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How to build a great distributed workforce in 7 steps

Thanks to the rise of remote working, a growing number of companies are interested in building a distributed workforce, which involves having team members in multiple locations.
Distributed workforce by Surface on unsplash

Thanks to the rise of remote working, a growing number of companies are interested in building a distributed workforce, which involves having team members in multiple locations.

One of the quickest and most convenient ways to achieve this is by hiring international professionals through an employer of record (EOR).

An EOR will use its own local entity to hire overseas team members on your behalf. The EOR will be able to help with their recruitment, onboarding, payroll, and eventual offboarding, however those professionals will report directly to you.

SEE ALSO: Call center outsourcing: 5 great destinations to consider 

So you will effectively have people working for you overseas, without having to worry about setting up your own foreign entity, or having to concern yourself with compliance with unfamiliar regulations. Making it a fast solution that also minimises risks.

That makes working with an EOR an ideal way to establish an international distributed workforce. In the event that you are interested in having a distributed workforce across multiple countries, or envisage expanding to do so in the future, it is worth seeking out an EOR provider capable of supporting you in multiple markets.

At Serviap Global, we can assist you with EOR services in over 100 countries worldwide. Contact us for more information. 

What is a distributed workforce?

A distributed workforce comprises people working together while being based in different locations. That can be made up of people attending an organization’s headquarters daily or occasionally, people based at a different office, or entirely remote workers.

Stock image of an online meeting to accompany article on using EOR services to build a distributed workforce
A distributed workforce will often meet online

In some cases a distributed workforce could be made up of a team in which nobody is in the same location, or in which the majority are based in one location, while being supervised or managed by someone elsewhere. 

As a result, a distributed workforce will tend to be diverse, both because of their geographic dispersion and because remote working tends to promote workplace diversity.

In many cases, its members work in different time zones and may not share the same first language. That could also mean they are working on an asychronous schedule, so there are times when some are working while others are not. 

That will generally mean that a distributed workforce is reliant on online management tools and platforms to collaborate and keep track of tasks, while team meetings will have to be carefully coordinated to accomodate those varied schedules.

While the fact people are in different timezones can be a source or difficulty in terms of coordination, it can also serve as a benefit, because it could also mean that the team is on hand to communicate with clients or other people for longer periods of a given day.

How to build a distributed workforce using an EOR 

Building a distributed workforce using an EOR involves the following seven steps:

1)  Choose your best EOR provider 

Choosing an EOR to work with involves taking into account a number of factors. The most obvious of those is the service quality and competitiveness of the price the service is being offered at. Because while you will want to find the best provider possible, you will also have to make a choice based on your budget.

Beyond that, considering what your future plans for your distributed workforce entail is also an important decision. If you are only planning to hire international team members in one particular country, you can choose to work with an EOR who only serves that market. However, if future expansion is a possibility, you will likely want to find a provider who can support you accordingly.

2)  Find top local talent  

Your chosen EOR will have an established recruitment network and a sound understanding of the best profiles to look out for, in terms of where candidates have earned qualification and who they have worked with previously.

Your EOR will also carry out a preliminary screening of candidates, making sure they have all of the skills and knowledge the role requires, before providing you with a list of profiles to choose from or set up a further interview with, including feedback from the screening.  

3)  Onboard your employees 

After signing the labor contract, employee onboarding begins. So, while you build a distributed workforce with EOR services, make sure your new talent feels welcome and safe, share with them the corporate culture and let them know they are a new and valuable link in a larger chain.  

SEE ALSO: 6 stages of the employee life cycle: retain the best talent 

Onboarding can take from a couple of days to a month or more, depending on territory. Still, this step helps newcomers integrate into the organization, lays the groundwork for the employee-employer relationship, assigns their initial tasks, and provides them with all the tools they need to perform their daily activities. 

4)  Schedule regular meetings 

When you build a distributed workforce with EOR services, with employees in different places and in different time zones, you need to strengthen communication between your collaborators, so regular meetings will be even more necessary than for single-space workforces.  

This doesn’t mean you will organize meetings for everything, but at least a weekly video call to drive projects and initiatives will help your employees get to know each other and see that they have an open communication channel. Remember that each meeting should have a clear purpose to avoid wasting time. 

5)  Establish goals for your new team members

Having a distributed workforce provides flexibility since workers perform their activities from wherever they are, with their own schedules, and are not necessarily subject to the same limits of a traditional workplace. However, this can lead to a lack of focus. 

Therefore, to successfully build a distributed workforce, it is necessary to establish and define objectives for your new team members. These goals will sometimes be individual and other times team-based. Factors such as time, resources, and even the personal conditions of each worker will be considered, and these may differ more dramatically than in single-space teams. 

6)  Monitor projects and productivity 

Tracking ongoing projects and staff productivity is necessary for any team. Still, this responsibility is even more necessary as you build a distributed workforce with EOR services. It’s harder to keep an eye on projects that are being done in various different places and on different clocks. 

To ensure that regular team members and new hires are up to date, use virtual platforms, such as shared calendars, to help you monitor and know what each employee is doing, the deadlines, and what other projects are on the horizon. This strategy will also help you to prioritize deliveries and give assignments on time. 

7)  Promote team building 

Beyond the regular weekly meetings to take care of bread and butter tasks within the distributed workforce, it is necessary to promote team building as well. When employees are not meeting one another at the water cooler or coffee machine, they can feel lonely and isolated. Also, you lose the ability to build valuable interdepartmental links. 

Whether through virtual, hybrid, or in-office events, you can organize Friday happy hour meetings and any other fun dynamics that help employees get to know each other, connect and feel part of the team. It’s important that everyone feels part of the team, as this will boost morale and help successful teamwork. 

Serviap Global infographic of seven steps to build a distributed workforce using an EOR
The seven key steps to a distributed workforce

Serviap Global can help you build a distributed workforce  

At Serviap Global, we assist clients with international PEO / EOR services in over 100 countries worldwide. We also offer global talent acquisition services throughout the world to help clients find candidates to hire directly.

We are a family-owned company that started in Mexico in 2010 before expanding throughout Latin America and then worldwide. Although our vision is global, we are committed to the excellent service and individualized approach of collaborating with a local supplier. 

Contact us to learn how we can help you build a distributed workforce.

EOR services are ideal for building a distributed workforce

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