In 2019, only 12% of U.S. companies didn’t allow remote work. That’s just one of 52 statistics that paints a rather clear picture: Remote work isn’t the future of work; it’s already here. However, due to the pandemic, this number is even lower. In early 2020, people had to quickly transition to a remote work model in order to decrease the spread of the coronavirus. Advancements in technology have permitted us to move on from a generic, costly, brick-and-mortar office to a virtual office that can be operated from the comfort of our own home. This is your cue to build a remote startup team.
The benefits of running a remote business are limitless. Not only are you saving money on rent and utilities, but you’re getting rid of the dreaded daily commute. Plus, you can hire employees from around the world, which lets you choose the best talent for your company.
However, you can’t just simply log on to your computer, send a couple of emails to your chosen candidates, and expect your business to operate smoothly just from this. There are several aspects you have to consider when building a remote startup team that you never had to think about while running a traditional office.
Here’s a list of a few of the essential aspects to keep in mind while building a remote team.
1. Choose the perfect candidate
Remote workers have a great influence on who you are as a brand. This is why successful companies are very meticulous about who they hire, from top to bottom. If you want to build a team that’s motivated by more than just their paycheck, learn what they are passionate about, what dreams and aspirations they have for the future, and why they want to work with you. Find ambitious and hard-working virtual employees with a positive mindset that fits into your brand identity; hire a resource who is easily adaptable.
Keep in mind, that the team you’re about to hire needs to understand the hardships faced while working remotely. If the job requires working U.S. hours, make sure this is clear from the beginning, along with any other scheduling and job-specific expectations. Being transparent about the job will save you and your applicants loads of time.
2. Help Develop Your Team
After hiring the right employees, a leader needs to invest the time and energy to continually train and develop their team. Consider it as an investment. The employees you help grow will further help in the growth of your company. Learning is the key to personal and professional growth, so prioritize spending on learning and development.
In many cases, you can fund this budget simply with the cost savings that come with remote teams. Also, take this advice and provide employees with the flexibility to pursue the learning that they’re most interested in and the method that is most effective.
3. Determine your communication plan
Like any great relationship, business or otherwise, communication is key. Yet, it’s not that easy when everyone is in a different place. The only way you can feasibly replace a traditional office workplace with remote workers is with effective communication. Luckily, it’s possible to establish good communication through a combination of tools and processes.
Using communication tools such as Slack, Zoom or convo, can help ease communication among your team. Try setting up daily video meetings. Videoconferencing allows for more connective experiences than phone calls by allowing everyone to see someone’s face and observe their body language
You need to ensure everyone in your remote startup team understands why they need to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues and keep an eye out for anyone who’s particularly quiet. Make communication as open as possible
4. KPIs are essential.
Even the best management team in the world is subject to human error. This is why implementing a KPI (key performance indicator) system can help you monitor and confirm the progress of your employees. Ideally, you should have KPIs in place that aligns with your quarterly and yearly goals to track the progress for each role in your company.
To initiate KPIs, start by thinking back to what your goals are. Think about how each employee helps you reach that goal. Then find a way to accurately track their results. Usually, you can find a KPI for each employee that helps you determine their impact on your company’s success. Ideally, you should also track your own efforts with KPIs in order to hold yourself accountable to the same standards you expect from your employees.
5. Operate through a central hub.
When you run a successful business, there is usually a long list of tasks on your radar. Without some organization, you can easily start to forget things and lose track of your team’s progress. Employees also can easily get sidetracked and lose focus on their main priorities. This is why it is essential to create an organized hub of tasks and information. Platforms such as Trello, Asana, and Monday are all popular management-software options to consider.
6. Create opportunities for making personal connections
When we work in the same office space we have the opportunity to bump into our colleagues in the kitchen waiting for the teapot to finish brewing. This doesn’t happen with remote and distributed teams. As a result, it can be difficult for team members to build personal connections with each other. Connections take time to develop, but they’re essential to building a healthy culture and are vital for collaboration. Therefore, it is essential to build these connections through the technologies provided to us.