In recent years, the popularity of remote teams has exploded.
Today, a whopping 66% of US companies allow remote work, and 16% of teams are entirely remote. And for a good reason – a two-year Stanford University study of 500 people who spent time working both remotely and in an office setting found that remote workers averaged an additional full day’s work each week. Remote work also boosts employee retention and decreases sick days and employee time off.
If you’re one of the many companies interested in onboarding or growing a remote team, you must be wondering: what’s the best way to build team culture? How can you manage your new team as effectively as possible? In this post, we’re sharing our top tips. Let’s dive in.
5 Proven Tips to Make Your Remote Team More Efficient
Remote teams allow you to access top talent without requiring new employees to relocate. Offering the possibility of remote work also makes your company more attractive to new hires. With this in mind, here are a few strategies to make your growing remote team as efficient as possible.
1. Make Communication the Top Priority
There are dozens of benefits of working with a remote team. However, one thing that can be a bit difficult to establish a communication pipeline. When everyone is in the same office, it’s easy to brief all team members at once on new projects or problems that need solving. When your team is partially or wholly remote, though, communication must be more intentional.
With this in mind, take a two-fold approach to your communication pipeline:
- Settle on a good channel. Whether you use Slack, Zoom, (which is excellent for video conference calls, which boost the connection of remote meetings), or another team management platform, make sure you find a platform that works for you and your team–something that easily keeps everyone on the same page.
- Bypass the brief. The quality of work you get from your remote team depends directly on the quality of your communication with them. Instead of briefing your remote employees and assuming they know enough to get started or resolve an issue, explain the circumstances in full. When remote employees have all the information they need, they can deliver better work in a shorter time frame.
2. Set Goals and Align Team Members
Make your remote team a cohesive force by setting small, achievable goals and developing a system to track them. Instead of launching a large project and turning your teams loose, break the objective down into smaller goals (sprints) set over 2-3 days. Conduct weekly check-ins or progress reports to propel your team forward.
In addition to allowing you to track your progress in real-time, this approach also enables you to catch problems early, so you don’t have to double-back and fix them later.
3. Streamline Your Remote Team’s Onboarding Process
When you hire employees for an in-office position, you have a standard onboarding process everyone follows. The same should be true for your remote team members.
A streamlined onboarding process will make it easier for remote employees to step into your company’s culture. It will also help bypass misunderstandings and ensure compliance (no more missed contracts or unsigned documents) across the board. We recommend a central place to store and share these documents like Google Drive or a private network, which makes it easy to manage onboarding docs. When it comes to tracking their completion, software tools like ClickUp or Teamwork are fantastic.
4. Arrange In-Person Meetings Routinely
There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, even with a remote team! If it’s possible for your organization, arrange routine in-person meetings. These could take the form of conferences, training, or team-building activities. This face-to-face time helps reinforce team bonds, boost retention, and promote innovation, creativity, and problem-solving.
5. Implement Quarterly Reviews
Support your remote team by conducting quarterly reviews to ensure everyone is coping and keeping up. Quarterly reviews improve your company’s output and creativity while also preventing people from feeling isolated or lonely in their remote positions. In addition to the structured quarterly reviews, be sure to check in regularly to offer support for your team.
Build a More Productive Remote Team – This Year and Beyond
Onboarding a remote team is an excellent way to meet your goals and make your company as productive as possible. While managing a remote team can be difficult, especially if you’ve never worked with remote employees before, these tips can help you create an efficient and agile remote workforce that will make you more competitive than ever.