Start-ups with remote teams have experienced a high success rate. They increase efficiency and boost innovation in your business.
Managing a remote team is one of the most challenging responsibilities in today’s multi-location workplaces. There are many additional issues for managers to contend with, including time zones, social isolation, and long-distance management. After the COVID-19 viral outbreak and quarantine period, organizations working from offices were forced to embrace remote working immediately.
To many managers and business owners, the idea of working remotely is terrifying. However, many successful businesses have emerged from the “remote office” trend. Just what was the key to their success? And would it be possible for you to implement their strategy in your own business?
When talking about remote work, the most famous example that comes to mind is that of Zapier, Buffer and Mozilla. Within these companies, there are several lessons an ambitious young entrepreneur can learn. You empower your employees to produce their best work by providing them with more flexibility, the tools they require to communicate effectively, and the ability to unite under the same banner. This enables them to accomplish their best work even when they are working outside of the traditional office setting. Think about what you might learn from these business leaders who successfully managed their companies while working remotely.
According to studies, More than 5 million U.S. employees were already working from home at least half of the time before Covid-19 required businesses to adjust to remote work, according to a study by Fundera. Two-thirds of managers who allow their staff to work remotely believe that their workers are more productive when they can do so. On the other hand, openwork teams are 60 percent more productive and 80 percent more likely to express good emotional well-being than closed teams.
Because of COVID-19, 64% of firms expect the change to virtual teaming to be permanent. However, they stress the importance of effective communication. Study after study has pointed out the difficulties remote workers face, such as a lack of access to their managers and the problem of crossing new cooperation hurdles.
Through well-thought-out virtual team-building exercises and challenges, participants can create rapport while also cementing their sense of belonging to the virtual team. These practices can mitigate a remote or distributed workforce’s engagement-draining difficulties.
Virtual teams, despite numerous hurdles, have proven to be one of the most significant ways for start-ups to produce high-quality goods and services while remaining flexible and responsive to their customers’ needs. It’s more than just working from home and taking a break from the office! Managers in a distant setting will need to develop new abilities and improve their written and verbal communication.
According to a Twitter poll conducted by Product Hunt CEO Ryan Hoover, people are willing to accept lower salaries in exchange for the option to work from home. Compared to the advantages of working remotely, perks like infinite vacation time, free food, and even a 401k retirement plan were not as important.
Let’s look at the five advantages of employing remote workers as a start-up.
The very concept of a remote worker conjures up images of adaptability and freedom. The freedom to select where and when they work and the absence of micromanaging employers and time-consuming status reports are all advantages of working remotely. They are given assignments, do the work, and then submit the project, and the process is repeated. They are accustomed to operating under pressure and meeting deadlines. It is their life that is at stake!
This is ideal for start-up companies. Those participating in the early stages of a new firm are well aware that each individual is expected to wear multiple hats and is also expected to be busy managing and overseeing various initiatives. The more you can get off your plate, the better, because it will give you more time to devote to other activities.
Good freelancers and contractors have mechanisms to ensure that the task they are responsible for is completed. As long as you’ve been working with them, you should be able to put your trust in them to get the job done and only contact you when they have particular questions. For most small business owners, being able to request a task and then completely forget about it until it is completed is a lifesaver. This is something that you will discover very frequently with remote workers.
Productivity increases when you work with a remote team. Employees who work from home or in a coffee shop have more freedom to express themselves creatively. As remote teams operate from the comfort of their own homes, their minds and bodies are relaxed and productive.
Traditional workplaces are known to be distracting and less adaptable than other workplaces. Working from home allows the brain to capture a nice catch of new and unique concepts. It assists employees in designing their ideal workstations and making the most of their information technology talents. Additionally, it encourages your staff to remain with you for a more extended period.
As a start-up, it is difficult enough to find the appropriate individual for the position who is willing to accept various working conditions; nevertheless, when that person happens to be located in the same city as you, you are pushing your luck even farther than usual.
By utilizing remote workers, you will draw from a talent pool that is virtually global in scope. With access to people from all over the world, you’ll have the opportunity to make use of people who have distinct skill sets, regardless of where they come from.
Additionally, by being able to recruit people from all over the world, you are providing a significant boost to your firm’s diversity. It’s no secret that diversity encourages innovation, but achieving a certain degree of variety for new businesses might be challenging. However, by opening yourself up to the globe or remote workers, you are assisting in integrating the world into your firm and positioning yourself for future growth.
Okay, so let’s talk about some actual benefits that remote workers bring to start-ups. Simply put, they’re less expensive than traditional forms of employment.
If you don’t require them full-time, you may be able to compensate them for the work they do on a project-by-project basis. Employees who work full-time hours in an office setting may feel overpaid if they are let go, whereas those who work part-time may be happier if they stay.
Another reason distant workers tend to be cheaper is that they may be ready to take lower compensation because living costs in their home city are significantly less. You’ll be able to get top-notch talent without having to pay the inflated costs of living in a place like Milan or London if you choose to base your business in a city like Thailand.
Finally, they’re less expensive because you don’t have to worry about paying for them. In their capacity as independent contractors, they are in charge of arranging their health insurance and saving for retirement. People expect this when they hire traditional personnel, which can be costly.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your employees some perks or bonuses. As an illustration, I am aware of a business that gave its contractors a two-month membership to a coffee club as a reward for their efforts. Rewarding and motivating the employees resulted in a more cohesive team. The new flavor was a big hit with the employees, who felt valued and excited to talk about it. As a result, the company boosted employee morale without going broke.
Even if you’ve done your due diligence in searching for a new employee, it’s impossible to tell if things will go well until they start working. A bad hire can be extremely costly for a start-up, so the stakes are high.
Because they are easier to hire and fire, remote workers help to alleviate some of this risk. Providing a warning and then letting the employee go should suffice if anything isn’t working out, whether it’s the quality of the work or meeting deadlines.
To get their new firm off the ground and become a long-term success, many start-ups have to deal with the challenge of finding the right people to work for them. When it comes to balancing the difficulties of employing traditional workers with the benefits of acquiring top talent, remote workers are a terrific option to consider. After a period, you may decide to stop using remote workers, but you’ll soon realize how valuable they are to your company and how you should treat them accordingly.
Managing remote teams requires a very different approach than managing in-office employees. Sarah Kuehnle, a former VP of Product at Dribbble, suggests starting by getting to know your team.
“Managers need to pay much more attention when managing remotely. I want to learn what makes my team tick. What they’re interested in. What’s going on in their lives. That way, I can be the best support I can.”
It is important to incorporate flexibility into the process. For example, homeschooling, deliveries, and other disruptions necessitate more transparent timelines and targets for remote teams. This practice is highly critical when your employees are in different time zones.
Your team will be more confident and more likely to succeed if they know exactly what they need to deliver and when and what it should look like.
Employees and management must be both aware of the progress being made. Getting lost in the process is unavoidable if you and your team don’t know where each piece of work is in the overall process. Implement an easy-to-understand work tracking system to make things more straightforward.
For example, a shared Google Sheet of projects with dates, links, and contact information of all stakeholders can be used as a starting point.
Trello and Jira are powerful project-tracking tools that help keep your remote team on track if your workflow outgrows Google Sheets. In addition, these tools make it easier, to begin with, the broad picture, and then break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable projects and daily activities.
Organize your projects so that everyone on your team can see everything they’re working on, where each project is in the process, who is responsible for deliverables and resources, and how to get in touch with the right personnel in a timely manner.
When it comes to managing remote workers, dealing with technological issues is arguably the most stressful. What do you do if your entire operation has been shifted online and your software or hardware malfunctions? You need to figure out how to get your employees up to speed on newer technologies so they can focus on their work instead of learning how to use them.
Create how-to manuals and resources to address frequent problems and design workarounds in the event of a disruption. Make it easy for employees to get help if they’re having trouble with the technology, they need to do their tasks. Employees may also require hardware to set up a home office, which you may need to provide.
Remember that you can’t hold employees responsible for not meeting goals if they don’t have the resources and training, they need to get the job done at home.
As a result of working from home, it’s easy to neglect interpersonal relationships. We crave personal contact; even if it’s just through a computer screen, it’s human nature. This is where regular check-ins can come in handy.
Check-in with your team on Slack or Zoom every morning, have one-on-one talks every week and hold team meetings once a month, depending on your workflow. The goal here is to ensure that employees feel supported and provide them with the opportunity to discuss any concerns or obstacles they may be facing on their own.
Remote work is already popular in today’s workplace. However, it wasn’t until recently that businesses were compelled to work outside their office walls rather than simply choosing to do so. As a result, some people were taken completely by surprise.
In his experience as CEO of Upwork, former Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel says:
“It’s easy to overlook how essential the skill of remote management is because, for many, the classic picture of a ‘manager’ still means someone sitting at a desk in an office surrounded by (or overlooking) their team.”
Because managing a remote team may be extremely difficult, especially if you want to maintain “business as usual” and have your employees operate to make them feel like they’re all working toward the same goals.
It takes time to build a company’s culture, and it begins with selecting the right people, encouraging open communication, and then instilling that culture throughout the organization. Working remotely necessitates a more significant investment of time and energy than doing so in an office, regardless of your goal of cultivating a dynamic and engaging corporate culture.
Your capacity to properly manage a remote team will be threatened if there is a lack of trust among you and your remote team members. Numerous managers, unfortunately, share the same mindset. During Covid 19, Harvard Business Review found that “most managers have low confidence in their capacity to lead remotely, hold a relatively negative view of this work setting and distrust their employees.”
If you’re managing a global workforce, you’ll have to consider the time zone differences. You might get away with recruiting employees worldwide if you don’t require regular meetings and can communicate with them via email and text.
Before starting your virtual workforce’s hiring process, this is a major concern to consider. If you’re only transitioning an in-office team to remote work, this won’t be an issue, but make sure your staff members are aware of your expectations for meetings so they can plan ahead if they decide to travel.
It doesn’t matter if you are the best manager the world has ever seen; repeated technological problems can be the catalyst for communication breakdowns in the workplace. This problem only worsens if you have employees who fall into the 3% of remote workers who say getting reliable Wi-Fi is a significant issue.
Managers and team members who work remotely have difficulty establishing a sense of shared trust. When it comes to employee problems, managers worry that they aren’t getting their work done, while employees worry about getting paid on time (or at all, in some cases). Therefore, transparency is essential while working remotely since it fosters a sense of security for everyone involved.
As an employer, you must adapt your team management strategy to accommodate employees who have chosen to work from home in this new workplace environment. Remote and hybrid teams can be managed more effectively with the help of the following tools:
Working with a remote team requires meticulous planning. Each task should be outlined, assigned, and marked with the necessary notes. This is best accomplished through the use of a tool called Trello. Trello is a must-have for every remote team manager, as it is both flexible and fun to use.
Using Trello, you may assign team members to different boards depending on the demands of the project, and each team member can inform you of their progress.
Having an IT workforce scattered across multiple time zones is nothing new these days. We can no longer rely solely on meetings to manage projects when everyone works in different time zones. There should be a system in place to keep track of a team and a project so that everyone can access the information they need. Going beyond a simple project management solution like Trello may be necessary for a tech-focused workforce. Ideally, you need to be able to locate relevant documentation quickly. Here, Notion shines as the best solution for keeping IT teams working from different locations in sync. In Notion, you can use ‘pages’ to store information rather than have scattered data across various folders.
When all teams utilize Notion, it’s easy to see how other departments operate and what projects they’re working on. For instance, a developer working on the product might find it interesting to browse the product team’s information on what clients like most, find challenges regarding the product, and learn how the sales team offers the product. Also useful as a conversation starter when meeting new employees within the organization.
With Slack, you can communicate with your team and keep track of all the ongoing conversations. You can create channels for each team, project, or topic to save related communications and files in a single location. You can also have one-on-one conversations with Slack.
Using Microsoft Teams, a company’s teams can communicate and collaborate more efficiently. It can be used to chat, video call, or share files. With its screen sharing feature and virtual whiteboard, it can also assist you in describing your ideas better.
In addition, Teams is well integrated with Microsoft Office. Your team will be able to collaborate effectively, and you will be able to track their progress at any moment.
With Google Drive, teams can effortlessly share files with one another, removing productivity barriers. To access private or shared files, it allows users to download the software directly to their desktop (or mobile devices). Syncing between devices is seamless, and users can collaborate and exchange data from any location. Google Drive is a must-have for remote teams who produce content, spreadsheets, or share calendars.
Workplace isolation can have a negative impact on team members’ ability to think creatively and innovatively. In such cases, managers must think beyond the confines of chat apps and provide opportunities for a few face-to-face meetings. For this purpose, Google’s Meet video conferencing application is ideal. Using a shared link allows participants to join a conference call with their coworkers quickly.
“Tools like Zoom, Google’s G Suite, Slack, and Whatsapp help us collaborate and communicate every day. I also email all team members weekly to update them on milestones and important information for the week prior and the one ahead.”
Why are project management applications necessary for a remote workforce?
How to hire reliable remote tech teams?
The process of hiring developers for your company can be time-consuming and complicated. As your business grows, you must consider potential employees based on their previous work experience, technical skills, and awareness of the needs of your project. You may also think about employing through a remote employment service such as Gaper, which will save you both time and money eventually
Where Can I Find Remote Tech Developers to Hire?
You can easily find remote developers from various online platforms. But before settling on a country from which to hire a remote developer, you must carefully analyze the pros and cons of each option.
Have plenty of options to choose from. Check over the profiles carefully and choose the one that best meets your needs.
It’s safe to say that remote working is the future of work. Now that the best corporations have gone remote, many startups are following suit.
Starting or switching to a remote business isn’t as simple as many people imagine, but the process isn’t as difficult or daunting either. However, you need to allow your staff more freedom and equip them with the tools they need to communicate effectively in order to be successful. A hybrid or remote work model can boost productivity while also providing an enjoyable work environment for employees when implemented properly. Developing and implementing an effective hybrid workforce plan, which includes listening to their employees, aligning policies with the new work paradigm, company digitalization with the appropriate technologies, and supporting them, are essential to achieving a successful transition.
Your startup and your team’s growth and success can be tremendously enhanced by implementing these strategies.