Whether you want to cut costs or include top talents from any part of the world, a remote team can deliver the desired results more efficiently. As each member is allowed to work in their comfort zone, remote team strategies work well for employees. A Digital Ocean survey in 2019, for instance, found that 82% of remote workers experience low-stress levels when working from home.
In these extraordinary times, building remote teams is not just an option. Your strategy will differ depending on whether your workplace is a collaborative one or an individualistic one.
So, how do you go about it?
Decide what’s the Right Structure Of The Remote Team
Now, you may or may not be open to remote working from before. You may have several questions.
- Will it offer more productivity?
- Will we be able to meet the quality requirements?
- What about the team dynamics?
- Are team members comfortable with the workload?
Several studies suggest how team structure can indeed drive in team performance. These strategies can differ from appointing team leaders to having clearly defined roles and routines, depending on the needs.
If you’ve an individualistic team structure, only a few may need office spaces. However, when it comes to a remote team work culture, all employees take the help of digital tools and work 100% virtually.
For instance, startups are generally advised to operate through distributed work culture as the whole system is still in the take-off stage. Working entirely in a virtual space can invite unanticipated problems and cause unnecessary hassles.
Recruit Members Based On The Required Profile
Not everyone is suited to every goal. You need to know your requirements.
As a startup, you need to hire based on the profile you require the most. Determine the set of skills your company can utilize.
You don’t want:
- To spend time on too many meetings
- Have problems managing with different and varied skill sets that do not match project requirements
- To train employees even the basic skill sets
When hiring, keep in mind:
- Projects that require expertise may not be ideal for freshers – who need remote guidance
- The time zone you want employees to work in – should you want people to work across different time zones, collaboration could be an issue
- Keeping every team member in the loop, including new hires and interviews
- The amount of training involved
Don’t hire people who don’t know about their roles. Remote working can help people perform better in a stress free environment, but only if they know what they are doing.
There is another important note to keep in mind – you need to hire a mentor who is available. New hires need to understand the company culture, and you need someone who is available.
Finally, know if you are hiring the individual for a short or a long term. Remember to always screen candidates before hiring them, even if you do it remotely.
Look to Build Your Brand and Startup Culture
Working remotely means that employees may feel disconnected to each other.
- How do employees communicate with each other?
- Are you organizing any morale boosting activity?
- How do you have a well-knit group?
- Are employees comfortable using the channel of communication?
To collaborate better, all team members need to be able to communicate over a single platform. It doesn’t matter whether you are using Microsoft Teams or Slack – all employees need to stick to it.
Remote members are prone to feeling disconnected from the workspace, and it can impact your business disastrously. Here is what you can do:
– Hold periodic virtual meetings
In these online gatherings, address critical issues, boost up the worker’s morale and induce a sense of alliance in everyone.
– Celebrate the small accomplishments
Did someone complete a successful project? Did a client like the work of an employee? Celebrate the small accomplishments and appreciate the workers on their achievements. It incites positive energy among the team and smoothens the workflow.
– Invest better and be open to feedback
Do not forget to collect feedback from the employees and acknowledge the areas that could get better.
Do your team members have access to the tools they need? Are they spending time on things that they don’t need to? Employees, on an average, for instance, receive as many as 121 emails a day. You may want to save up on that time. You could have someone else monitoring emails to reply to them.
Ensure that each member has access to necessary tools to prevent delays in work. It’s normal for startups to experience equipment and tech issues. Being open to feedback and investing on the right facilities – like a stable internet connection – is important.
That being said, do not have meetings without an agenda. You want your team members to be result-driven, and the statistics agree. On average, employees waste an hour a day on meetings – time that could be better spent.
Finally, Look to Create Successful projects!
Startups need to grow – and a good way to do that is to focus on each project at hand to ensure you create a seamless experience for all.
One of the easiest ways to make team members be more productive is to set deadlines.
Specify the time you need the workers to be online. Convey the goals, deadlines, documentation needs, check-in times, and modes of communications to the remote workers to dodge undesirable consequences.
Apprise the employees about the expectations they will be required to meet and ensure accountability.
Here are a few tips to do that:
- Follow up on each remote worker’s performance
- Assign mentors for a specific group of distant employees to track their work efficiency and imbibe work values
- Installing time tracking helps at times, but only do that if all employees are on board with it.
The job market is changing, and so are the ways we do business. Work days, for one, start with a Zoom and Skype meeting today. Your business needs to adapt, and with proper management and reliable communication channels, you’ll have it a lot easier.
When it comes to startups and remote teams, it’s all about building it right. While the world is going remote, the lack of communication between team members can lead to negative outcomes.
You need employees to give their best, and that’s not possible if they don’t enjoy where they work. Working remotely has several challenges, but you could turn them to your advantage if you play it right.
- By Soubhik Chakrabarti