Finding Small Business Success in a Remote World
Businesses worldwide have been forced to adopt remote working solutions with little planning amidst COVID-19. This shift has brought significant changes in how we communicate and collaborate, impacting virtually all aspects of business. While the swift change may have felt jarring, there is a silver lining for many small businesses. The newfound ability to reduce costs, source talent, and create a more effective work experience remotely will help solve many of the outdated structures that bogged businesses down.
As you transition your business to a remote-first structure, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the internal communication and employee management systems that keep the team stable. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Effective communication between team members is critical when working remotely. As the transition is made from in-person meetings to Slack chats and Zoom calls, it’s vital to prioritize employee success using software communication tools.
The ability to communicate with teammates seamlessly is important for a successful remote working plan. Software tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams make it easy for employees to meaningfully engage with each other. With the help of dedicated channels, search functions, and customizable status updates, important conversation pieces will never slip through the cracks. Whether for personal or work-related purposes, these communication channels will become the core of your business culture.
With projects involving individuals unbound by locations and time zones, it can be a challenge organizing and assigning tasks. Software tools like Asana, Trello, and Jira will help your team manage their roles and successfully complete projects. You’ll be able to track the progress of your project with features that allow you to assign tasks, deadlines, and add notes for all team members.
You’ll want to experiment with many of the communication and project planning tools available to find the best fit for your team. With daily interactions taken care of, it’s time to shift our focus towards the financial and people management systems you’ll need for business success.
While small and medium-sized businesses often look for employees living within reasonable proximity to the office, the shift to online work has allowed them to extend beyond their typical radius. Businesses are now hiring employees who live in different provinces and sometimes countries! With this comes a unique set of challenges for HR and Payroll processing. Successfully managing onboardings, workloads, and employee payments are core to the success of the team. Thankfully, your business isn’t the first to be working through these challenges. Don’t worry - we’re here to help.
Human Resources & Payroll
To ensure that you have the back-end systems in place to manage your team successfully, you’ll want HR software that handles all employee items. This feature set will need to include time and vacation tracking, expense accounts (which become far more critical under remote structures), employee evaluations, planning, and more. Atop these considerations are two that will be critical to the continued growth and success of your team, onboarding and payroll:
Nothing will help more with the expansion of your team than a practical, streamlined onboarding process. Remote work makes it difficult to successfully onboard new team members. Ensuring that all employees receive a warm welcome and clear view of the tasks, responsibilities, and expectations for their new role is critical to progress. Software like Gusto and Workday help you manage these materials from the onset by give your team a dashboard that allows for seamless communication and management.
To provide security to your team and ensure that they can focus on the important work at hand, there are few details more important to consider than payroll processing. For payroll management, the HR software mentioned in the paragraph above will do the trick. However, unique to remote work payroll are the implications that come with scattered employee residences. As you work through the setup and ongoing payroll management, here are a few questions you and your team should be asking:
- The location of your employee will influence payroll. Have we considered the legal, tax, social security, payroll, benefits, and compliance issues related to paying workers out of the province/country?
- Employee status will influence payroll. Have we considered the differing requirements for full-time, part-time, and contracted workers come year-end reporting and tax time?
- Employee location will influence living costs and wage competitiveness. Have we considered how we’ll continue to pay competitive rates to our team dependent on where they’re located?
Although not an exhaustive list, it’s important that you begin to consider the challenges that may arise with a team unbound by location.
As you experiment with new systems and processes, don’t be afraid of making changes. Not every solution will be the right fit for your team, but the benefits that come from finding the few far outweigh the inconveniences associated with early swaps. When it comes time to explore your payroll options, the ParallelCFO team will be around to offer advice and ensure that you have a scalable system built for success. To learn more about how we help businesses grow pain-free and build financial stability, get in touch with us!