Although companies face their fair share of challenges when working with remote teams, there are best practices and strategies that allow a company to overcome or avoid these problems in the best possible way.
This article deals with the strategies all successful remote teams share in order to ensure a smooth workflow and great work results.
1. Choose all employees carefully
When recruiting a new remote employee, besides focussing on the knowledge and experience required for the role, look for particular attitudes that promote assertive communication, teamwork, and self-management.
- Result-oriented perspectives: Those who have interests or attitudes that result in knowing how to use their time well and optimise results.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills: When we work at a distance, much of our communication with the rest of the team is done through writing, so it’s recommended to seek professionals that communicate clear ideas by these means.
- Familiarity with self-management: People who are disciplined and have previous experience with remote or independent work.
- Good work style: Implement a period of tests in critical activities for the job to get a feeling for their real work style.
- Ability to socialise with ease: Contrary to what many people think, that the best remote workers are those who have an introverted personality or the lonely type, the best professionals for remote work are those capable of creating bonds and socialising significantly, even online.
2. Share your purpose
The first step for people to identify with a project or a company is to understand what the ultimate goal of their work is.
This helps engender a sense of belonging that eventually develops into loyalty and commitment. As such, review the way you are sharing your general goals with each one of your employees.
For example, Workana’s mission is very clear: “Transform the world of work by offering autonomy, development, and equality for freelancers, independent of where they are.”
3. Presentation of the entire organisational culture
Once the employee is motivated and willing to share your purposes, it’s time to start the onboarding process, to make clear what the explicit and implicit values of the company are.
For example, one of the first things Workana establishes with all new employees are the following five values:
- Exercise humility ie don’t seek the best for yourself, but for everyone.
- Enjoy working with autonomy.
- Love what you do, believe in what Workana is building.
- Have flexibility and creativity in any situation.
- Be direct and effective in communications.
4. Welcoming process
This refers to the training process that focuses on the company’s methodologies, protocols, work tools and, in general, everything related to the development of the employee’s activities.
It should be made up of the following:
- Formal welcome to the team.
- Access to all operating and communication channels, along with protocols and instructions.
- Virtual Onboarding, complete with videos, inspirational content, market information, platform information, etc.
- One-to-one meetings (virtual and physical) with the heads of each area to learn how the company is organised.
- Weekly and monthly meetings where the company’s status is shared.
- Access to all materials and supplies necessary to develop the work.
5. Joint and individual goals that promote professional development
The remote worker should be clear on what the team’s expectations of them are, not so much in quantitative terms, such as the number of hours worked or number of solved issues, but in terms of qualitative results, both individually and as a group.
For example, “answer customer’s questions from 9 am to 2 pm” as opposed to “offer personalised, humane and efficient attention that makes each and every customer 100% satisfied with the service of the brand”.
One of the biggest and most frequent concerns of remote workers is that they can lose visibility and opportunities to achieve growth and promotions, so the productivity indicators or KPIs used to evaluate the work of each employee and the general growth of the area should also be intangible, transparent and meet professional development.
6. Using collaborative work tools
Emails, traditional messaging services, and the phone are not always the most appropriate communication channels for a virtual team.
Try other software options and specific tools designed to optimise collaborative and remote work such as:
The features and investment in each will vary according to the needs of your project, employees, and customers. Find the one you can take full advantage of. If something doesn’t work very well, seek other alternatives – it’s essential to keep evolving and keep improving.
Other tools that can be useful for managing the work of a remote team are the ones for distraction control and that showcase progress such as Time Doctor, Rescue Time or Workana Time Report.
Finally, be sure to have a good programme for video conferencing that allows you to make virtual meetings with multiple features such as screen sharing, giving presentations, etc.
7. Bonding and team-building strategies
Besides technology, transparency, and the commitment of all involved, a collective casual communication dynamic that makes each member feel comfortable, connected and valued by their colleagues is just as important to a project’s success.
This is precisely the aim of team-building strategies for remote teams.
One of the most popular is appointing a digital space as if it were an internal social network. Many collaborative work tools also have chats or community spaces for the entire team to share information that isn’t necessarily work-related.
Workana encourages remote and on-site employees to take part in games and virtual dynamics, research, questions, etc.
The company also permanently organises spontaneous one-on-one video calls randomly distributed, meetings with the closest teams and the whole company as long as it can help strengthen ties of fellowship.
Consider implementing entertaining and consistent challenges occasionally, and make sure it’s aligned with the company’s values, such as productivity and creativity challenges or recycling. Also give everyone the opportunity to share their hobbies, talents, and interests.
Click here to find out more about Workana to start hiring or enlisting as a freelancer.