Remote working is not just a temporary trend, it has risen in popularity over the last few years and is the future of both huge multinational companies and small businesses. This means that the challenges of remote work for employers need serious attention.
The evolution of this new paradigm is already a reality in the US, where more than 10% of employees work from home regularly (National Bureau of Economic Research). Latin America is still in the transition stage and acceptance of the remote work model, but freelance work is gaining more ground every day.
The new model promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences.
While these potential benefits are substantial, there are also some factors to consider when hiring remote employees that can become big challenges day by day.
Here is our full guide on how to find and retain the best remote talent for your PM company.
Here are some of the remote work challenges for employers that many property management companies that work with us face constantly:
1. Lack of Proper Communication
Unlike regular office work, you can’t reach out to a remote colleague with a simple ‘hello’ across your desk. Daily communication and engagement requires a few more steps.
You’ll have to go out of your way to ensure your team’s morale stays up and communication remains consistent. Here are some ways in which you can manage this:
Have Regular Check-ins
In an office, spontaneous chats build connections. In remote work, you’ll have to be proactive. Set up regular check-ins, like daily stand-ups or weekly catch-ups (preferably both).
Encourage open conversations about work and personal topics. This builds a strong team bond and keeps morale high, even from a distance.
Remote work tends to focus solely on profitability. In sharp contrast, regular office environments tend to have all sorts of activities that make for a healthy and harmonious working environment.
You should try and replicate that effect by having online group-ups that have the team getting to know one another and having fun in general.
Provide Feedback and Recognition Often
Among the most difficult remote work challenges for employers is to stop their team members feeling isolated and burned out. You can counter this by giving feedback and recognition regularly. Celebrate even small achievements and give public praise when your team members deserve it. Positive feedback does wonders for overall morale.
Also, provide constructive feedback when needed. Have video or phone chats for performance and growth discussions, just like you would in an office. It shows you care about their success and builds trust.
2. A Lack of Formal Processes
Without clear, properly defined processes, remote working challenges for managers just keep piling up when handling remote teams.
Not having processes results in a lack of accountability, on-boarding issues for new remote team members, and messy, inconsistent workflows that bring down productivity.
In the worst-case scenarios, this can even lead to a higher churn rate for clients (and even disgruntled employees).
What Processes To Have
Ideally, you should have a detailed procedure for everything related to your company. Once you have them, you’ll feel the positive effects that this uniformity brings.
Try to have processes in place for everything, including on-boarding new employees, inducting new clients, handling maintenance tickets, lease agreement renewals, rent collection procedures, property inspection and maintenance scheduling, etc.
It’s good to include a process that helps you secure your business from online security threats like regular password changes and employee training on phishing attacks.
If you’re unsure about how to go about setting up your processes, our BetterTeam Consulting package will help you quickly set up a profitable model.
3. Lack of Productivity & Time Management
The home environment for remote team members can be full of distractions, from family responsibilities to pets and other personal factors that might affect productivity and pose remote working challenges for companies.
Also, factors like communication patterns, work culture, and employee morale can also impact your team’s overall output.
That’s why it’s crucial to ensure everyone is doing their part in reaching team goals and to watch for signs that a remote team member might be overwhelmed with too much work. This balance can make all the difference in a remote work environment.
Here are some ways in which you can make sure that your remote is working as optimally as possible:
- Set clear goals: Provide daily and weekly to-do lists with small milestones for improved efficiency and motivation.
- Reward team efforts: Recognize achievements based on collective work results.
- Seek feedback: Ask for their input on how you can support their improvement.
- Utilize collaborative tools: Use cloud tools like Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and Asana (or any other platform like Monday or Trello) for seamless collaboration.
- Check on well-being: Regularly inquire about their personal and professional well-being to enhance work-life balance.
- Use time management tools: Tools like Time Doctor enhance productivity and let you keep track of what your team is up to.
Tip: It helps to have regular stand-ups that focus solely on what’s getting in the way of the team and its goals (and nothing else). These are short, to-the-point, and minimize the chances of missed deadlines down the line.
4. Inadequate Hiring Procedures
A lot of the companies we work with suffer from suboptimal hiring practices. We can’t stress the importance of proper hiring enough. It’s the make or break of your remote team and probably the most significant of all the challenges of remote working for employers.
Here are some steps we recommend that could completely shift the results you get from remote hiring for property management:
Filtering a large number of applications
Naturally, selecting suitable candidates for remote positions is one of the most tedious challenges of working remotely for employers. Hiring managers must be clear about their expectations to ease the selection process.
Well-written and detailed job requirements can help eliminate the profiles that do not qualify for a given remote position. You can also optimize the remote hiring process by automating it or hiring someone else to handle this and the follow-up steps that come with it.
Vetting and skill set evaluation
You will always want to select candidates that possess adequate job-specific skills, no matter the position. But accurate skill assessments and evaluations are challenging to conduct in remote settings.
A great solution for this could be to design dedicated test projects for employing remote candidates and preparing skillset evaluations. Similarly, conducting customized skill assessments can also help in vetting candidates effectively.
This part of the process can be tricky. Most new joiners are likely to feel overwhelmed during the first few days at the job. As a result, hiring managers may observe lower productivity with the new employees struggling to understand the workflow.
You must make extra efforts to establish a smooth onboarding process to enhance employees’ learning curve.
Introductory sessions can help new-joiners understand the workflow and processes. Also, they build a healthy and transparent company culture. Better yet, having someone conduct these sessions on your behalf can help YOU improve overall business productivity.
Property management companies across the US find our RTM Direct service highly useful for fast tracking and simplifying their remote hiring.
Important: You should make sure that your remote team member has a stable internet connection and stable working environment. Also, it’s important for them to be able to consume large amounts of information and communicate effectively with the rest of the team.
Some of the main challenges of remote working for employers in the property management industry when hiring remotely are: a lack of proper communication and formal processes, suboptimal productivity, and inadequate hiring procedures.
These can be overcome by:
- Scheduling regular check-ins for bonding and open conversations, incorporating fun online group activities, and providing feedback and recognition to boost morale.
- Create detailed procedures for all company functions, including onboarding, maintenance, lease agreements, and cybersecurity.
- Improving remote work efficiency by setting clear goals, rewarding team efforts, seeking feedback, using collaborative and time management tools, checking the team’s well-being, and holding regular stand-up meetings.
- Streamlining remote hiring by screening numerous applicants, clarifying job expectations, creating skill assessments, and ensuring a smooth onboarding process while considering communication skills and a stable internet connection.