The way the world works is changing. While many of us still work in an office setting as an employee, that is becoming more and more uncommon. Many people are working as freelancers and the remote workforce is growing. In fact, the USA alone has millions of people who work remotely at least some of the time.
There are several different benefits of working with a remote workforce, but also several challenges as well. One of the biggest challenges simply comes down to the creation of a good and high-quality remote team. Building one isn’t easy and there are several issues that can come about.
With that in mind, this blog post is going to look at a couple different tips and ways to ensure the remote team that you build is a good one.
Use the Right Technology and Tools
Because a remote workforce isn’t working in an office with everyone else, their primary way of working or communicating will be through technology. As a result, you need to be sure to have the right technology and tools for the job. You should be using tools that allow for easy communication and collaboration between everyone.
Also, there are tools out there that can help you in the hiring and interviewing of remote workers, such as applicant tracking systems. Be sure to check out this link to learn about how applicant tracking systems work, and some of the benefits or reasons to use it.
There are also several useful apps for digital nomads that should be considered and used as well. Anything to make the life and work of your remote workers easier is a big plus. Oftentimes, building a remote team begins with the tools you use, so make sure you put some thought into that.
Use Metrics to Judge Success
If people are in an office setting, it is easy to see who is working and who isn’t. You should be able to clearly see who is getting things done and who is slacking off. Unfortunately, this becomes a lot more difficult when it comes to a remote workforce. You can’t just pop in and check how things are going, at least not physically.
As a result, it is a good idea to use metrics to judge their success. Don’t worry so much about when they work, how hard they work or how long they work, but instead on objectives and outcomes. No matter how long it takes them or when they finish the work, you should primarily look at whether the work measures up to your standards and if it was completed on time.
Create and Foster Meaningful Relationships
When you work in an office with someone and see/talk to them every day, a relationship will begin to develop on their own. But when you work with remote workers, that doesn’t have the opportunity to happen if you rarely see them in person. As a result, you need to make an extra effort to create and foster meaningful relationships with your remote workforce.
Humans are social, so you need to do all you can to help your remote workers feel connected to you and the company, and feel as if they are a part of the team. This can be through regular Skype calls, phone calls or even just checking in via message every now and then. Be sure to keep them in the know about things, as well.
The more connected you are able to make the employee feel, the better. A person who feels like part of the team will work harder, be more productive and often remain more loyal to the company they work for.
Ensure You Hire the Right People
While everyone would like to work at home from time to time, not everyone is right for remote work. When working remotely, there are a lot of potential distractions and things that can take you away from work. This could be your TV, your bed, your pets or any number of other things. And with no co-workers or bosses there in your home to keep you honest, some people will see their productivity dip.
Remote workers need to be self-motivated and need to be able to block out all of the distractions. You need to find people who are self-starters and can work independently without a ton of direction. While everyone will say they can handle it, it could be a good idea to test it in some way. Let people’s actions speak louder than their words.
Make Things as Fair as Possible
While you might have some people working physically in an office and others working remotely, it is a good idea to try and make things as fair as possible for everyone. No one should be getting benefits or preferential treatments that others aren’t getting. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy to do.
For example, if you have some people on your remote team from Canada and then some others from South Korea, setting meeting times and deadlines can be difficult. If a time works for one person, by default, it likely won’t for the other. A good practice here is to switch the meeting times from time to time.
One month the meeting might be easy for Canadians but require a bit of extra work for the individual in South Korea, and vice versa the next. Or you could opt to have the meeting at a time where it is early morning for one person and then late evening for the next. The exact strategy that you implement is completely up to you.
Or, of course, you could make a choice to only hire remote workers within a certain time zone, but that could end with you missing out on a lot of great potential workers.
In conclusion, the tips and information in this article should help you build a high-quality remote team. It isn’t always easy, but having a remote team has a lot of benefits if you are able to build and manage them correctly.