is free for employers to use, so you can begin your search for the perfect writer right away.