Strategies to Manage a Remote Team on a Budget (Without Layoffs)

In today’s economic climate, businesses across various industries are experiencing financial challenges. Mass layoffs and decreasing budgets have become standard solutions for maintaining operations during an uncertain time.

However, business experts claim that considering severance packages and damaged company culture and workplace morale (which affect worker productivity), layoffs don’t always prove to be an effective way for companies to save money.

We’ve put together a practical guide to managing remote teams on a budget to help you thrive during these uncertain times.

Provide flexibility to your workforce

A flexible working environment attracts top talent while saving recruitment and onboarding costs, lowering training expenses, and reducing interrupted productivity. There are different ways to approach flexibility, such as:

  • Adopting hybrid and remote work models
  • Building a location-independent workforce
  • Enabling flexible working hours

Flexibility is the most empowering benefit for employees worldwide, according to studies, but it’s also beneficial for the employer. It costs nothing to allow employees, for example, flexible working hours, and it may lower your operational costs and help you achieve more with fewer resources, as happy employees are also more productive.

Offer flexible workspaces

Coworking spaces and similar on-demand offices allow organisations to minimise real estate expenses and optimise workspace usage. Renting a flexible workspace when needing access to an office, meeting room, or conference room is significantly more affordable than being in a locked-in rental agreement for a commercial office.

Flexible workspaces are especially beneficial for scaling businesses and global teams with cohorts in specific cities, as coworking spaces offer short-term rentals and multiple types of offices and shared spaces. These spaces are also fully-equipped, reducing the cost of office furniture and equipment and other hidden expenses such as utilities, internet, and cleaning services.

Hire from the global talent pool

Hiring globally is a budget-savvy way of growing a business by tapping into a global talent pool and identifying skilled professionals at competitive rates. Hiring from different countries makes it possible to avoid the expensive cost of local hires, especially when living in a high-cost country.

As remote work has become the norm, geographical boundaries do not limit recruitment options, and businesses can access top candidates without incurring the expense of relocation, work permits, or office space.

Hiring independent contractors is another effective option for affordable hiring, as the employer is not responsible for paying taxes and benefits—as long as the business relationship stays within the client-contractor limits.

While global hiring offers several cost-saving benefits, it also introduces legal and compliance challenges.  By using an EOR (Employer of Record) service, companies can hire and pay international teams compliantly and fast, anywhere in the world.

Consolidate your tech stack

While tech tools help remote teams collaborate, communicate, and be productive, they may also lead to inconsistent data and processes, duplicate work, and multiple fees and hidden costs if they’re not consolidated into a streamlined ecosystem.

HR and payroll tools are a good example of a tech stack where a single, integrated system can replace multiple, often incompatible tools. For example, by using payroll software designed for global teams, you could reduce global payroll expenses, as you could pay your entire global team through a single platform.

Offer stock options

Offering stock options is an alternative to high salaries, acting as a cost-cutting strategy for new businesses, as issuing stock as compensation attracts and retains top talent without breaking the bank. It also aligns employee incentives with company success, as the employee has a stake in the growth and long-term success of the organisation. 

Invest in employee experience

Putting resources into enhancing the employee experience is a strategic move that offers a great return on investment and can even help outperform the competitors. By prioritising employee satisfaction, engagement, and well-being, it’s possible to reduce turnover, increase productivity, and unlock potential within the workforce. 

Focus on creating a culture of trust, teamwork, and ownership by providing development opportunities to your workers, introducing recognition practices, and fostering connections between team members. When managing a virtual team that’s distributed across time zones, rely on written and asynchronous communication to boost team efficiency.

Automate onboarding

Onboarding remote employees takes time and effort, which are a direct cost to the company, yet shortcutting the onboarding process can hinder the integration of a new team member. By handing over the administrative responsibility to an onboarding software, hiring managers have more time to focus on mentorship and other meaningful tasks.

According to Workato, onboarding is one of the most automated HR processes, as it’s critical to have the new hire reach their full productivity as soon as possible. Automating repetitive onboarding tasks provides an effective solution to speed up the process, allowing companies to optimise and automate onboarding workflow while setting clear expectations for remote team members.

Use a global-first HRIS

A global-first HRIS (Human Resource Information System) is a single HR platform that lets you centralise global workforce management, unlike localised HR platforms that don’t offer suitable support for international teams. In a global-first HRIS, you can manage all your workers, regardless of their location, type of contract, department, time zone, etc.

Using a global-first HRIS means:

  • No need for multiple platforms to manage direct employees, international employees, and independent contractors
  • No non-applicable required fields that disrupt your workflows
  • Easier global compliance with local labour laws no matter where you hire
  • Ability to streamline HR and payroll processes through automation

A global HRIS solution for remote workforce management is an effective way to cut costs as a small business while building consistent workflows and processes across your entire team.


Remote work has become a norm but companies are still learning how to hire and manage remote workers. Remote work isn’t necessarily a simple switch from traditional work. Remote management differs significantly from traditional team management, requiring new communication styles, technology, and processes. 

However the clear cost savings of a remote team, plus opportunity for truly flexible work for the employee, can mean that if a business gets remote right, it can efficiently manage and increase its workforce all while keeping costs optimised. 

By Stefana Zaric, Deel

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