How To Build an Effective Remote Team from Scratch
Advances in technology are redefining the traditional workplace. Employees can now work remotely — pushing companies to start digitising their assets and create an environment of remote workers.
It’s predicted that remote work will influence almost every sector of the workforce in the future. So if you’re already running a business, consider allowing flexible work options. It's time you saved on overhead costs and set up your remote team.
Grow and build your remote team
Remote workers are the same as traditional employees, except they have the freedom to get work done wherever they like. Remote teams benefit both you and your staff — including improved productivity, fewer maintenance costs, and access to a global job pool.
On the downside, security and remote work don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Trusting someone you haven’t personally interacted with poses a risk to your business. This is why you need to be extra cautious with the people you hire.
Start rounding up a secure and well-organised remote team by following these tips.
Craft a highly-effective job post
Ever ran into difficulty while finding qualified candidates? Stop attracting the wrong applicants — or turning the right ones away — by creating an effective job post.
1. The right job title
Sure, hiring a “rockstar” developer sounds like it could fit into remote work’s more laid-back culture...but you’re probably putting off potential candidates.
Job seekers search for specific roles — not terms like “guru” or “rockstar”. While it helps to stand out every once in a while, there’s no need to go overboard when creating a job title.
Instead of an “Interactive Web Director”, dare to be boring (you read that right) and write what you really mean: “Senior Web Designer”. This not only works for job seekers, but it’ll rank better on search engines as well.
2. A short, engaging overview of the role
“Best of the best” belongs in the same bin as “rockstars” and other unnecessary superlatives. Write jargon-free overviews like the one below:
“We are looking for a Social Media Virtual Assistant to manage all our social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram”.
It’s also worth mentioning how the role plays in the company’s mission and culture. This attracts passionate candidates who will strive to do well in your team.
3. Create a sense of urgency
A sense of urgency has always been important in sales and marketing, but it matters in recruitment too. Actively engage candidates by creating a preferred start date on your job ad. Setting a deadline pushes applicants to hit that “apply” button right away.
Conduct interviews through video chat
Aside from formality, video interviews allow you to assess an applicant’s gestures and body language. Talking face to face also establishes a sense of trust and familiarity between you and the and employee, both of which are needed for the team to function effectively.
Do a thorough background check
Top University graduate? Check. Prominent work experience? Double check. Now, wait up. Does he have valid documents to back that up?
Simply taking an applicant’s word puts your business in possible jeopardy. Unfortunately, it’s become easy to produce fake data these days. Make it a point to double check any documents and certificates submitted. Asking for additional IDs can also help you feel at ease, especially when you’re hiring an employee that deals with sensitive data.
You may also take time to check your applicant’s social media accounts. This gives you a glimpse of their personality, and assess if they fit well with your company culture.
Establish an effective digital workplace
Communication is the key to achieving an efficient business process. Since your team are nowhere near each other, the only option is to establish an effective digital workplace.
There are powerful applications that’ll boost your team’s efficiency. They also help you evaluate progress and establish an open line of communication with one another. Some of the top online collaboration tools include:
Imagine if your remote team of helpdesks had no set guidelines for handling a customer complaint...what a mess, right?
Process standardisation improves productivity and the quality of work. You also get to boost employee morale whenever they take pride in having mastered the work process.
The challenge for remote teams is establishing a standard work process with the geographical restrictions and lack of supervision at hand. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Let efficiency thrive within a remote work environment with the following steps:
Step # 1: Create a process template. Operations manual, reference guide, policy documents — prepare whatever you need to standardize workplace tasks. This gives you and the team a point of reference whenever you need it.
Step # 2: Automate the workflow. Workflow automation software like Zapier, Asana, and Microsoft Project are equipped with features that let you stay on top of a project’s progress.
Step # 3: Revise and refine. Changing your workflow process from time to time is normal. And more often than not, it means that your business is open to more effective ways of completing tasks. Remember to get insights from your team — get them involved in reviewing the current workflow, help in identifying problem areas, and be open for suggestions.
Schedule meetings ahead of time
As the one overseeing the team, you’re responsible for organising meetings. See to it that you always schedule your meetings days at least a week before (emergencies are exempted, of course).
Remember that your members are likely to come from different time zones, which means they’ll have to adjust to the time you set.
Organise team building activities
Yes, even remote teams need to foster their work relationship. Team building activities give you the opportunity to get to know one another and promote a sense of unity within the workforce. It then becomes easier for you to collaborate and create better outputs.
If your team lives within the area, you can arrange a coffee meetup, play together at the local arcade, or attend a conference related to your field or industry. If you live far apart, you can opt for virtual team building activities like online trivia quizzes, a virtual tour of your personal offices, or a group chat where you send pictures of your pets or travels.
It doesn’t matter how your team does it — be creative and innovative! The important thing is to establish that connection with everyone on the team.
Progress at Its Best
Hiring a team of remote workers presents a long list of benefits, like not having to rent office space and working with everyone in the comforts of your home. Although the process needs more effort compared to a traditional office team, in time, you’ll see why this is the better choice for your business.