What Does It Take To Make Remote Work Work?


As a business owner, you are bound to look towards expanding your business at some point. In which case, you will have multiple offices at different locations. While you are in one worksite, you will want to stay in touch with employees in your other store locations. Staying connected is essential when your employees are spread out over the map. It’s even more important if your employees work remotely and do not often physically meet you or other employees on a regular basis.


At PayrollHero, we use a number of apps to facilitate remote work. These apps tie our employees together. We use the apps for face-to face interactions and for quick chats instead of spamming employees’ inboxes. The following apps might be useful for your company too:

SlackThis is the center of all our communication through different departments and offices. Slack allows you to create chat rooms and invite people to them. We use this feature to separate different functions of the team: engineering, business development, etc. Slack is also our metaphorical grapevine. We have chat rooms for random news, general musings and articles or books that anyone wants to share with the team. Slack also allows for private chats, thereby removing the need for emails to coordinate work. Slack is flexible in the sense that it has a number of integrations: Twitter, Mailchimp, appear.in.

Appear.in, Skype, Google HangoutsTeams can’t function without face-to-face meetings. Bosses benefit from meeting their employees face-to-face in order to gauge their emotional state and general well-being. The app features and video quality differ but essentially they help you conduct online meetings.

Asana, TrelloTo ensure that all tasks are tracked and accountable to the relevant employees, we use Asana. These apps are built to suit remote work. Asana allows you to assign tasks in a checklist format whereas Trello breaks down work in the form of projects in which tasks are outlined using cards. Both apps can be accessed online. So you or your employee can work from anywhere in the world and still stay on top of things.

Google Drive, Dropbox for BusinessKeeping track of all the documents and sheets created by multiple departments across different worksites is essential. These apps are tailored towards businesses’ storage needs. With a subscription fee, you have access to unlimited storage, data analytics (for Google) and more. Both apps allow you to track who is editing files and what kind of access you want your employees to have for each file or folder.

It’s More Than Just Apps

Making remote work successful is more than having a suite of apps at your disposal. It requires a shift in the way you and your employees think about work. It requires trust in your employees to work even if you’re not monitoring them at the office. We have inculcated some practices that help maintain discipline and structure even when employees work at different locations across the work. Here are some that have helped us:

Morning catch ups: Every morning, at a time suitable to your employees in their respective time zones, each employee summarizes their work in 60 seconds. The format is: what they accomplished yesterday, what they couldn’t complete, what they will do today and roadblocks to completing their work. From the head of the team down to the entry-level employee must be able to summarize their work in under a minute. The meeting is helpful in understanding where the team is going and what can be done to remove roadblocks.

Handbooks: For new employees, or employees that have changed departments, it is hard to catch up to how things are done when the entire department works remotely. Writing down the steps to each task in a handbook and storing it in Google Drive/Dropbox cuts down on confusion and time wasted in connecting with the employee who knows how to do the required task. Handbooks remove any misunderstandings or errors. It is a fool-proof way of ensuring that the business continues in case someone is not available to lend a helping hand.

Slack-logoUsing Slack to integrate the team: While Slack can be used to create chat rooms and do work, it is often a great tool to include everyone on the team and talk about common interests. Our chat-rooms like #random and #general are great spaces for employees to share ideas and talk about things outside of work. It is a place to plan outings over the weekend or share movie reviews. These conversations pull the team together and allow for cross-departmental interaction; something that could be missing while everyone is focusing on work.

Finally, making remote work possible is about using apps to their maximum capacity and reviewing if they work or not. Managers need to be more mindful of their employees. Employees in turn need to make a conscious effort to stay on top of their work because remote work often results in the blurring of personal and professional life. Altogether, making remote work work is hugely beneficial to employees. All it takes is a little tweaking of the way things are usually done.

Get Your New Employee Off To A Good Start

In our recent blog posts on millennials, we’ve talked about how to get the right young star talents into your company and how to stop them from leaving once you’ve got them working for you.

PayrollHero Team is expanding, and as we speak a new batch of interns are flying in to come work with us here at our Singapore office. And it just had me thinking-  it is so important to have these young rock stars feel welcome into our working culture. Why? I can understand first hand how daunting it can be for a 20 something year old to travel thousands of miles be apart of something you don’t have a first clue about and figuring all of that out in a new country.

What most employers think when onboarding new employees, they typically check tasks off a to-do list which may include- a quick introduction, an office tour, getting to learn the company vision and other tasks. But what is most often left to last, (and usually ignored) is having a plan that is focused on making new employees feel welcome, appreciated and feel part of the company culture as soon as possible.

And these efforts will have it rewards– high employee retention and loyalty to the company will reflect favorably to the bottomline. Paying close attention to the company culture and adding to it is really important. I would like to quote Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO with Airbnb, where he says “the culture becomes an incubator for creativity
and innovation, and ultimately for business performance.”

Here’s a few things companies can do to welcome a new hire:

Have A Welcome Strategy Put In Place
Before the hiring process starts, have a meeting where everybody (from the management down) who will be involved in the new hire to brainstorm and come up with a detailed plan for bringing a new person to the team. It is important for the company to create a good first impression as well. One of the most important things a new hire at Airbnb goes through is a full week of cultural immersion, so the person will come out of that week feeling like he can be a true ambassador for the company and brand.

Have A Mentor/ Buddy System
It’s good to assign somebody or even better, the whole team to spend some time with the new employee to take him out for lunch or happy hour after work, show how stuff works and provide support when needed. Helping the new guy feel part of the team quickly would be good to help him get rolling on the job and assimilate easier.

Express Genuine Interest in the New Employee As A Person.
Getting to know your new hire as an individual is great for building rapport with the person. Knowing more information about him would come in handy, like for instance if you know he’s visual or auditory will tell you how he prefers to be appreciated. For an auditory person, being complimented verbally is better than receiving it in an email and the opposite is true for a visual person.

It is always good to keep in mind these little information which creates a more personalized welcome and heightens his experience with the company.

Stay tuned to find out who are our new interns and how they are doing with PayrollHero.

The PayrollHero Team is fast expanding and we’re on the look out for rock star talents to join us. Drop us an email and tell us more about you.


5 Things Restaurants Need to Do Attract Top Employees

Tips to Attract Top Talent to your Restaurant

Image by themuse.com

Drawing from my past stint working as a waitress back in 2013 in NYC, I have learned that in the service or restaurant business, not everyone works just for the money. Indeed money is one of the key motivators, but people are looking for so much more.

Thankfully, the owner of the restaurant I worked at paid attention to his employees in order to keep us happy and working at his restaurant. Hiring the right talent isn’t easy (not everybody is good at service based roles) and retaining the finest employees is even harder.

What can make it even more frustrating is the fact that the restaurant business has one of the highest turn over rates in the private sector- at 66.3% by 2014.

In this article, you will find tips for making your restaurant more appealing to better employees.

To attract the A-players to come work for you, you will need:

  1.  A Clear Path to Advancement
    It’s important to remember that people are not working for you only because of the money. Most times it is much more than that. Employees want to know if there is a clear path to advancement in your restaurant. Whether it is moving up to a management position or to the next better paying position on the line, they want to know that the job rewards them based on growth and merit, not who they have to suck up to.
  2. The Work Itself
    It pays to be at a job that rewards and makes people happy. A great employee culture makes a great first impression where potential employees will think “Wow, what a great place to work in!”. It shows that you care about your employees and treat them like family. It also let’s your customers know that you run a quality restaurant with staff proudly working with you.
  3. Offer a Fair Salary Package.
    Restaurant owners should offer a competitive salary package to the employees. Keep in mind that while it does not have to be the highest, it definitely should not be at the bottom.
  4. Well-trained management/ leadership team
    Have great team leader or managers. Take the time to teach them to value each employee and guide them to succeed at their jobs. Great leaders also motivate your employees and create loyalty. When people know that your establishment has a superb leadership team and the ideal working environment, people will be waiting in line to come work for you.
  5. Recognition and Take Care of Your Current Employees
    It is good to feature your employees on your restaurant website and social media platforms. Focusing on your staff creates a positive environment, where they are happy to be at work. Giving praise for good work is also a good motivator. Sharing this information with the public will let potential employees know that you value good work.

    Did you find this blog post useful? Give your comments below.

    Find out how PayrollHero can create a great work place culture for your restaurant. We are happy to setup a time to speak further.