Guest Blog by Tina Martin Creator of Ideaspired
Employees are seeking more flexibility in their jobs. One solution is working remotely. Employers are finding that remote workers can be more productive than in-office employees. It’s no wonder that almost 5 million people are part of the remote workforce in America.
Because remote staff is not physically located in the same office, it can be a challenge to maintain your company’s culture and objectives. Let’s consider the process for creating a successful, productive remote team.
Spread Your Talent Search
When you are not limited by distance, you have a much bigger talent pool. You may also choose to hire freelancers instead of salaried employees. The right job board can connect you with remote staff well-qualified to match your every need: administrative support, design, developing, engineering, sales, writing, and much more. When hiring remote workers, make sure in the onboarding process that they understand the company’s mission, values, plans, and objectives.
Focus on Outcomes
Don’t worry about what time and for how long your freelancers or employees are working. In a situation where all (or most) of your team is working remotely, no one is punching a timeclock. Instead, focus on outcomes, Set goals regarding specific deadlines and results.
Collaboration is essential for remote teams to be successful. You can use various collaboration tools to communicate efficiently in groups and on a one-on-one basis. Other collaboration tools can boost productivity by helping your team manage projects, work together in real time, share files and information, track progress etc.
Remote employees need to feel included, kept “in the loop”. At the same time each week, send out an update email about projects, deadlines and the company as a whole. Consider hosting video conferences on a biweekly or monthly basis, or when you launch a new project, want to explain something visually, or need to get everyone on the same page. Video conferencing apps like Google Hangouts and Join.me are top choices for remote teams.
Encourage Growth and Development
Through training and development programs, you can encourage your remote workers to develop new skills and provide them opportunities to advance. According to a Gallup report, 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials, believe an important aspect of a job is access to “professional or career growth and development opportunities.
Build Team Culture
When everyone works in the same office, team culture and camaraderie develop through day-to-day contact. You still need to build that camaraderie between remote workers to become a cohesive, productive unit. Be sure to allow some socialization time where coworkers can get to know each other. Maybe once a week for an hour have an online chat or video call that has absolutely nothing to do with work.
Schedule In-Person Meetups
Though most of your interaction may be online, if feasible, provide opportunities for your team to meet in person. Arrange for members who live in close proximity to get together to brainstorm or just get to know each other. You might host an annual conference, attend an expo, or facilitate another meetup to provide an opportunity for all your freelancers, employees, and management to interact.
A successful team must be able to collaborate efficiently to reach common goals. By providing your remote workers the right tools and training, and by maintaining regular communication, you can be a very successful group, even if your team is spread out all over the world.
Creator of Ideaspired