In this year’s State of Remote Work Report, 86% of employees are overwhelmingly recommending fully remote work or remote-first. More and more employers are aligning with their desires. In fact, 72% said that there are plans for permanent remote work moving forward.
If you’re new to building a remote team, there are certain things that you need to focus on, like the skills of your team members and working arrangements. Learn how to build a remote team effectively to ensure that you reach your business goals successfully.
What Is a Remote Team?
A remote team is a group of people that work together but are geographically dispersed. For those who are new to the world of working from home, these teams are usually built from scratch. This means you’ll have to look/hire each of the team members then introduce them to each other online.
Remote teams can also be built by gradually transitioning a physical team that works together in an office. This is something that has happened more commonly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Building and Leading High-Performing Remote Teams
A lot of people are new to building their own remote teams. At a time when they are more essential than ever, we’ve come up with eight helpful ways to have an effective remote team working together.
1. Hire People Who Can Work Independently
The people that you should look into hiring for your remote team should be able to work independently. This is a no-brainer: you’ll be communicating with them online and you won’t be able to do much live coaching. You’ll need remote workers who can function independently or with minimal supervision.
Other skills that you should look for are the ability to multitask, strong written and verbal communication skills, and confidence in learning and using digital tools. Focusing and enhancing these skills will help you and your team to work efficiently.
2. Get Everyone On The Same Remote Team Tools
Prepare all the necessary collaboration tools for remote teams. This refers to messaging apps, storage apps, and task management apps. Remote team tools boost productivity and help your team communicate more efficiently. This will avoid any miscommunication and/or errors.
Some of the most popular tools for remote teams are Slack for communication, Trello for task management, and Google Drive for document storage and collaboration.
It’s really a matter of picking which tools your team uses and sticking with them. You don’t want to waste time shuffling between tools and you don’t want your team spread out between different collaboration tools for remote teams.
For example, you don’t want some of your team messaging over WhatsApp and some of your team messaging over Slack. Pick the remote team collaboration tools your team needs, and get everyone on the same page.
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3. Pick One Time Zone And Stick With It
Your remote team members might be working in different time zones. Pick one time zone to use to sync everyone’s schedule around.
An easy way to decide work hours is to pick the time zone the majority of your customers are in. Having your team work during your customers’ time zone will make it easier to communicate with your clients and host meetings with your teams.
4. Put a Focus on Remote Team Communication
Effective remote communication is the first step in developing relationships and building trust in the team. It’s hard for a remote team to maintain a strong relationship since there’s no physical interaction. That’s why establishing good communication is a crucial step on how to build a remote team.
Plan out mandatory, scheduled video calls and meetings in advance. Make sure everyone in the meeting participates to foster good remote team communication. We recommend a Round Robin approach so that each team member gets a chance to speak. Have remote workers hop into a one-on-one discussion as well.
5. Always Set Clear Goals and Deadlines
Manage remote teams effectively with clear goals and deadlines. Always make sure that you’ve informed your team about the date and time that you need a certain output.
Let your remote workers know what is expected of them and be specific about the time zone to avoid any confusion. On top of that, make sure that all members of the team have acknowledged the set goals and deadlines.
6. Invest in Effective Remote Team Working
After building a remote team, it’s especially important that you continue to invest in your team. You need to figure out how to build a strong culture with a remote team that also aligns with your business values and goals.
Find out what each member is bottlenecked on and try to solve their problem specifically. You may not be as aware of the remote team challenges each team member is facing, since they are not going to be in an office with you. You’ll need to dig for problems yourself and solve them directly.
For example, if a team member is spending hours a day on a repetitive task, like entering data into a spreadsheet, can you purchase an app or hire someone (using a platform like Upwork or Magic) to take the task off their plate?
Ask yourself if any of your team members will benefit from one-on-one coaching or taking a class to advance their skills. Investing more resources into a lean, effective remote team is often more effective than simply hiring more full-time employees.
7. Foster Remote Team Engagement and Teamwork
Building a successful remote team means team members can work together in reaching business goals even in an online setting. Encourage teamwork instead of having the team members work on a task individually.
This is especially important because being remote is solitary by default. You need to really push people to work together and make sure it happens.
Driving people to work together also helps build good working relationships between team members. Once you’ve started the connection, it should continue to happen organically without your pressure. This will also strengthen the remote team culture of your business.
8. Enforce A Good Work-Life Balance
Set clear boundaries for healthy and effective remote team working. For example, if your team takes weekends off, don’t send a request Saturday evening and expect it done Sunday. If someone needs to take a break, let them if possible, and don’t shame them or ask them to keep Slack open.
Aside from knowing how to build a remote team, you should also consider how you can retain them. It’s easy to be “always on” if you’re working with remote teams. However, this may cause burned-out and unhappy employees.
Ensure that you’re not overworking your remote team by offloading tasks to a freelancer. You can outsource work to a Magic Virtual Assistant to support your team across administrative, sales, customer support, and bookkeeping tasks.
So, ready to build your own remote team? Magic can help you find the best people for the job. We’ll handle the hiring process in building a remote team best suited for your business so you don’t have to. Tell us what you need and get started right away!
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