Running A “Remote” Team With Tight “Control”

It’s part of the very fabric of startup companies and small businesses now, the remote worker appears to be a very handy solution to the key issue every startup faces, money. And why not? It’s certainly a way to make the most of the resources you have without the big costs getting in the way, like the rent for an office. And asking everyone to set up a home office is probably quite an enticing prospect for many, not least the fact that their amount of commuting time has been reduced to around 20-seconds. But there are perils and certain traps that every business can fall into, but what are the key things you need from everyone to make this a successful operation?

Trust

As part of hiring the right team, trust needs to go both ways. One way to inspire trust from your workers is quite simple, hire reliable staff, those that are doers rather than people that sit idly waiting for orders. With a remote team, you are able to hire people from all around the world, and as you can’t be in contact 24-hours a day, you need to know that if you set a task with a deadline, it will be done. If you can’t trust the person at the other end, this will distract you from your own work, sapping the productivity of the company as a result. Trust is vital, and you need to trust the people, and show that you trust them.

Communication

The hallmark of a remote working relationship is communication. If you’re relying on people to communicate themselves properly, then they need to be able to write detailed emails and correspondence. It’s difficult to hire workers that need to be okay with the antisocial aspect of working yet be communicative, it’s a very difficult balance to get right. As a precursor to hiring someone, you could develop a communication skills test, like this one, where every question helps to cover different aspects of being sociable in a work setting and outside of work. Finding out if your employees can communicate themselves properly in a remote setting will help if you ever have plans to bring them all back to a proper working location.

Virtual Office Tools

Even though you’re all working remotely, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the camaraderie of working together! Virtual office tools like Slack help to make sure people are communicating with each other easily and apps like Google Docs helps to share documents and spreadsheets that could be used multiple times. Even something like HelloSign is great for contracts and documents that need signing, and saving the hassle of printing out the document, signing it, and scanning it before sending it, you can just use this app.  

Meeting In Person Now And Then

If a group of remote workers stays remote, it can promote a sense of facelessness, and the simple way to offset this is to meet up very sporadically. It helps employees and employers alike to check in on each other, and it doesn’t have to be a formal meetup, a social drink can be enough! Working remotely has its charms, but it also needs to be managed properly using the right tools.

 

 

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