Working with a remote team from home isn’t just a fad of the present – it’s the way of the future. Companies that are going remote and organizations that are remote-first rely on remote employment to assemble a talented and motivated team.
Remote employment has substantial advantages for both employees and organizations. According to statistics, over 80% of remote employees are less stressed, and millennials want the flexibility to work from anywhere.
Remote work is also thought to boost productivity and efficiency. As a result, remote teams can aid your recruiting efforts while also assisting in the development of a more efficient, productive, and healthier workforce.
Putting up a team in the same location might be difficult, but putting together a remote team can be even more difficult. If you want to develop a successful remote team and reap the rewards that come with it, here are seven best practices to consider.
These suggestions are based on our company’s (OffshoreITStaffing) experiences working with distributed teams, and insights from a distributed workforce specialist.
Step 1: Create a Structure for Your Remote Team.
Each business has its own strategy for implementing remote teams. Your company could, for example, be entirely remote, have specific teams that operate remotely or have specific individuals who work remotely.
Whether you’re a new business starting the hiring process for the first time or you’ve decided to allow workers to work off-site for the first time, you’ll need to decide which method to pursue.
Typically, this selection will be made based on your personal tastes or the specific demands of your company. In other cases, though, it will be beyond your control, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, the procedures below are critical to forming the most efficient remote team for your company.
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Step 2: Carefully Recruit
As you may be aware, hiring is a crucial procedure that must be done with caution. When it comes to assembling a remote team, however, the requirement for disciplined, dependable, and skilled workers may be much greater.
This is because off-site personnel must be considerably more self-sufficient because they are not directly supervised and may not have the same degree of support as they would in an office setting. When it comes to employing remote workers, there are a few characteristics you should look for in your candidates:
- Expertise in their respective fields
- Communication abilities that are exceptional
- Response time is quick
Step 3: Establish Clear Expectations and Guidelines
Setting performance goals and creating workflow norms are critical to increasing your team’s productivity and holding them accountable. You can set expectations and norms for your off-site staff in a variety of ways, including:
- They should be online during work hours or at particular times.
- When should they check the Process documentation for tasks?
- Whether or not they should be keeping track of time
- Team and individual employee objectives
- For certain projects/issues, who should be the point of contact?
- In what situations should you choose what mode of communication?
Depending on the nature of your job, there may be more ways to assist employees in understanding and meeting standards; just make sure they are clearly expressed and applied fairly.
Step 4: Maintain Your Team’s Engagement
It’s easy for remote employees to feel cut off from the rest of the company. If your entire team is located off-site, this problem can have a far greater impact on your company. Disconnected feelings can have an impact on the quality of your work, your morale, and your bottom line.
- Organize department meetings on a monthly or weekly basis.
- Check-ins with individual employees by the manager are a good idea.
- Start holding company-wide meetings on a monthly basis.
If only a portion of your team is located remotely, it’s critical that they are included and acknowledged throughout these sessions.
You can create opportunities for socializing in addition to work-related meetings, which can assist foster kinship among team members. This might be in the form of virtual happy hours, games, or anything else that encourages team camaraderie.
Step 5: Establish Trustworthy Communication Channels
Communication is essential in any professional context, but it is more important while working remotely. It is, however, one of the most difficult tasks.
Teamwork and communication are some of the most difficult aspects of working remotely. Staying connected is easier than ever in the digital era, no matter where your employees are in the world.
- Employees should use an internal direct messenger for direct communication.
- Employees should utilise email for official or client contact.
- Employees should use your project management system for project-related comments or inquiries.(Unless it’s an emergency, use direct messenger to avoid delays.)
Establishing communication processes ensures that everyone is on the same page, knows how to contact one another, and can reply quickly.
Step 6: Give Teams the Tools They Need to Succeed
The correct tools can make a huge difference in your team’s success. While some tools, such as project management software and direct messengers, may be required on a department or individual basis, others may be required on a department or individual basis.
Your graphic designers, for example, may require access to a stock picture site, a group editing platform, and an illustrator.
It’s critical to make sure that every member of the team has access to these tools (that they require), whether that means giving them company-wide credentials or creating individual accounts for them.
Step 7: Put Time Tracking in Place
Time monitoring, as previously discussed, is one method of holding employees accountable for meeting work requirements.
Time-tracking data can be useful in pricing products, identifying inefficiencies in project workflows, determining which employees are on-task and which needs more structure, and paying employees based on hours spent on a project, in addition to holding employees accountable for meeting their time requirements.
We live in a digital age, and technological advancements have changed the way we think about work and employment. Distributed teams are a good method to make sure you employ the best individuals, no matter where they are.
They provide a high level of happiness and can even improve productivity and quality of life. Consider the suggestions above to see if a distributed workforce strategy would help your company.
You want to ensure all of the expectations, processes, and resources are clearly explained to your team when onboarding new remote employees or transferring your staff over to remote for the first time.
Of course, there are additional things you can do to boost your remote team’s productivity, but these seven measures will get you started in the right direction.