Tech

Work in Your PJs! How to Create an Awesome Remote Team

Are you looking to train a team of remote workers?

Build a happy and productive workforce can be difficult in ordinary circumstances, but it can be especially difficult when your team is working all over the world.

Luckily, there are some tactics you can implement that will help you create an awesome remote team.

Check out this guide to discover everything you need to do to create an awesome remote team.

Understand the Benefits and Drawbacks

In order to build an awesome remote team, you first need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of having one. By understanding these benefits and drawbacks, you’ll be better able to prepare for the road ahead.

Here are the top benefits of having a remote team:

  • Save money on paying for office equipment, supplies, and utilities
  • Makes employees happier by giving them more freedom, shorter commutes, and the convenience of working from home
  • Helps to minimize stress and make your workforce more productive

Additionally, here are some of the drawbacks of hiring a remote team:

  • Cross-channel communication can sometimes be more difficult
  • Working from home can lead to loneliness and isolation
  • Holding your employees accountable can sometimes be more difficult

Luckily, with the right remote work team, tackling the drawbacks of remote work will be a lot easier. Let’s take a look now at everything you need to do.

Create a Seamless Onboarding Process

In order for your remote team to be the best it can be, you need to create a seamless onboarding process.

When an employee doesn’t understand something when onboarding in an in-person environment, they simply need to go to someone’s desk and ask for clarification. However, things aren’t this easy in a remote environment.

In remote environments, new employees often don’t know who to ask or what to ask about the different processes. If you want consistency across the board, you have two options: you can either train each of your employees individually, or you can create dedicated processes that are easy to follow.

Obviously, the latter option is going to save you a lot of time. Creating a standardized process will be time-consuming at first, but in the long run, it really pays off.

When your processes are standardized, workers perform quicker, success becomes natural, and the need for your input will constantly decrease. Plus, when employees are confused about something, they can simply refer to an onboarding manual to answer their questions.

This is much better than waiting for an email reply or tracking down the right employee to ask. To create a seamless onboarding process, you’ll want to document each step you perform from start to completion.

Also, ask your current employees for input- What things were unclear to them when they started working? What questions did they ask veteran employees to help clear up the confusion? Their answers can provide a lot of insight, so be sure to incorporate them.

3. Invest in the Right Software Solutions

Investing in the right software solutions will also help you build an awesome remote workforce.

The different types of software solutions you need will depend on your industry, scope of work, and the number of remote workers you have. Here are some of the most popular software solutions to consider:

Slack

Slack is a collaboration and communication tool that allows employees to engage with one another in a chatroom-style context. Think AIM for the workforce.

You can create different channels for different projects, and in addition to word-messaging, you can also share media and even send GIFs to one another.

Asana

Asana is essentially a ticketing system that helps you stay focused on daily tasks and projects. It’s great for collective team knowledge, sectioning off projects, tracking progress, and encouraging transparency.

When you have everything on tickets, it makes it easy for you to see if your team has tried to complete a task in the past. If it failed, you can see why and what you need to do to correct it.

HiveDesk

When it comes to time and project tracking, HiveDesk is the software solution you need by your side.

HiveDesk allows you to create as many projects as you want and invite team members to work on them. There’s also a time-tracking solution that can be triggered once an employee checks in. This allows you to analyze where time is being wasted so you can easily reallocate.

G Suite By Google

Another great software solution to check out for your team is G Suite by Google.

G Suite makes it easy for you and your team to collaborate on documents. Several team members can work on a single document simultaneously without having to constantly save and share the most updated file. If you need an advanced collaboration tool, this is it.

4. Equip Employees With the Right Hardware

In addition to equipping your team with the right software solutions, you also need to make sure you equip them with the right hardware solutions.

Just like software, what you need in terms of hardware will vary from company to company. But, here are a few suggestions:

  • Desk and phone
  • Laptop, mouse, and keyboard
  • Speakerphone
  • Secondary monitor
  • Ergonomic chair
  • Printer, scanner, and paper shredder

If you’re hiring full-time remote workers, you’ll need to provide these things for them, so keep that in mind when budgeting. You should also encourage your employees to make their home workspace their own. Here are some things you can suggest to your employees that will help them create a happy and productive home office:

  • Place your desk facing a window
  • Make your home office space separate from your living space
  • Personalize your space with photos, art, and other memorabilia
  • Eliminate distractions from your workspace
  • Add a touch of nature to your workspace with plants and flowers

The right home office space can make all the difference when it comes to building a happy remote work team, so really take your time helping your employees set up a good space for themselves.

5. Encourage Personal Connections

As we mentioned earlier, one of the downsides to remote work is that it can lead to loneliness and isolation. Loneliness is bad enough in and of itself.

But, it’s also important to note that loneliness and isolation can lead to lower productivity levels, disgruntled employees, and higher stress levels. In other words, loneliness can affect your bottom line.

Luckily, you can help employees combat the work-from-home blues by encouraging personal connections. Here are some things you can do:

  • Connect employees who live in the same city so they can meetup
  • If all or most of your employees live in the same area, host in-person happy hours, meetups, and teambuilding events
  • If your employees are scattered, host happy hours, game nights, and other fun “get to know each other” sessions over Zoom
  • Encourage employees to use software solutions like Slack to stay in touch throughout the day
  • Have an employee spotlight- have an employee do a Q&A and email the convo to other workers so everyone can get to know each other
  • Hold weekly team meetings that include everyone
  • Give employees discounts to coffee shops or remote workspaces so they can get out of the house

Loneliness doesn’t have to be an inevitable side effect of working remotely. With these tips, you can keep your remote team socialized and healthy.

6. Remember That Flexibility is Key

Remember, you aren’t just creating a remote team to save money on office expenses. You’re also creating a remote team to foster a healthier and happier working environment.

One of the things that make employees the most excited and happy about working from home is the added flexibility it provides. As a team leader, it’s your responsibility to make flexibility a priority.

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to throw accountability and productivity out the window. To make your work environment more flexible, you first need to survey your employees and ask them why they chose to work remotely.

Is it so they didn’t have to wake up at 6 am every day? Great, then allow for flexible start and end times. Is it so they wouldn’t have to work Fridays? Consider giving your employees the options to take Fridays off if they put in 40 hours Monday through Thursday.

Or, maybe they were excited about the prospect of working anywhere in the world? If this is the case, make sure you equip your remote team with the right tools to get their work done in a bustling city or remote beach town.

Flexibility means different things to different people, and the best way to create a flexible work environment that benefits the most employees is to survey your team and then find ways to implement the results.

7. Hire the Right Team Members

Of course, building an awesome remote work team can’t happen if you don’t hire awesome remote workers. To be a successful remote worker, you need a certain set of skills.

It’s important to understand that someone who thrives in an office setting may not thrive in a remote work setting and vice versa. Here are some ways you can gauge if someone is up to the task of remote working:

  • They’ve stayed at previous companies for a while and have earned promotions
  • They’re motivated by life outside of work as well as their job
  • They feel comfortable turning to someone and asking for help instantly
  • They look visibly happy and energized
  • They showed up on time for the interview and communicated effectively throughout the interview process
  • They’ve worked remotely before
  • They have experience meeting tight deadlines
  • They’re tech-savvy
  • They’ve demonstrated that they’re an effective team player

Oftentimes, it can be hard to gauge if someone will make a great remote worker right from the get-go, but this list can help get you started. Also, keep in mind that working remotely is a big adjustment for some.

Give your employees who haven’t worked remotely before a little extra time to adjust to this new work style. Chances are, they’ll be succeeding in no time.

8. Remember That Healthy Employees Are Productive Employees

To keep your remote work team happy and productive, you should also be encouraging them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

With remote working, it can be a bit more difficult to stay healthy. Oftentimes, remote workers can spend hours on end sitting at their desks. Plus, they’re often just a few steps away from a kitchen full of snacks. Luckily, there are ways you can encourage your employees to lead a healthy lifestyle when working remotely, including:

  • Hosting group fitness classes for employees in the same city
  • Hosting yoga or other fitness classes over Zoom
  • Encouraging your employees to take breaks throughout the day- encourage them to get up and walk around just as they would in an office
  • Offer sponsored gym memberships
  • Create a “healthy remote working” channel on Slack where people can post workouts, healthy recipes, and other encouraging tips
  • Remind your employees to stretch each hour and drink water throughout the day
  • Encourage employees to use sick days for mental health days if they’re getting cabin fever

It takes extra work to stay healthy while working from home, but these tips can really help.

Are You Ready to Build an Awesome Remote Team?

Now that you know how to build an awesome remote team, it’s time to put these tips into action. While it can take a bit of time for everyone to get in the groove of remote working, pretty soon, your remote team will be happy and successful.

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips on remote working.

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Published by
Barry Lachey

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