There’s no doubt that it can be incredibly challenging when creating a remote team for your company. While there are plenty of benefits for remote workers and they can still be incredibly productive, it can definitely be an issue to make them feel connected to in office workers and even to other remote workers. By ignoring cultivating strength in your remote team, you risk losing these employees or having them not be as productive and collaborative as they could be. Here are some concrete ways you can create a strong remote team for your business.
The best way to create a strong remote team is to give your remote workers the tools they need to communicate with each other and with your in-office workers. Creating an easy channel for communication makes connecting as a team much simpler. Let them know that you expect them to communicate with one another and collaborate on projects. Using apps and other features online to make chatting, video calling, and screen sharing as easy as possible, and encouraging this behavior, helps you strengthen your remote team.
You need to show all of your employees that they’re on an equal playing field and whether or not they’re in the office doesn’t affect how much they’re responsible for. If you foster communication successfully, it’ll be easy to assign a project to your remote team and let one of them take the lead on it. Make sure the team shares responsibility so no one is slacking off or being left out.
When you have remote workers, it’s important that you regularly check-in with them. You might already have weekly check-ins, but it’s also a good idea to schedule extra time with them. Anyone who works in the office can simply grab you when they have a question, but those working remotely may find it harder to connect and ask a question for a quick answer. Let them know the best way to reach you throughout the day and even share your calendar with them so they know whether or not you’re in a meeting.
Utilize team building
Try to incorporate team building activities into your team. Do online activities, videochat in remote workers when something’s happening in the office, and find times you can all meet face-to-face. Even if you have remote workers in another state or country, consider finding at least one time throughout the year that all employees can have travel expenses covered so they can converge in one location. Even simply meeting your remote team in person can help strengthen them.
Give them trust
While it can understandably be difficult to trust workers you cannot monitor throughout the day, you need to give your remote team your trust. Avoid checking in on them constantly or micromanaging them; if it isn’t something you’d do to someone working in the office, do not do it to your remote team. Give them ample opportunities to provide feedback and trust that they’ll get their work done, until they give you a reason to not trust them.