The right team of workers can really take your business to the top. When it’s time to bring in a little extra help, opting for remote workers over in-house employees will give you access to a much larger pool of amazing talent. Not only that, but Forbes states that remote teams are more productive without the time-wasting distractions common to office environments. When you’re ready to put together your remote team, the following tips can help you find the right workers and keep everything running smoothly.
Although you may be looking to fill a few company positions with permanent employees, freelancers are an excellent choice for those short-term tasks. Hiring a freelancer means avoiding costly employee expenses. If you need someone to help take phone calls, schedule meetings, prepare reports, and invoice clients, look to job boards to help connect you with well-reviewed, top-notch virtual assistant freelancers.
Communication is a critical factor in the success of any remote team. Since your workers won’t be able to communicate in person as they would in a traditional office, it’s crucial to set clear expectations from day one. Be ready to face anticipated challenges with irregular time zones, varying worker availability, and misunderstandings.
According to eLearning Industry, one of the best ways to improve remote team communication involves taking advantage of modern communication channels and collaboration tools. These tools can help keep everyone on the same page. After team meetings, for example, you can have video or audio recordings transcribed by an automated service that immediately sends out transcripts to your team.
Other tools for remote teams, such as Trello and Slack, can keep your team communicating regularly and collaborating effortlessly. You’ll find many free and low-priced options for small businesses that are just getting off the ground.
Since some of your remote team may be outside your time zone (or in another country altogether), you may need to communicate with them during non-business hours. So it’s essential that you’re working with a smartphone that can handle any work-related items you need to take care of, whether that’s sending email or hosting video chats. The good news is that you may be able to purchase a next-generation smartphone at a discount from your wireless provider if you trade in your old phone.
Like communication, onboarding can get messy in remote teams. Be sure to set aside adequate training time for your new employees before you need them to start doing work. Remember to give them time to learn about your company and how they fit into the big picture.
Instead of answering dozens of questions from every new hire, draw up a comprehensive document with everything your workers need to know. Be sure to outline critical information about communication methods, company tools, deadlines, and company values. Avoid allowing your workers to do things their own way—this can lead to inconsistencies in your business projects. Provide your writers with styling and formatting directions and your developers with a company design book. That way, your employees will turn in work requiring few revisions.
Maintaining clear expectations for your workers will help ensure their success in your business. From the moment you hire them, your employees should understand exactly what you expect in terms of behavior, performance, and teamwork. Write down these expectations and keep them straightforward. Expecting your employees to “do a good job” is not clear enough. Again, it’s important to let your employees in on the big picture so they understand the justifications behind your expectations.
Evaluating your remote workers regularly can help you address any misconceptions or knowledge gaps that are preventing people from meeting your expectations. As you evaluate your employees, focus on the quality of their work and their project outcomes. Look at performance indicators like customer satisfaction and project completion instead of concerning yourself with the number of hours your employees are working.
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Article by Tina Martin