How to Develop and Manage a Successful Remote Team in the Digital Age
As technology carries businesses into the future, remote work is becoming increasingly common. And while there are endless benefits to telecommuting — for both workers and companies — there are unique challenges as well. From developing a remote team to ensuring its success, here’s how to navigate collaboration in the remote work era.
Facilitate (and Prioritize) Communication
Communication is crucial for business success regardless of what industry you’re in. But when you’re collaborating online, there’s no break room to congregate in or cubicle to stop by. That said, there are tools you can use to create a sense of community among your team.
Platforms likeSlack, for example, where you can create specific channels and discussions, allow you to arrange your team in the most productive way. However, they also allow for a more casual chat that can support your business goals.
Slack can also offer a means of disseminating important company information. For example, you can create a main company feed with announcements and updates, then add all your workers to the stream. Everyone will receive real-time updates — and be able to ask for clarification — without sending multiple emails requesting information.
Center Your Screening on Soft Skills
Communication isn’t the only vital tool for your remote tasks. Other soft skills are equally as important. After all, not everyone on your team will be an expert at using digital tools or coding your company website. Therefore, your workers’ attitudes and willingness to think outside the box can go further than the skill sets outlined on their resumes.
Soft skills include elements like communication and teamwork, plus things like problem-solving, conflict resolution, positive leadership, and adaptability. All of these are far more valuable to your team than narrow expertise in one subject area.
However, as Entrepreneur notes, technical abilities and experience with remote work are also desirablecharacteristics for your remote workers to have.
Recruit Freelancers to Round Out Your Team
While hiring full-time employees to work remotely might be feasible for some businesses, it’s not ideal for all. Fortunately, using freelancers to build your team is doable, no matter your budget or project scope. You can consult job boards to fill positions, potentially hand-picking workers who become long-term contributors to your business goals. Freelancers can even provide assistance with payroll services, which will be one less thing to worry about.
Make Expectations and Assignments Clear
As Inc. explains, the lack of ability to train a freelancer is one of the potential pitfalls to the whole experience. As a business owner, however, you should already be building systems that arescalable and shareable with anyone who’s collaborating with your brand. Once that’s in place, hiring remote, contract collaborators becomes much simpler. After all, part of collaborating as part of a remote team is keeping everyone on the same page. Digital platforms go a long way toward keeping your critical players connected. Still, outlining the expectations for each role and project can ensure your endeavors come to fruition correctly and on time.
This information sharing should begin during onboarding — a process you’ll want in place whether you’re hiringremote workers or in-office ones. Monitoring projects via routine check-ins can also help keep remote team members’ work from going off the rails. It’s also important to familiarize team members with cyber security and how to avoid attacks. Workers should update their devices with the latest antivirus software and learn how to protect themselves from phishing attacks.
Finding the best candidates to add to your team can be challenging. But recognizing the components of a successful online team can help you streamline your hiring process and get those workers in place ASAP. Understanding how remote teams collaborate can help you effectively manage them — and achieve success in your business.