The use of remote teams has been benefiting all kinds of companies for years now. Not only does it help to reduce overhead costs, but it gives your business access to a larger pool of talent since you can hire people from all over the world. And these days, remote work is proving to be a saving grace for many businesses.
However, in order for it to benefit your team as a whole and your bottom line, it’s important to put together and manage your remote team in a way that fosters communication, productivity, and camaraderie. Here are some ideas for how you can make that happen:
Go for freelancers
There are several benefits to hiring freelancers over employees. For one, you will have access to flexible, qualified professionals who can often fulfill a task or project when there is a sudden demand. Also, you don’t have to provide benefits like health insurance, retirement benefits, Social Security, and so on. And there is less risk involved when hiring freelancers; if you’re unhappy with a freelancer’s work or performance, it’s much easier to end the working relationship than it is with an employee.
The best way to find qualified freelancers is to check online job boards like Upwork. There, you can easily get connected to remote workers from around the globe who have special expertise for the tasks and projects you need to be done, and many of them specialize in niches. So, whether you’re looking for a graphic designer, web developer, engineer, or accountant, a good job board is the place to go.
Create small teams
Depending on how many workers you have, it may benefit you to develop small workgroups within your team as a whole. This will help you to better monitor the needs of each worker and supervise each project. Plus, fewer details slip through the cracks when there are only a few team members working on something rather than 30, and effective communication is much easier to achieve.
Equip your team for communication
Of course, if your team is going to be effective, members must be able to communicate on a daily basis. This requires you to invest in the right tools. For example, communication platforms like Slack allow you to create team-wide and project-specific channels so that team members can collaborate efficiently. And you can even create a company-wide newsfeed of essential information, which members can check throughout the day.
Build working relationships
One challenge that comes with managing a remote team is the lack of in-person interaction that you have in a traditional workplace. It’s critical that you find ways to fill this missing piece and foster company culture. If possible, hold weekly virtual meetings and/or check-in calls with your managers, and monthly meetings with each team (or company-wide meetings if your business is small enough).
Also, include various activities for your workers to engage in with one another, whether it’s a sports bracket, virtual trivia competition, or any other type of activity that helps to foster friendship and cultural engagement.
Show confidence in your workers
Finally, your workers must know that you trust them. While it’s important to supervise each manager and/or worker who is under your leadership, you also need to show that you have confidence in your team. Trust that your workers will meet deadlines, communicate well with other team members, work consistent hours, and fulfill any other expectations. Show them that you trust them by not hovering. This will ultimately lead to better engagement and productivity in your company.
Building a team of remote workers can do wonders for growing your business and leading to its overall success. Consider hiring freelancers, and be sure to break your team into smaller workgroups. Make sure each team member has access to the necessary communication tools and take steps to foster working relationships among members. Lastly, remember to show your team that you trust them.
LBMS is a huge advocate of remote teams. We have been working this way since 2007 and have gone through all the hiccups. We have even dedicated two (2) podcast episodes giving you helpful tips on how to set up your remote workforce properly. If you would like to listen to these episodes, click on the links below: