Essential Tips For Remote Team Building

Tricks for Hiring the Best Talent and What to Avoid.
A shift is occurring in how companies view and hire talent. They are now tasked with taking advantage of the global workforce and choosing to hire remotely. It can be done successfully and here are the basics of remote team building.
The Benefits

Creating a remote team is important because you gain access to a larger pool of talent. Companies not located near large cities may enjoy advantages of this team structure in addition to lower overhead costs in the way of supplying computers or a work space to name a few.

This strategy is not without challenges. While you may have built an in-person team in the past, this is different animal. Successful remote team building requires special individuals in both the leader and team members.

Then and Now.

In an office, you see your team at all times, you control the hours, you utilize communication cues other than written or verbal. It’s much easier to grab everyone for an impromptu meeting and you get the benefits of social interaction with others.

Now, your position will require additional skills.

Your New Role
You must learn let go of a degree of control. You can’t hover and, because some team members may be on different time zones, you can’t control all hours the team works.
The team needs individuals with exceptional written communication skills… you might need to polish your skills as well.
Become more organized. You are responsible for setting meetings ahead of time as well as creating project milestones to ensure timely delivery.
Different management structure… since you’re not there it’s easy for members to become disconnected.

An additional skill required is finding the right talent.

Quality Talent is Difficult to Find

Remote team building requires unique individuals so you’ll need to vet team members for additional qualities. Most likely, an interview will be conducted online adding an extra layer af difficulty. Keep a few of these questions in mind while considering new team members.

  • Have they ever worked remotely and what was that dynamic like?
  • What type of technology do they use?
  • Which technology platforms for remote teams are they familiar with?
  • How are their written communication skills? We cannot stress this one enough!
  • Is a social environment important to this person?
Your Team Does Not Want A Boss

There are two different types of email services: Marketing & Transaction Emails. It’s important you know the difference, otherwise, your email may never make the inbox.

Marketing emails are for promotion purposes, Transaction emails are for things like receipts, package delivery tracking, etc. Transactional emails almost always reach the inbox while more often marketing emails go straight to the spam folder. You can use transactional emails to proceed a customer “action” such as opt-in on your webpage.

It’s also important that your email service has tools that allow you to conduct spam-analysis and blacklist checks before sending emails.

While Remote Team Building, There is No Such Thing as Too Much

Communication is crucial to building a successful remote team. It is important to set up weekly team check-ins so everyone can get to know each other and build a sense of comradery. This time will allow everyone to stay up to date on project related details as well.

Not everything needs to be done via email. Use skype to send a quick note or try their voice call for questions that require additional clarity. Platforms such as Basecamp’s ‘chat’ feature allow you to leave messages for clients and team members. This method is ideal for updates that are important but not urgent.

What is most important is that foster a culture of communication.

Pick the Right Technology

This may require some time and testing but there are a few types of technology to start with.

Collaboration tool like BaseCamp, Office 365, Asana, etc.
Communication tools such as Skype and GoToMeeting
File Sharing Tools such as DropBox
Experience Talks

Make things easier by adding a team member who has worked on a remote team before. They will provide both insight and experience to the group. Much like any new endeavor, we recommend you always test new things, keep what works, trash what doesn’t work and always looks for way to do things better.

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