For anyone who’s threading lightly across digital waters, you know that working remotely has become (or is in the process of becoming) commonplace around the world. Although not everyone has jumped on board (fingers crossed they do, soon!), more and more businesses are introducing flexibility into their office culture. Why is remote work getting so popular? The increased flexibility of modern tech-powered environments is actively creating new opportunities for employers and employees alike. This is adding to creating cosmopolitan and diverse work environments built to stimulate individual and group progress.
How Does Remote Grind Differ from Office-Based Work?
Remote office model (i.e. working from home) may have accomplished what no other office set-up has, ever. It’s given the employees an opportunity to focus on substance over matter, without risking getting distracted by unflattering external structures such as ugly office decorations, uncomfortable office furniture, annoying colleagues, unfavorable work hours and/or office location, etc.
With the recent priority shift that has, seemingly, ecoed globally – the employee is now center-stage and their happiness at work a priority. With that in mind, the business arena is doing everything to make it as comfortable as possible for the employee to do their work. It feels like never before have people been so free to choose work environments that stimulate them while remaining focused on projects. At this point, it is safe to say that successful remote teams are making a significant impact on structures, management, and organizations of any tech team.
However, building a remote tech team that runs smoothly isn’t all that easy. Recruitment agencies are faced with a tough task of finding the right people, both experienced and junior remote workers who are up for the task. And while it would be great if things were as simple as Looking for a job? Great! Check-your-connection-and-start-working, building, and sustaining a functional remote team requires a thought-out approach, beneficial for everyone. Any tips? Sure, read on.
✅ Make Remote Part of Your Brand
Investing in remote team culture is so much more than just saying you support remote work. These days, most employers boast about embracing remote work when they, in actuality, heavily frown upon it. On that note, the people you work with need to know you won’t hold grudges against them if they don’t show up at the office for days (but still deliver results). How do you make them trust you?
- Lead by example! If you are an authority for a team, make sure you, yourself don’t come to the office often, so everyone else gets comfortable enough doing the same
- Be vocal about the benefits of remote work. Only after your employees hear you loud and clear that the company is fully supportive of remote work will they start practicing it
- Include “remote work” into your branding. When putting up job ads or advertising your company, make it clear that remote work is a part of your brand’s DNA, something you are passionate about
✅ Share ‘the Vision’ with Everybody
Finding competent remote employees is no piece of cake (hey, slow hiring, we’re looking at you!). However, once you do find them, you want to make sure they stick around for a while. So, how do you get them to buy into your company culture and startup’s vision without working side-by-side with you in the office?
The key? Team meetings. ? Yes, holding meetings with team members across different time zones is challenging, but also essential. To effectively communicate your brand vision and goals, you need to get to know your staff, and they need to get to know you and everyone else. Agree on a time that works for everyone, even if it meant staying later or getting up a bit earlier to be online with your remote colleagues. Once everyone becomes comfortable with each other, it’ll be easier to organize meetings from then on.
✅ Create a Clear-Cut Culture for Your Company
Remote workers tend to feel isolated from their coworkers who work from the office even when they’re, to a certain degree, involved in digital business discussions. This may lead to your remote employees feeling undervalued or like their contributions don’t actually matter.
To avoid such atmosphere, make sure that – whatever the company is going through (whether it be a big or a small change, adjustment, regulation, etc.) – your remote employees are informed. Whether you are holding face-to-face video chats (group and/or individual) or you are sending emails, transparency, and inclusion of remote workers are crucial.
✅ Great Tools for Communication
Depending on the type of a team you’ve got on your hands, you must pick the right tools for communication. They need to be carefully tested for accuracy and positive user experience before being introduced as main communication tools. Choose tools that enable both synchronous and asynchronous communication. Slack, Asana, Trello, and similar are all great starting points.
✅ Give Things a Casual Spin
Long gone are days when fear and dedication were used as synonyms in business setups. Current business culture is trying to be everything but frightening; if anything, employers and employees are almost enjoying the same status, with lines between titles actively getting blurred.
One of the best ways to strengthen your remote tech team, build a healthy work atmosphere and not lose talent in the first year is through more casual online meetings and chats. Be open to your remote team’s concerns, gain insight regarding their challenges and successes, get to know them on a personal level, sustain relationships outside of work hours through social engagements (whether online or offline). Also, encourage mutual communication between your remote teams themselves. Consistent communication will help everyone feel valued.
✅ Transparent and Self-Organized
A common concern when managing a remote team is accountability. Unless someone joined your company through recommendation, you can’t guarantee they won’t cut corners. This is where time-tracking tools jump in to help you make sure:
- employees are providing an honest day’s work
- projects are completed on time
- you aren’t being scammed
However, while this method is good for the employer themselves, it can cause discomfort for the employee. It is not unusual for the remote employee to feel distrusted and unappreciated when being closely monitored. To make sure that doesn’t happen, and you still stay on the winning end of things, you can always have a 3-6 months trial period monitored after which your remote team can be trusted to work independently. The motto to adopt: as long as the projects are delivered on time, you shouldn’t care when they are being worked on. Trust, after all, is essential.
Every company with a “remote work” philosophy attached to their name must be flexible in the way they do business. If you want to build a remote tech team you can be proud of, let your talent pool feel included and valued, and you’ll be good to go! ?