Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Dave Schneider – the founder of LessChurn. His opinions are his own.
Everything in this wide world changes as time goes by. This is simply inevitable. People change, industries grow, new trends mushroom every day in all spheres of life.
The workplace is no exception. Back in the day, people used to wake up early, go to work, spend eight hours in the office, and then go home. However, the workplace is changing too.
Nowadays, we have virtual workplaces with remote teams doing an equally good job as employees working in the office. A number of companies opt for this kind work philosophy since it is more cost-effective and, with all the technology available today, it is not too difficult to transform your office into a virtual one.
In addition, employees get a much better work-life balance since the office location is not a significant factor anymore.
Of course, all this sounds great in theory but how does it actually work in practice? There are so many questions left unanswered:
· How difficult is it to find the right employees for a remote team?
· Where to look for them?
· How to manage a remote team?
· Is communication going to be an issue?
· And of course, what about productivity?
Read on to find the answers to all these questions.
Finding your aces
The team is only as good as the weakest team member. Therefore, you need to put in all the effort you have into finding the right people for your team. It is of the utmost importance that you find reliable, productive, and hard-working individuals.
Bear in mind that not everyone can work well in a remote environment. Therefore, you need to hire ‘doers’ with a proven track of success.
Fortunately enough, there are a number of online platforms designed specifically for recruiters and employees looking for career and networking opportunities. Of course, one of them is LinkedIn.
This is absolutely the most popular platform of the kind. On LinkedIn, you can look for potential employers but you can also look for prospective employees.
Now, searching for prospective employees through the app itself isn’t quite easy. However, you can use an effective LinkedIn tool to:
· boost your own profile
· manage the contact list
· find potential employees and contact them
These features will play a major role on your journey to finding the right members for your remote team. It would be unwise not to take advantage of this professional social media platform and the app that will make it even easier for you to take the most out of the platform.
What to look for in your potential employees?
Once you start finding promising candidates, you still need to be very rigorous during the selection process. Many sources can reveal your candidates’ bio, work experience, education, and other relevant information that comes in handy when it comes to the recruitment process.
However, here are some of the most prominent features that each of your remote team members needs to have.
It is plain and simple – you cannot rely on people that are known for being dishonest. Combating this issue in a traditional office is far easier than doing it over a video call. As a team manager, you must not be preoccupied with unnecessary worries, as you have to focus on important tasks. That is exactly why you need honest team members.
This is common knowledge but it is still worth mentioning. You need people who get things done even if you leave them stranded on a desert island with their laptop. In other words, hiring people who are eager to work and hungry for success is a must.
Of course, you will have to provide feedback and guidance for them. However, make sure that the person on the other side is willing to put in serious effort into learning and becoming better over time.
Even in a virtual workplace, you need to have people who are sociable. Remote workplaces are naturally less social than co-located ones but that doesn’t mean that your employees shouldn’t learn a thing or two about each other.
Creating chemistry is important in the virtual workplace too, maybe even more important than in a traditional office. Therefore, make sure to convey this message to your employees very clearly.
Management and communication
There are various complicated aspects of running a remote team:
– hiring process
– keeping the team productive
However, there are also quite a few effective communication strategies that will make the entire management process easier.
Since we are talking about remote teams, it is only natural to turn to technology when looking for help. Many companies use platforms such as Trello, Basecamp, or apps like Slack to successfully manage their remote employees. And that is exactly what to look for if you want to make communication seamless.
There are plenty of apps that can help you but you have to be picky. Not all of them are equally good and bear in mind that you will have to spend a buck or two since every top-notch piece of software costs money.
Remember, without good communication, your team will have a hard time achieving anything. You have to be clear, your messages have to arrive in a timely manner, and your employees need to be able to reach you easily.
Just because you are assembling a remote team, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about sharing information. On the contrary, it is quite important that you regularly share data and all the knowledge at hand with your remote team members. It doesn’t matter whether these are small files or huge chunks of data but it is important to do it quickly and safely.
When it comes to sharing data, you can turn to torrenting. Even though torrenting is generally frowned upon, many gaming companies use torrent technology to share updates among their branches and remote teams. For instance, Blizzard Entertainment is known for releasing new patches and DLC (downloadable content) via torrents. Moreover, Facebook uses torrenting among its employees whenever they work on updates.
Managing your team cannot be done effectively without knowledge management. You need to keep all of your employees posted about all the important details in your company, right? That is why you could also turn to knowledge base software, which is designed to make resource sharing easy.
Keeping the spirits up
Finally, you have reached the last step. Let’s say that you have assembled a team of rock stars. Communication is great, everything looks just fine. But will your employees remain as enthusiastic as you need them to be? Don’t bet on it. It is only natural that people start losing interest as time goes by.
Keeping the whole team working and maintaining productivity is not an easy feat. You can find the most diligent people out there, the smartest ones, and workaholics, but you can also rest assured that productivity will become an issue at some point in time.
That is why you need to do all you can to keep your team motivated. One thing you could try is using practice management software which will help you keep your employees organized and motivated.
With it, you can manage all appointments and send out automatic text and email reminders, as well as use it for many other purposes. Technology is there to make our lives easier, so why not get the most out of it?
Gathering and managing a remote team is not easy at all but it is possible. An office team is one thing but a virtual workplace is so much different. In the end, it all comes down to how much you want your remote team to succeed.
Therefore, it is crucial to take all necessary steps to ensure success. Hopefully, the strategies mentioned above will help you on your journey to creating a remote dream team for your business.