Conquering New Markets: HR’s Seven Tips For Supporting Your Remote Workforce

Hybrid Workforce

There can be no doubt that recent times have been challenging for businesses. Across virtually every industry, companies have struggled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, political turmoil, and the cost of living crisis. In turn, HR teams have had to adapt, looking at new ways to accommodate the changing workplace patterns or support their company’s efforts to progress remotely in an evolving world.

Indeed, many businesses have found that their ability to bounce back from these challenges has come from a desire to push into new markets. And, with HR departments advocating new ways to support their staff, and updating policies to fit the modern agenda, companies have been able to make their presence known in the new market they are hoping to conquer.

Here are seven ways that you can support your remote workforce to conquer new and unfamiliar markets either at home or abroad.

 

1. Adapt to change and emerging trends

With all of the changes affecting the world, perhaps it is no surprise that companies have had to look for ways to change where they operate and who they market to in order to have success. Those organizations that have been able to be successful and react to new trends towards remote and nomadic working have chiefly done so by prioritizing pushing forward and making progress.

If you are looking to enter a new market – whether geographically or in terms of the product or service you offer – it is important to be ready to embrace change. Undoubtedly one of the most important ways for companies to have success in a new market is via remote workers. Once you have a remote team, HR can prompt leaders to advocate the benefits of remote working by:

  • streamlining internal policies
  • updating IT systems and virtual platforms
  • merging processes to include and accommodate your remote workforce
  • communicating changes early on and from the top down
  • ensuring HR fully engages its remote workers, 
  • monitoring their ongoing progress and productivity.

 

2. Access a wide talent pool

One of the major reasons to focus on a remote workforce when entering a new market is that it gives you access to a much broader pool of talent. Any time that you want to enter a new market, you’re going to need expertise, knowledge, and skills. It is certainly the case that those are easier to acquire if you are not limiting your hiring to a specific geographic area.

“A geographically-distributed workforce also leads to employee diversity,” says Dave Anderson, writing for Hire. “Many organizations struggle with diversity but it comes naturally for remote teams. And having a group of employees who come from varying backgrounds results in truly great ideas.”

 

3. Know when local laws can solve problems

Remote working is breaking down borders, meaning that staff can work anywhere and still do a great job. However, while it has many benefits, it is first important to understand all of the implications of hiring workers who are based elsewhere. 

“A further trend is the rise in employers considering the possibility of hiring remote workers, who are employed by a Gibraltar company but work in their home country elsewhere,” says Claire Pizzarello, Associate at Hassans, one of the region’s largest law firms. “This requires consideration of tax, social insurance, regulatory and corporate implications. In addition, there is the issue of local registration and application of Gibraltar law. In this scenario, employers will also often weigh up the options of using employees versus independent contractors, which may address some of the issues.”

Your HR department might be used to operating one way and have a simple set of rules across all staff. But if different laws and regulations apply to workers in other countries, it is important to take these into consideration.  

 

4. Network for greater market insight

It might be the case that you’re looking to hire remote staff in a new target market before you move there. This can actually be hugely advantageous to your business, not least because those employees working in the new target area are more likely to have specific local knowledge that you can leverage for a competitive advantage.

Indeed, it is also true that staff in these new areas are more likely to have a network of contacts in the region that can be used to more effectively grow the business. HR should advocate the value of local knowledge and share its benefits for providing your team with the insight and intelligence to make a greater success more easily. 

 

5. Run your business 24/7

One of the challenges of trying to operate in a new market can relate to time zones. If you are going to be running a business in a timezone that is different to yours, it can be difficult to provide services at traditional working hours for your staff. 

HR should be hiring remote staff to allow you to more easily employ workers across a range of different time zones. This means that you could easily provide a 24/7 service that suits customers in any market that you are interested in moving into. 

 

6. Use collaborative cloud working

There can be no doubt that it is important to invest in appropriate technologies if you are going to utilize a remote workforce. For example, if your business has not yet committed to cloud computing, with every document and piece of data available anywhere in the world, now is the right time to do so.

A remote team can easily collaborate via the cloud, and this doesn’t have to be any different to the way a team in a centralized office works together. The cloud has the additional advantage that anyone can access the data and information at any time.

 

7. Expand quickly

It should be stated that one of the great benefits of hiring remote staff is the ability to expand quickly when it is needed. It makes a lot of sense if you are looking to grow into a new market that you would want the flexibility to expand and contract as that market demands. And as such, it’s a smart move to support remote workers because of this.

Indeed, when remote workers feel supported they are more likely to be able to produce positive outcomes for the business. 

In summary, supporting your remote workforce can prove invaluable in many ways if your company is looking to expand into a new market either on a domestic level or internally. While being adaptive is essential, HR teams know that there are advantages from having a remote workforce in a new location if a business wants to build its reputation, its business operations and its profits.