5 Best Practices for Setting Up a Remote Team

by Lauren Proctor November 28, 2018
Image of remote worker setup in Thailand

(Image source: Pixabay)

Mark Meyer works as the content manager at Spokeo, a service company that offers reverse number lookup. His field of expertise includes business, marketing, and self –
improvement. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and surfing.

 

You dripped sweat from every pore as you meditated on the possibility of setting up a remote team.

You banged it out in the tradition of Bezos or Zuckerberg, working in the wee hours of the morning or late at night when the world was sleeping.

You fueled yourself with tons of business information, tried to install a flexible workplace structure to take advantage of this modern-day work culture that’s full of incredible benefits, such as:

  • The freedom to tap the best talent from anywhere in the world, without breaking the bank;
  • The freedom to run your startup without sacrificing your work/life balance; and
  • The freedom to communicate and collaborate with your workers when and where you want.

No wonder people don’t want to work the traditional way once they’ve tasted the fruit of working remotely. According to the survey conducted by Buffer, 90 percent of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. That’s because of the many benefits they enjoy from the flexibility of their work structure.

You know that you can enjoy all of these goodies, but do you truly know how to set up a remote team and take your business to the next level? Here are five best practices to guide you:

Hire from a Diverse Pool of Talent.

The traditional way of hiring talent is, to say the least, putting a huge drain on the options available to hire top talent with diverse skillsets.

If you live in Wyoming and wish to hire an administrative assistant, for instance, you simply won’t have the option to select from diverse talent in the skillsets you need. Geography and distance limit your choices.

But when you choose to go remote, your options are limitless. Because you’re not constrained by location or distance, you can choose any talent you want in any skillset you want from any part of the world. And that gives you an advantage over any company that hires the traditional way.

Hire People You Can Trust.

One of the many problems of remote work is the issue of trust. How can you trust someone you have never met in person to run your company’s accounting, marketing, or administrative tasks?

Are they truly what they say they are? Can I trust them with my company’s information? What if they wake up tomorrow, decide to quit, and run off with my data? These nightmares might cross your mind if you’re thinking of hiring remote workers.

The truth is that most of these thoughts are just distractions. They are far from the truth. As technology has reached its current peak, you can now check a person’s true identity and location using a reverse phone lookup directory, for example, just to be safe. Nothing should stop you from taking advantage of outsourcing or hiring remotely to stay ahead.

And you can’t do that if you can’t trust your hires. The key is to pick the best and save your mental energies to move your company forward.

Trust Your Remote Team.

The challenge is not just to hire people you can trust. The challenge is to trust the workers you hire.

Before I branched out on my own, the CEO of the beverage company I worked with was keen about using these phrases: “I admire you,” “I trust your judgment,” and “I believe in you.” However, his actions never coincided with his fancy words of encouragement.

He often called to remind us how to handle a specific project.

He routinely came in to check how far his staff was in executing a project.

He kept calling to check, in his words, “if everything is working as planned.”

He didn’t manage expectations, which is what you, as a manager, should learn how to do. Your remote worker will be happier and more productive when they know that you truly trust them with their work.

Welcome New Hires with a “Welcome Guide.”

Many startups struggle not with hiring but with aligning their hires to their business operations, their terms, and their work processes. How do you keep your remote team aligned with your business processes and company culture?

Embrace them with your “Welcome Guide.” As soon as they accept the position, after a hello and a virtual hug, hand your remote hire a welcome guide. The guide should contain detailed information about your company, including:

  • Your vision,
  • Your terms, and
  • Your core principles.

It will also include a host of other values that you hold dear and want your workers to know so they can help you reach their goals. The better they know your business principles and what you envision, the better they will work with you to achieve those goals.

Hire Professional Communicators.

In a traditional, co-located office, a lot of information is shared in person.

You delegate your VP or set up a meeting with your staff and pass on to them the important information. Or your staff walks into your office to update you about the project you assigned them.

In a modern remote situation, everything is shared online via phone calls, text messages, email, Whatsapp, Skype, Twitter, or other means of communication. In other words, remote teamwork requires a lot of communication. Hire people who are not only skillful at verbal communication but also excellent at written communication. Regardless of the role, great writers and strong communicators are a must for remote hires.

Conclusion

In the end, building a remote team is not rocket science. It’s an art. And like any form of art, it needs a few tips, tricks, and hacks to help you and your team excel.

The first tip or best practice for setting up a remote team is to hire the best of the best from the pool of diverse talent around the globe. Next, choose only those you can trust, trust the people you hire, and give them an informative welcome to ensure they are aligned from day one. To make sure everyone stays aligned, hire great communicators and keep communicating day in and day out.

Now put these tips into practice. The joy of running a remote team that grows your business awaits you.

 

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