How to Create an Ideal Remote Startup Team
Building a remote team culture has been a subject of discussion for some time now. Big corporations are investing a huge amount of money just to keep their employees at premises — they offer a wide array of perks such as free meals and gym access. However, what if you are a startup company trying to break through the noise? You most likely won’t be able to afford all the employee benefits and will most likely need to distribute your work remotely in order to cut the costs.
The good thing is you have the opportunity to search for the best workers in the world no matter where they are located. Also, you may not provide them with a number of perks, but you will surely give them flexibility.
Although you may need to face a number of challenges throughout all the stages of team development, this doesn’t have to be a long and tiring process.
Here, we’ve rounded up a few tips on how to build and manage a successful remote team when starting up your business.
Define your why
Before you start learning the ropes of managing a remote team, you should ask yourself:
- What is it about remote teams that attract you?
- How will working with a remote team benefit your business?
- Does working with distributed teams work in your business strategy?
According to a few founders, launching a remote company has a number of benefits:
- The chance to get the best talent regardless if they are geographically dispersed.
- It allows you to keep your costs down without changing the level of quality.
- Flexibility and autonomy motivate your employees to work their best.
At the end of the day, the real question is — will these things work for your company?
You need to weigh both benefits and the drawbacks and clearly define your goals. Once you understand the real reason why working remotely will contribute to your business, you are ready to start building the culture with your remote team.
Get the right tools
Good communication is the building block of a successful remote team. Due to the craze of the digital era we are all part of, you have the chance to use a wide array of tools that will facilitate your team’s communication. Here are a few basic tools you need to have in your toolkit:
- Slack – if you want to nurture synchronous communication where your team will have immediate access to a discussion on any burning issue, you should invest in Slack.
- Zoom – working remotely is virtually impossible without having regular online conference meetings. Adopt a video communication tool like Zoom, and make your online communication a breeze.
ActiveCollab – to be able to keep all your documents in one place, seamlessly organize your tasks and keep your team organized, get a project management software like ActiveCollab. This should keep all your team members on the same page and create fast and easy communication flow.
These tools should help you master the art of online communication.
Choose your team carefully
The hiring process is an important step in building a remote team. As a project manager, you need to focus on excellence. Besides knowledge and experience, your team members need to be able to work autonomously and manage their priorities seamlessly. Due to the large pool of potential candidates, you should consider using recruiting platforms like Angellist and StackOverflow.
Keep in mind that you cannot bet on talented people. That’s why you need to have a set of questions that will help you identify whether your potential employee is the right choice or not. Sara Sutton Fell, the founder of Flexjobs, created a list of essential questions you should ask your potential employees to find out if they will handle the job successfully. Here are some of them:
- Are you good at managing yourself?
- What is your ideal work environment?
- Are you a people pleaser?
- Are you proactive about communicating?
- Describe yourself in five words.
Require a project
The hiring process will become much more effective if you introduce a project in one of these stages. Projects can vary greatly depending on the qualification and characteristics you are looking for in your candidate. Projects should not be based on real business. They should be more like fictional scenarios where your candidates will have the chance to show their creativity. Also, once you give the candidate a project to work on, you will be able to see their reaction to your feedback and figure out if they are a culture fit.
Get a glimpse of their workflow
To be able to track your team’s productivity and efficiency, you need to have occasional insight into your employee’s workday. Transparency will help you develop a real remote workforce. The downside of working remotely is that you are unable to see if your employees are actually doing the real work or looking for workarounds. Also, you don’t get to see all the little things your remote workers do to make your business succeed.
The easiest way to gain a clear overview of your employee’s workflow is to use apps like TimeDoctor or Toggl. These are time-tracking tools that allow you to see how your remote workers spend their time on a daily or monthly basis.
Schedule regular meetings
No matter whether it is in-house or remote, a disorganized team is destined to fail sooner or later. To manage your virtual teams successfully, you need to create intertwining and shared work plans and organize regular weekly, monthly and one-to-one meetings to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Keep in mind that a remote team culture will thrive if it is based on mutual understanding. You need to respect each other’s work methods, and regularly discuss expectations for both parties.
Build culture through remote team perks
The fact that you are working with a distributed team doesn’t stop you from offering specific benefits. There is a wide array of remote team perks you can offer to encourage professional development and create a base for a healthy and fruitful working environment. Here are some of them:
- Provide flexible working hours.
- Encourage social hat as a virtual water cooler.
- Upgrade working conditions and the technology they use.
- Send messages of support and recognition.
- Provide in-service training.
There you have it. Although building a real remote team culture is a learning process, it’s not a mission impossible. By incorporating these few simple techniques, you will build a highly trained, efficient and professional team of workers who will focus their attention on one common goal — how to produce the best possible outcome.
We hope you found the promoted article as entertaining and informative as we did!