As more tasks and projects can be done digitally or performed online, a cost saving measure for employers can be to hire remote workers or teleworkers. Teleworkers are people who do not work in your physical office location but rather work offsite, from their homes or other locations.

Having an employee work remotely could reduce your office space and equipment costs, as well as your energy consumption. Hiring a remote employee may also allow a business manager to select the most qualified candidate from anywhere in the country. Teleworkers may also allow you to widen your network of contacts and provide you with a different perspective or ideas. If they are located in another province, they could also provide insight into the business climate of that area. Teleworkers can be more productive as they do not have the same potential interruptions that may occur in the regular office environment.  

Before making a decision to hire remote workers in different time zones or different provinces you should consider potential challenges. 

Some things to consider when hiring a remote worker from outside your province include:

  • Set up your meetings to accommodate workers in all time zones
  • Investigate labour laws in the province where your remote worker is located — regulations may differ where health and safety are concerned, there may be tax implications, overtime regulations and other different employment standards
  • Ensure adequate visual communications and file sharing technologies are in place to allow you and your office staff to be able to work and connect with the teleworker
  • Establish security and privacy controls on both parties' networks
  • Set clear goals, expectations and deadlines for the remote worker and ensure that you regularly follow up on the progress of their tasks or projects
  • Schedule regular communication time and include social conversations the same way you would if the person was in office (examples: asking about their weekend, children, activities etc.)

Making sure you have all your bases covered when hiring and working with your teleworkers can ensure a more productive relationship.

To learn more about the things to keep in mind when hiring teleworkers for your business, consult our Teleworkers page.