Many businesses have begun to utilize remote teams when they are hiring employees because it makes sense in more ways than one. Not only does having a remote team save on costs — including everything from rent and utilities in an office space to insurance — it can also give everyone a bit more freedom, thus ensuring your employees are happy and more willing to stay with your company. Gathering your team and learning how to manage them from afar can be tricky, however, so it’s important to make communication and organization a priority, especially if they will be collaborating on projects.
Making sure your team is on the same page can be difficult when you have no face-to-face interaction or when your needs aren’t clearly defined. Letting your employees know from the beginning what your expectations are and remaining consistent are crucial steps to keeping your remote team focused, so your business can run smoothly.
Here are a few tips on how to effectively navigate operations with a remote team and keep communication open.
Find the right team
Finding the right team of remote workers is vital to your business. The individuals you hire need to have solid communication and time management skills, and experience working remotely is definitely a positive attribute. It’s crucial to underscore expectations from the get-go with new remote employees. Explain what your goals are and ask how they can contribute to the bottom line. Talk about how they can be most effective in their role and how you’ll help them get there. Lay out the rules and the details of the job description, and give it to every employee in a document so they’ll always have access to it. Make these guidelines the same for everyone so there’s no confusion.
Make regular calls and meetings easier
Since your employees can’t be together in an office setting every day, make sure everyone is on the same page by holding regular meetings and conference calls. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to have this kind of open communication; schedule a weekly or bi-weekly meeting so the entire team knows what to expect. If you ask them to come prepared with pertinent information or questions, this makes it more likely your meeting will be productive. After the team call, boost collaboration by providing notes your staff can refer to for projects and assignments. Rather than ask a team member to transcribe the meeting, farm this out to an automated service so you can have meeting notes within minutes that are easily shareable with your team. Some services offer this for as low as 10 cents per minute, which is a great investment to ensure communication stays on-point.
Use video chat
It can be extremely helpful for remote employees to be able to see the people they work with, so consider using a video chat service for some of your meetings, or schedule a one-on-one chat each month just to check in and see if anyone has questions or needs that aren’t being met. Not only will this help them feel like they’re truly part of a team — which will boost morale — it will also help them stay motivated.
Keep tech consistent
The tech and online resources you utilize for your business should be consistent across the board for your employees. Communication won’t be possible if you don’t have the right tools, so look for ways to keep everyone working together smoothly. Google’s G Suite has a huge selection of tools for businesses to share amongst their employees, including calendars, documents, and spreadsheets. Getting everyone on the same page with their tech will eliminate many miscommunications and mistakes.
Putting together the right team of remote employees for your business takes time and commitment. Seek out online resources to help you find employees that match your needs. Keeping communication open with your remote team is an essential part of making your business function well, and it can also help prevent turnover and keep motivation boosted. The more engaged you are with your team, the more they’ll strive to make sure the job is done right.