How do you ensure that your employees are growing even in a remote work environment?
Remote work can be incredibly rewarding for employees as it gives them autonomy and flexibility to control their schedules, but remote work has some pitfalls that should be addressed to ensure that your employees are happy and growing.
In our first blog under the “Humans of Remotify” series, we’re putting the spotlight on a talented writer that has struggled with those pitfalls and learnt to thrive with her remote work career.
Angela Natividad is one of the senior content writers at Story League, an Australian-based content agency. As one of the core members of Story League, Angela loves getting to know other members of the team, even in a remote setup.
Based in the Philippines, Angela has been working remotely since starting her career. Before Story League, her previous workplace allowed her to work from home, though she would have weekly face-to-face meetings with her colleagues.
It’s only since working with Story League that Angela has started a purely remote work setup, and she’s not alone in this.
According to ADP Research Institute, 64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time. More than half of the surveyed employees are willing to accept a pay cut if it will allow them to have a flexible work arrangement.
The remote work setup at Story League has allowed Angela to take charge of her schedule, giving her a positive work experience at the content agency. However, there’s one issue that continued to be a source of anxiety: The lack of HR support and assistance.
“There’s a distinct ‘before’ and ‘after’ when it comes to partnering with Remotify. Before I had a lot of anxiety about paying taxes and government contributions. But after getting a credible Employer on Record, there was nothing for me to worry about. All the things that used to give me anxiety were eased when Remotify came on board. It empowered me to work as hard as I can because I didn’t have to worry about these things,” Angela shared.
As a small business, Story League isn’t without growing pains. In the beginning, content director and business owner Luke Buesnel tried to manage everything — from lead generation and client calls to hiring and onboarding new staff members. Because of the complex labour laws in the Philippines, it was difficult for Luke to manage employee taxes and contributions by himself.
From an employee perspective, Angela wanted the security and reassurance of having her taxes and government contributions handled, which is why she led the team in searching for a proper HR provider.
“When I started researching how to manage my monthly taxes and contributions, I realised that it’s not something everyone has right away, and we tend to take that for granted when we’re working in a more established company,” Angela said.
Even the purely remote work setup in Story League was also starting to impact Angela in some ways. Loneliness is a prevalent issue with remote work, and it can feel isolating especially when an employee’s work calls for solitude, which is the case for Angela and her content writing career.
While loneliness and isolation are common problems amongst remote workers, there are ways to address them and ensure that employees feel cared for and supported. Regularly holding fun and relaxing virtual meetings with your entire team can help them feel connected to each other and encourage them to socialise. Establishing productivity check-ins with your employees will allow you to build a relationship with your staff while gaining insight into the struggles and problems they’re overcoming at work.
Luke had engaged another offshore HR supplier to manage the team when the business first started, but that caused more problems than solving them. The ineffectiveness of the previous HR supplier led to late and inaccurate payments, inapplicable tax charges and a clear lack of communication from the supplier.
By the time Angela came on board, Luke was wary of partnering with another HR supplier. It was only after discussing the necessity of HR support for employees at length that Luke was willing to give it another shot.
Since Story League partnered with Remotify, Luke gained more time focusing on the core competencies of the business while the Remotify team dealt with the HR administrative tasks. From the get-go, Remotify was driven to provide unique handcrafted experiences with a human and personalised approach, ensuring that both employers and employees benefited from their services.
“As someone who worked closely with Luke on finding our HR provider, I can say that Remotify stood out from the rest. Other suppliers required us to jump through so many hoops before we can apply for them. Remotify’s straightforward system and process from the get-go made them appealing even from the beginning,” Angela said.
As a brand, Remotify made a great first impression on the Story League team, and the Remotify team’s follow-through with their onboarding process was equally impressive. As a people person herself, Angela loved how Remotify onboarded the Story League team in groups based on their department, ensuring that employees receive a personalised experience as they’re signed on with Remotify.
“I was onboarded with my fellow senior writer, while the multimedia team were onboarded together. So, there was a strong sense of interconnectedness and establishing relationships,” Angela added.
Ensuring that you provide an effective onboarding experience for your remote employees to establish a strong connection and reassure them that they made the right choice in working for you.
The onboarding process should give employees a complete overview of the work culture you’re trying to cultivate as well as the values you uphold. Onboarding employees means discussing their roles within the company and the goals they’re expected to achieve so that they have a clear understanding of what business success looks like. Having an effective onboarding process will ensure that you retain top talent in your organisation.
Unlike other providers focused solely on addressing the administrative aspect of HR, Remotify aims to establish a warm and supportive community of remote workers.
Remotify understands the potential downfalls of remote work — isolation, loneliness and anxiety — and they’ve developed measures to ensure that their employees feel a sense of purpose and belonging.
There are many ways you can improve your remote workforce management, such as:
“Given that Remotify is still technically outsourced, it’s lovely how the team is so hands-on. The Remotify team will consistently check up on people, just to see how they’re doing. Human resources should be about empowering employees, and I feel like Remotify has achieved that. They put the human in human resources — something I feel not a lot of in-house HR departments do,” Angela said.
Remotify’s services and support have also eased all of Angela’s anxieties about her taxes and government contributions, giving her a wider mental bandwidth to focus on work. Even while she writes a lot of hard-hitting content for different industries, Angela felt enriched to have a support system both with the Story League team and the Remotify team.
The Humans of Remotify are made up of diversely talented Filipinos — and your team can be a part of this community too. Contact us and we will help you change your remote workforce for the better.