In this 5-minute read:
- Benefits of employees working remotely
- Challenges of creating a remote team
- 6 ways to create a successful remote team
Advancements in technology allow companies to work with employees all over the world, and not just within a small radius of their own location. This can even be a huge advantage to small businesses.
Creating a remote team for your business can open up more opportunities than might otherwise be possible. You just need to make sure you go about getting it started the right way.
Benefits of a remote team for your business
Let’s start by talking about some of the benefits that creating a remote team can offer your business.
A remote team can facilitate better productivity because remote workers are generally more motivated to work efficiently from home (or wherever they choose to work). They enjoy the flexibility that comes with the nature of a remote job and are driven to keep it that way.
Having a remote team can save your company money. You don’t need to invest in a large workspace and the expenses that come with it when every member of your team is working from their own location.
“Gig workers” or freelancers, should you choose to employ them, also typically don’t draw from company insurance, 401K, or other benefits, so you can save lots of money there instead of hiring full-time, on-site employees.
More access to top talent
With a remote team, you aren’t limited to the people who are looking for work in your geographic area. You can access top talent all across the country or even the globe.
Challenges of creating a remote team
As with most things, creating a remote team isn’t without its challenges.
Time zone differences
Working in different time zones from your employees can present its own set of challenges, but with good communication between your employees, yourself, and your customers, you can make it through.
Maintaining morale with a remote team can more difficult with a remote team. It’s not easy to meet up with everyone for a nice dinner or fun team-building activity.
However, you can come up with ways to help boost morale for your team members that don’t work in the same town, state, or even country.
Can’t always meet in person
When you create a remote team, you likely won’t be able to meet each new hire in-person. This can make it difficult to get a feel for who they are and what their work will be like.
If you follow these next tips, you can reap the benefits and easily overcome any challenges that may come with creating a remote team.
Find the right people for your remote team
Each business is going to have a different definition of the “right” person, and this isn’t just based on skills. Identify the characteristics that your ideal remote team member should have and look for those as you start the interviewing process.
The right remote employees will be self-motivated and excited about managing their own tasks. You shouldn’t have to monitor their progress every step of the way or check in too frequently (not that checking in on occasion is bad).
Test the skills of your potential remote hires
Don’t just hire someone based on their resume or what they say. Make sure they have the skills to back their claims. Have them submit a sample of their work or take tests relevant to the job they will be performing.
Good communication with off-site employees is a must
It isn’t just important for your remote employees to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, but you must also have the ability to communicate well with them. You need to be able to quickly and clearly explain their tasks and what you need from them.
You should also try to communicate with your employees on a personal level. Build a relationship with them. It can be difficult to read someone if all of your communication is over email.
But as you let your personal side shine through a little in your communication, your employees will grow more comfortable with you and they’ll relate to you better (and vice versa).
Set clear expectations for remote or “gig” workers
As part of your communicating well, you should set expectations for your employees. This is important for any employe, remote or not, but it is especially helpful for employees that you don’t see at the office every day.
It helps you to breathe easy when your employee acknowledges and agrees to your expectations, and it helps them to know what you are expecting of them. This will provide the best path to productivity.
Identify objectives for your remote team members
The majority of workers work for an hourly wage, and with remote employees, this can make an employer nervous. How do you know that the time you are paying for is being spent productively?
The best thing to do is to work with your employees to identify specific objectives that they will meet each week, month, or quarter.
Again, have open communication about your expectations and pay more attention to the work they do rather than the time that was spent getting it done.
One option may even be to pay on a per-project basis. Hire independent contractors for their skills and pay them as they turn in their work.
Think about what will work best for your business and you consider this option.
Create a hub for projects and interactions for your work-from-home employees
When you work with a remote team, keeping track of projects can become a little tricky, especially if you have more than a couple people and each person has their own way of staying organized and on task.
Create a central hub for all of your project and group communications to take place. Find a good project management application that suits your team’s needs and a method for group messages.
Some popular project management systems that work great for remote teams include:
Ensure a good online reputation before hiring remote workers
Before you start hiring remote team members, make sure that the way your business is represented online looks good.
You want to get the best of the best for your remote team, but if your online reputation doesn’t go over well with them, it might be hard to hire anyone.
If you have negative reviews from past employees or little trace of an online presence at all, then you may need a little help.
People are going to look up your company before agreeing to work with or for you. Help improve how people view your company with reputation management software.
Womply’s solution can help you maximize the benefit of your reviews for new hires and customers alike. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!