Remote jobs become more and more popular with passing each year. Companies are able to recruit and hire top-tier talent around the world while offering higher salaries and better benefits that all, in turn, significantly cuts down on overhead costs. Employees and temporary contractors are happier, generally enjoy a better work-life balance, and are typically more productive than their office-bound counterparts.
But while the aforementioned may be the new norm amongst businesses, the key to having a successful remote team lies in knowing how to best hire and manage one. Managing remote workers is a skill every employer and manager will have to learn, and once you’ve got this nailed down, you can watch your teams thrive.
Here are 5 key tips to ensure your remote teams are successful:
1. Hire the right people.
Of course, the qualities and skills you’d look for when hiring for in-house engineers will be pretty similar to remote ones. That said, there are certain skills that will ensure a candidate is the best fit. Strong written communication skills, self-discipline/being a true self-starter, ability to think critically, and having a keen attention to detail are all traits that make for a great remote employee.
While using a firm to assist with staff augmentation would vastly eliminate the headache of the traditional hiring process, it’s still important to know the type of qualities your hire should possess in order to be the best fit on your team. This way, you can confidently trust your team members to get their jobs done without micromanaging.
2. Develop a strong management culture and be crystal clear during your onboarding process.
Having a strong management backbone is integral for any remote workforce. This means having a highly communicative team leader who is available to have weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member so everyone remains connected to and clear on what their goals are and are staying on track with their tasks. A strong manager can respect others’ autonomy and doesn’t micromanage — as long as goals are accomplished and deadlines are met.
Onboarding processes can be tedious and expensive, so be sure you’ve got the right system cemented. Set clear expectations of what the role will entail, and be sure to address any and all questions and concerns before jumping into action. Be as consistent with this process so everyone is on the same page as soon as possible.
3. Request feedback as well as give it on a regular basis.
Along with scheduling your weekly one-on-ones, be sure to provide each team member with regular opportunities to give and receive honest feedback. This eliminates any anxiety or guesswork while helping everyone grow professionally. You’ll learn more about your organization and where it can be improved, and you’ll get a better understanding of how each individual is receiving information and processing it.
4. Use the right tech.
A major advantage to hiring remote staff or using staff augmentation to ramp up your team is you do not need to filter candidates by location. However, this does mean that visibility can suffer if you don’t take the right steps to remedy it. You can use video instead of plain voice conferences and allow individuals time to speak up when needed. Body language and facial expressions say a lot more than just words. This can also encourage participation.
Communication tools such as Slack are huge for keeping connections strong, and utilizing the right project management software can keep everyone on the same page while ensuring goals are met.
5. Allow time and space for meaningful connections.
Many businesses with remote positions will have quarterly meetups or yearly retreats so everyone can meet in person. These companies allocate budget and resources to help team members build meaningful connections that allow more space for feeling valuable to the company and to each other.
While a single offsite is a must, you can also organize smaller meetups every quarter to keep the connection as strong as possible. This face time is highly beneficial in team building, fostering even more productivity long term.
Alternatively, you can plan to meet up at conferences or other work-related events. No matter which plan you go with, make sure everyone has a chance to get in some solid facetime so no one feels overly isolated.