remote-first company

One of the biggest challenges business leaders face in 2021 is running a remote-first company. As the pandemic continues and technology pushes remote culture forward, running a business that functions remotely has become a necessity. 

Companies that invest in remote working strategies and infrastructure are primed to tackle the unique challenges associated with managing employees remotely while keeping your intellectual property secure. 

This blog will cover what leading remote-first companies are doing to succeed in this new world order and what your business needs to keep its edge. 

1# Smart investment in digital infrastructure

Your company’s digital infrastructure should consist of integrations between cloud software that improve employee experience and productivity. Choosing the right kind of software that works for your business structure and budget takes time and extensive research. 

Decide what your unique requirements are before you narrow down the options available. Establish which platforms can integrate with one another before investing in year long subscriptions. 

Optimize cross-platform use with No-code tools

Optimizing the delivery of your marketing, products and services is integral to scaling up a remote-first company. The use of No code tools is fast becoming the cornerstone for quick, easy and low cost development of unique solutions in every area of business. 

No code or low code tools such as Webflow allow departments to build and integrate applications for immediate use with no to minimal coding experience. 

Integration No code tools such as Zapier allow departments to connect applications to carry out automated tasks between different software unique to operational use cases. 

Cut costs on digital infrastructure with smarter integrations

No code tools are being developed to achieve even more complex tasks such as developing whole web and mobile applications with minimal to no investment in specialized developers and sophisticated software. 

Intelligent use of No code tools can also save money on your digital infrastructure. Instead of increasing monthly spend on end-to-end software at higher subscription levels, you can integrate and sync freemium or lower cost software solutions that fulfil similar requirements. 

2# Have a remote work policy for a remote-first company

In several countries having a remote work policy is a legal requirement, particularly if you are hiring salaried employees within the same country.

Remote work policies differ in each country. Best practice is for your policy to contain staff organizational charts, directories, an outline of general performance expectations, equipment checklists, safety protocols and reporting requirements. 

Your remote work policy can also help you with maintaining security and privacy. 

3# Invest in remote working security

With employees working from home on their own devices and unsecured networks, hacking becomes a much greater risk. When companies around the world were forced to either close or go remote in March 2020, phishing attacks rose by 667%. 

There isn’t much you can do about the networks your remote employees work on. What lies within your control are the applications your employees use to carry out their tasks. 

Centralize your work processes on secure cloud software

Companies can use Microsoft 365 or Google Suite for most of their back office operations. Make it a part of your remote work policy to only use, create and save documents within your cloud applications and to always use double authentication for your logins when given the option. 

For most remote-first companies, this level of security is sufficient for remote working. In cases where security is mission critical, you may decide to invest in Desktop-as-a-Service (DAAS). 

DAAS can be installed on phones, tablets and computers. All company associated applications are stored within the DAAS application which requires a secure login to access. With DAAS, no company data is stored on the device. 

4# Invest in career development and training

Training and retaining employees becomes a greater challenge in remote-first companies. The training achieved organically from in office interactions is significantly reduced. 

Set individual goals

To combat this, make sure to set goals and identify key areas for development for each employee. Having personalized challenges is critical to optimizing output. 

To support this strategy, you need to invest in online training courses to open up opportunities for professional development. 

Employees that acquire new skills and experience career growth within the company are more likely to stay loyal in the long term. 

Provide training for career development

There are opportunities for free training in LinkedIn, YouTube and Google. However, investing in professional training with specialized career tracks and recognized certifications can be more rewarding for employees. 

5# Build a remote team by outsourcing

As a remote first company, it is not necessary to run departments such as HR, accounting, customer service, sales and administration in the same country. Leading businesses are able to conveniently cut costs and fulfil their staffing needs by outsourcing a large percentage of their workforce to Employer of Record services in South East Asia. 

How Employer of Record is different

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a unique style of outsourcing that is increasing in popularity. It is very different from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which only allows you to hire whole departments without any control over who is hired, how long they stay and how they carry out your business processes.  

With EOR, you maintain full control over who is hired, how long they work for you, how they are managed and trained. The EOR service takes care of payroll, human resources and acts as the legal employer. 

The benefits of using Employer of Record as a remote-first company 

Employer of Record services are particularly popular with remote-first companies in the growth phase as it allows them to hire employees in countries where they don’t yet have a registered office or company. 

This benefits growing businesses by enabling them to test markets with lower risk and hire talent in countries with lower average salaries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

#6 Assign valuable work to remote-first company workers

When hiring employees from different countries with different pay scales, don’t make the mistake of assuming that lower pay means that employees are less qualified. It’s advantageous to both the remote-first company and the employee to assign work that is appropriate for the experience over the payscale.

Assigning projects and tasks that challenges employees in their area of expertise encourages growth, keeps them interested and makes them feel valued in the company. 

For more information on hiring and managing remote employees in South East Asia, get in touch with Emerhub. 

Key tips and resources on expanding your company to the largest emerging markets in Asia