How to Pay Your Remote Workers On Your Virtual Team

Remote employees and virtual assistants may charge for their work by the hour or on a monthly retainer basis. With hourly workers, you may be charged on a sliding scale with one hourly rate for administrative work and a higher hourly rate for high-end skills like website maintenance or database management.

The ability to pay your remote workers in a timely and accurate manner has important business implications.

Negotiating Payment to Remote Workers

How much you pay your remote employees depends on the type of work and their location. If the remote employee is in the US, then you should expect to pay between $20 to $80 per hour depending on experience level and the tasks performed.  If the employee is in a low cost location such as India or Philippines, you can expect to pay between $5-30 depending on the work.

You’ll want to negotiate the pay rate with your remote workers based on the following:

    • Is this a one-time project like the creation of a logo or brochure?
    • Are you hiring a remote employee someone for the long-term?
    • What is the job that needs to get done?
    • Does your remote employee have his/her own equipment or do you need to provide it?
    • What references can your worker provide?
    • What other projects like yours has this remote worker completed?  Can you see examples?

Handling Remote Employee Billing

Sometimes, a new remote worker may require partial payment up front (called advance payment) before he starts the work. Don’t be alarmed by it; it’s pretty common.  After that advance, you’ll most likely pay your remote workers off of time sheets or the invoices that they submit to you. Invoices should contain:

    • Worker’s name, contact information, and the date
    • Amount of hours worked for you and the tasks performed
    • Amount of dollars per hour charged.
    • Amount owed to the worker
    • Terms of payment, i.e., 14 days within receipt of invoice

Mode of Payment to Remote Employees

You can use a number of online payment platforms to pay your remote workers. Online payment platforms make it easy to pay remote employees for their work. Two of the most popular platforms  for paying remote workers are:

1. PayPal
As one of the very first online payment platforms on the Internet, PayPal is a trusted way to send payment to anyone – for remote work or not. It’s the biggest online payment platform in the world. As the most recognized payment system on the planet, it supports a slew of currencies and various banks across the globe. However, it does have fees that be very steep for many remote workers.

Remote workers pay Paypal a fee when transferring their funds to their bank. This means either the remote employee gets less than what you paid or you pay extra to cover PayPal fee. Another drawback with PayPal is that it can put holds on accounts without warning, which can be an issue when paying large amount to a remote worker. Still, it’s favored by many since it’s easy to use and is available in many countries.

2. TransferWise
Another great way to pay remote workers is TransferWise. It’s a newer service and it provides online money transfers at the real exchange rate. It was created by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. It’s biggest advantage is its low fee and high close to real exchange rate. That’s the main reason why many businesses use Transferwise to pay remote workers who live in a different country.

Users only need to pay for its conversion fees and mid-market exchange rates. It works by converting your cash at a mid-market rate, with transaction fees taken out before the conversion. It supports more than 300 different currencies.

Although it has low fees, its main drawback is that it’s not global yet. Right now, it’s only available for use in 48 countries. If you’re don’t want to pay high fees and live in a place where it’s supported, then TransferWise might be better to use over PayPal. Conversion fees start at 0.50% and increase depending on the currency you use. It’s fast and easy to use and ideal for paying remote employees working in another country.

These are the two most commonly used online payment platforms many use to pay remote employees because they’re safe, trusted and easy to use.

Once fair pay rates are established and work is performed on time and at the expected quality level, pay your remote workers as agreed upon and it should become a turnkey process. If you are happy with your worker, it’s recommended that you pay them on time. Nothing destroys the employer/employee relationship faster than nonpayment for work.

Pay your remote workers fairly, accurately, and on-time using HiveDesk!