Remote work has many benefits that workers and businesses enjoy
(such as reducing commute time, enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, adjusting the work atmosphere to the needs of each person, and many more).
But there's also a range of drawbacks and risks
(like issues with team coordination, motivation for teams, feeling lonely, and distractions at home).
Fortunately, resources, strategies, and key elements exist to resolve them and allow us to sustain a remote team. In the following article, we’ll give you some tips on how to build a remote team that will last.
Before thinking about how to tackle the whole remote team thing, you have to ask a very vital question:
What is your company culture?
Many successful founders agree that from the initial stages of a business, the company's culture should be created. Most of the time, you, as a business leader, are so focused on making the desired product-market fit you may forget that from the first day you must start embedding culture into your ventures.
Now that many of us have moved to working remotely, building remote team culture proposes different and new challenges. Some of these difficulties are easier to manage than others, such as setting company values, building company branding, outstanding external and internal communications. Most of these can be addressed by training sessions, papers, and assistance. However, it can be exceedingly difficult to navigate social and interpersonal relationships when people aren't physically in the same location.
Whatever you decide your company culture to be, be sure to describe your core values clearly and codify them. Keep these core values in a virtual handbook that can be accessed at any moment by new employees as well as current ones. This way, it'll be easier to return to your company's principles in moments of uncertainty. For example, individuals as they interact with clients, or for your leadership team as they determine their path forward.
One of the most significant aspects of teamwork is communication. Teams flourish and provide amazing solutions to problems and issues when communication is done correctly.
Communication should be regular, organized, and purpose-driven especially in the case of remote teams. To get it right, there should be little space for improvisation as it is easy to drift away from the guidelines in this matter and things can get chaotic. While it's not the same as in-person communication, remember to remain in touch through video calls, because when communicating with your team, putting a face to the voice is of extreme importance, otherwise the messages may not be conveyed as clearly as planned.
Leaving written records of meetings with relevant facts, decisions that were taken, steps needed, blockers found, roadmaps, etc. is a great practice for creating good communications. It'll make your lives simpler. Try using resources such as emails, project management boards, online documents, and work tools.
Bear in mind, communication can quickly become a one-way conversation through remote tools, which this is a perfect setup for failure. Whenever possible, strive to have two-way conversations with individuals, completely listen to and appreciate what others say. Show appreciation for their opinions and ideas. And offer constructive input when appropriate. This ensures that everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts without being judged or belittled.
Choosing the right tools for your remote team is crucial in order to avoid inefficiency and frustrations. Firstly, decide which tools are best-fit for your project goals or your business industry.
Many remote teams need collaboration tools to support the following kinds tasks (just to list a few):
Online work sessions
Customer management systems
So, it's a good idea to think about the essence of your job and which tools help teams achieve their objectives and accomplish their goals.
Be sure to consider your return on investment of the respective tools when selecting technology and equipment. Even in the case of a free tool, time spent on the tool is money invested. Researching all the tools and offers currently available can quickly become overwhelming. So, before making a decision about a product, think about how the tool can strengthen your existing processes or how it will help your teams to move forward.
Measuring engagement and satisfaction is an integral part of a business's understanding and essential to maintaining your culture—remote teams are no exception.
Although business leadership sets the tone for culture, the team is accountable for living and operating according to those values. If those values get muddled along the way (which can be articulated in work habits, communication styles, and/or job performance expectations), it's your job to get things back on track.
Measure engagement with resources that can anonymously gather feedback. This is important so people are encouraged to honestly express their minds. In a public environment, such as an all-hands meeting, you can also welcome input and promote honest feedback on the company's progress or how work gets done.
You'll find it valuable to gather a remote team perspective on how your company operates and how you should continue to run the business.
You have to be proactive about building community and relationships if you want to create a better, more productive remote team. That means making all the work easy to find and available. It means getting together and regularly engaging others. This implies seeking ways to share meaning and transmit information.
If you’d like to discuss how to successfully take your team remotely, get in touch with us!