Tips for Developing a Great Team of Remote Workers
Businesses of all kinds are embracing the thought of a distributed workforce these days. Remote workers are usually more productive and happier overall than those who are stuck in a cubicle, and the companies who hire them tend to experience lower overhead and more efficiency and have a bigger selection of talent to choose from, among other benefits.
That’s not to say developing a team of remote workers is a simple task. On the contrary, it can be quite challenging. That’s why we’ve put together these team-building tips to help you assemble and manage a great remote team for your business.
Consider hiring part-time workers.
You may not need a staff filled with full-time workers. One of the advantages of building a remote team is that 46 percent of professionals like the thought of side jobs, particularly ones where they can work from home part of the time. So if there are certain tasks you need done that don’t call for a full-time position, consider hiring part-time workers.
Make sure everyone stays informed.
When you have a remote team, communication is not only challenging—it’s downright invaluable. If your workers are spread across the country or world, your team can’t be successful unless you communicate effectively. Make sure everyone understands company guidelines on communication (e.g., when to be available, what channels to use). Also, schedule regular meetings—either weekly or monthly—to give everyone a chance to catch up, discuss projects, go over policy changes, and so on.
It’s also critical that your workers have all the information they need, even when they miss a team call or fall behind on a project. You can keep everyone informed by transcribing your team call notes. The best part is that you don’t have to hire someone to transcribe the notes; in five minutes or less, an automated transcription service can provide call notes at an 80-to-90-percent accuracy rate (and even higher with quality audio). Plus, you can find sites that offer automated transcription for just 10 cents/minute.
Invest in essential communication tools.
In order to communicate effectively with your team, you’ll need the right tools. For instance, video conference software allows you to hold virtual meetings, and collaboration tools make it easy to chat and work together on projects. There is even software to streamline the hiring process and help you handle other HR tasks. Many of the tools you need will cost a nominal fee, but even the more expensive tools will prove well worth the investment.
Invest in teaching and training.
Along with getting the necessary communication tech, it’s important to invest in your workers on an individual level. This means offering them teaching and training on a regular basis—whether you do it yourself or pay for them to get it from another source. Not only will this help your workers be the best they can be for your company now, it will be a sign of good faith because you’re investing in their future as well.
Encourage workers to socialize.
Socializing is important for workers in any setting—even when they’re thousands of miles apart. You don’t have to give up on company culture and developing real connections. Simple strategies—like scheduling time in each meeting for team members to chat about life and asking how each member is doing during one-on-one conversations—can go a long way in building relationships among workers.
There are plenty of benefits that come with building a remote team, as long as you do it carefully. Remember to look into part-time workers, prioritize communication, and get all the tools your team needs to stay connected. Also, make sure your workers get the individual training they need, and provide opportunities for team members to socialize. If putting together a remote team sounds like something you want to do, these tips can help you ensure your new team takes your business to the next level.
Photo Credit: Burst
Author: Tina Martin, Life Coach and Creator of Ideaspired.com