What is a Distributed Workforce?
A distributed workforce works from different locations, typically at multiple physical offices or branches. Satellite offices can be in locations spread around a single country or internationally. Employers may do this for various reasons like looking for opportunities in the wider global economy.
Today, many companies see the benefits of hiring from a global talent pool. Modern technology means that the future of work is likely to be much more spread out around the world.
While this form of company structure may require new management strategies, employers can see many long-term advantages after some quick adjustments.
What are the Benefits of Having a Distributed Workforce?
Your employees can use modern technology to improve their work, wherever they are. Furthermore, with offices in every time zone, you can offer services 7 days a week or 24 hours a day.
When your employees are no longer stuck in a single central office, they are better able to answer global opportunities. Also, when less distracted by office politics, workers are able to better balance their work and personal lives.
Your employees may work best in the environments they know in depth. So, by allowing your international employees to work in their home regions, you can allow greater flexibility and use of local knowledge. At the same time, your distributed office workers who wish to live overseas or try new challenges can easily transfer internally.
This kind of work structure will encourage better work-life balance, retention rates, and improved employee satisfaction.
Hiring from a far wider talent pool means your distributed team can benefit from a world of new skills. More than this, forcing yourself and your remote employees to work with new team members worldwide encourages smarter problem-solving.
Running an office means renting office space, purchasing or renting equipment, and paying the energy bills. IN fact, every aspect of running a large central office costs your company money and eats into your profits.
Spreading out your workforce can allow you to explore new options like co-working spaces. In fact, this means you limit your costs through a single monthly fee.
You can also save on salary or personal benefits by hiring internationally. Lower living costs allow you to offer more competitive contracts to your employees abroad.
What does Distributed Working Mean for Multinational Companies in Particular?
For companies that offer global services, a distributed workforce allows for a totally new level of customer support options. With offices or employees based worldwide, your company can ensure around-the-clock service outside of the office hours of a single time zone.
How do you Support a Distributed Workforce?
Proper distributed workforce management is the key to making the most of remote teams. Modern employee experiences require modern management strategies like:
Tech-Forward Communication Methods
There is a range of technological options available to companies looking to improve their real time remote communication. These include group working tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, video conferencing software like Zoom or Lifesize, and project apps like Monday.com.
Adjusted Hiring Processes
Hiring internationally can be more challenging than hiring locally because it is remote. To find the right people, companies should consider more specific personality types that would suit this work style.
Adapted Company Culture
It helps to continue a personal approach to company culture, even when teams or departments are spread around the world. A “face-first” culture that makes video meetings a priority can improve the feeling of meaningful connections.
Additionally, rethink your company vision and goals. This can help to prioritize clear internal communication and goal setting to adjust the way your teams work together.
Higher Levels of Trust
A distributed workforce means trusting that your employees are working without constant oversight. It may be tempting to go overboard on remote management tools if you can’t talk to coworkers. However, these can quickly feel intrusive or unnecessary.
Instead, set aside more time for weekly meetings. This can help keep everyone on track in a more structured way and increase visibility.
Distributed Workforce vs. Remote Work
The key differences between a distributed workforce and employing remote workers are intent and scale. Remote workers perform their jobs from remote locations (more often while working from home). This is based on the idea that modern offices are less important due to technological advances.
In contrast, a distributed workforce is based on a company’s whole workforce being spread to multiple offices.
For example, creating a distributed workforce might be a way for a company to provide support and advice to clients at all times. This can be achieved thanks to having workers in different time zones.
Remote workers, in this case, may work from different time zones but adjust their work hours to match their colleagues.
What does it Mean to Have an Employee with WFM?
Workforce Management (WFM) is a set of ideas or systems designed to make sure workers are properly dispersed and available at all times.
This can mean keeping structures and personnel minimized to avoid unnecessary costs. It can also mean that employee skills are correctly spread out between departments or locations. This way, you can cover every need that may occur.
Modern companies can increase their WFM using new technologies to improve many things. These include scheduling, attendance, forecasting, budgeting, performance tracking, and training.
Detailed records of employee performance let innovative managers promote productivity. They can also improve company promotion trees or skills management.
How INS Global’s Employer of Record Services Can Help You Distribute your Workforce Effectively
Managing compliance and HR functions for employees worldwide comes with an added level of challenges. This may be too much for many company types and sizes.
We ensure accurate international payroll and aid through the difficulties of legal labor requirements in multiple countries.
INS Global is an international provider of HR outsourcing services to over 80 countries worldwide. Our smart global Employer of Record (EOR) and international Professional Employer Organization (PEO) solutions give you a distributed workforce with compliant HR functions for your staff worldwide.
We take care of the day-to-day tasks of international payroll management, benefits, leave administration, and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). At the same time, you get effective solutions and easy access to new markets.
To find out more, contact our team of INS Global advisors today.