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Remote Workforce Management: Challenges and Solutions for SaaS Businesses


Employee Management

Remote Workforce Management: Challenges and Solutions for SaaS Businesses

Remote workforce management involves the use of technology and processes designed to effectively communicate with and lead a........

Jeremy Smith
January 26, 2024
min read
January 26, 2024
8 min read
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Remote Workforce Management: Challenges and Solutions for SaaS Businesses

By the nature of their operations, the employees in SaaS businesses are scattered all over the world, working off-site. They hardly report to an office but execute their tasks from home or wherever they might be. That’s why SaaS businesses cannot avoid available remote workforce management best practices.

Remote workforce management refers to the practice in which companies manage their remote workforces. It involves the use of technology and processes designed to effectively communicate with and lead a remote workforce. Company managers establish ways to regularly check in with their remote staff, listen, and celebrate achievements.

The Growing Relevance of Remote Work with SaaS Businesses

While remote work has become relevant to many sectors of the economy, SaaS businesses have found it most relevant to engage employees remotely. These companies can access the top industry talent globally, thus reducing overhead. The following are the reasons for the growing relevance of remote work for SaaS businesses.

1. Access to Top Talent Globally

SaaS businesses looking for top talent can access it from anywhere in the world through remote work. They can hire virtually anyone they want and not have to meet relocation costs and visas. Thus, these companies can build talented teams from diverse backgrounds. Each team member makes a unique contribution, which benefits the business immensely.

2. Saving Costs

For SaaS companies looking to save on the cost of renting office space, utilities, etc., having a remote workforce is most relevant. The businesses can invest their savings in critical functions such as customer acquisition and product development.

3. Opportunities for Growth

One of the most effective ways to grow a SaaS business is to leverage the costs saved through the hiring of remote workers. By reinvesting the savings, businesses could expand their product offerings and acquire more clients. As a result, they will be more profitable.

Key Challenges in Remote Workforce Management

Despite being good, remote workforce management has several challenges resulting from supervisors and workers interacting face-to-face. Since there are no office meetings, there will likely be issues with communication, tracking productivity, and building company culture and trust. Here’s an in-depth look at these challenges.

1. Effective Communication

Some SaaS businesses experience a lack of effective communication. It is hard for managers to distribute information without interacting physically with employees. In a 2020 survey, researchers identified collaboration and communication as the most significant challenges facing remote work arrangements.

Without effective communication, employees have no chance of thriving in their work. Plus, communication also enables remote teams to operate smoothly and efficiently. It reduces the effects of social isolation, home distractions, and the lack of in-person supervision.

2. Tracking Employee Productivity

SaaS businesses often find it difficult to track employee accountability when the teams are entirely remote. That’s because there's diminished accountability when all employees work away from the office. While some employees may work hard, others only do so much. After all, no one can see them. So, they only put in a few hours since managers cannot know the details.

3. Building Company Culture and Trust

Employee trust is one of the reasons why some SaaS companies thrive. But companies should also trust their employees. That calls for a shared culture and vision in which employees are completely engaged. In a remote work setting, it could take a long time to establish such a culture. But it is possible with concerted efforts, the choice of the right employees, and sustained communication.

Solutions to Overcome Remote Work Challenges

Remote work management is challenging, but not impossible. With the right strategies, SaaS companies can easily overcome the challenges above to build a thriving remote work ecosystem. The following are solutions to remote work challenges.

1. Use Collaborative Work Management Tools

Digital work management tools can help overcome the challenges of communication and collaboration. These tools enable the centralization of communication to ensure visibility and collaboration. Just by looking at the interface, team managers can tell how much work each remote worker is putting in.

2. Select Effective Communication Channels

Now that interpersonal communication is virtually impossible in remote work, SaaS businesses could employ some digital communication channels like email, text messaging, phone calls, and video conferencing. When selecting these tools, they should consider their suitability in certain circumstances.

3. Schedule Regular Meetings, Updates, and Check-Ins

Maintaining regular virtual meetings in SaaS businesses can help inform and align everyone with the expectations of team managers. With frequent check-ins, managers can foster a culture of increased communication. Employees can also effectively collaborate virtually.

4. Create Goals and Track Progress

Setting goals provides an idea of how long it should take for employees to perform certain tasks. For example, managers could set targets for daily or weekly tasks. With that, they wouldn’t leave employees to their own devices trying to accomplish tasks. Plus, it is easier to track employee productivity.

5. Create Effective Support Structures

Burnout is one of the most significant negative outcomes of remote work. And so, team managers must pay attention to prevent it. One way is to encourage employees to work on a work/life balance. Thus, they should check out at the end of a workday, take a vacation, and generally find time to relax. However, employees tend to follow their leader’s examples better. So managers should have an effective work/life balance themselves.

6. Create a Company Mission Statement

To overcome the challenge of company culture and trust, there is a need to create a mission statement. That’s because employees like it when their organizations are mission-driven. But there’s a need to integrate the mission statement throughout company operations so everyone can be onboarded.

7. Encourage and Support Remote workers

Remote employees also get stressed. Besides acknowledging this fact, team managers should support employees both verbally and through actions. Employees who overcome the effects of stress will likely be more productive.

Some Real-World Examples of SaaS Companies Successfully Addressing These Challenges

1. Adobe

Adobe is a major SaaS company that has chosen to embrace remote work. To overcome the challenges of communication and collaboration, the company has a new app through which employees can stay connected. The app has Facebook-like news feeds and even enables lunch orders.

2. HubSpot

HubSpot is a SaaS company that enables users to build websites, grow blogs, and publish on social media. Some of their employees work from home. To overcome challenges of culture and trust, it has established a hybrid model where some workers report to the office on some days.

3. Atlassian

Atlassian is a SaaS company that provides computer software over the Internet. The company, which was founded in 2002, has remote workers in all parts of the world. Its products include Confluence, Jira, and Trello Every Day.

Conclusion: Key Takeaways

Remote work seems to be most relevant to SaaS businesses, despite its many challenges. It can be difficult to communicate effectively, track employee productivity, and promote trust and company culture.

However, by embracing collaborative work management tools and employing effective communication channels, businesses can overcome these challenges. There’s also the need to create goals and track progress, institute support structures, create a company mission, and support remote workers.

Jeremy Smith
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