There’s something so exciting about running a remote business. Whether it’s the flexible hours you love, or your need to travel, or you think that your business would be better off by hiring remote workers all over the world, there are many great reasons to start a start a remote business. And in 2018, only two years away from 2020, more and more business leaders are choosing to have offices all over the world, with employees working across a variety of countries and time zones. So if you want to run a remote business, the time is now!
As long as you follow these tips for running a remote team, you’ll be successful in running your remote business, no matter where in the world you’re based:
1 Hire workers who’ve worked remotely
If possible, one of the best ways to assemble a great remote team is by hiring people who’ve completed remote work already. By posting your jobs on sites like angel.co (where many people looking for the remote lifestyle are applying for jobs with startups) or http://remoteok.io/, you’re going to find the right employees. The fact is, remote working can be a challenge in itself, one that requires self-discipline and the ability to stay in touch with other employees despite time differences.
Additionally, consider using Instagram and Twitter to post about remote jobs, using hashtags such as #remote and #digitalnomad. People who are already in the know with these kinds of jobs will be using social media in their searches, too--and considering that there are going to be 1 billion digital nomads in the world by 2035, this number is only going to grow as your business grows.
2 Use public chat channels
According to Wade Foster, the co-founder and CEO of Zapier, “Nearly all of our conversations happen on public chat channels, which is especially helpful when working across different time zones. When team members wake up, they can easily gain context and pick up where others left off.” Especially if you’re working with projects that can be completed in separate steps--for example, a content company that has a team of writers, a team of editors, and a team completing SEO work--it makes sense to share everything on a public chat channel like Slack.
The fact is, 6 million people were using Slack as of September 2017--so if you haven’t yet moved on from doing all your work over email, it’s time to reconsider. It’s free, too (with upgraded plans), which means that you won’t have to go into credit card debt to pay for this great service.
3 Keep track of productivity instead of time
In the same way that punch cards are a thing of the past, keeping track of time, when it comes to your online team, is a bit retro, too (and not in the cool #retro sense of the word). Instead, you’ll want to focus on productivity--on what your team is actually producing. According to smallbiztrends.com, “Religiously tracking time can make remote teams feel untrusted and like they’re being watched…[G]iving workers the flexibility and freedom to complete tasks when they wish can be up to 35 percent more productive.
Additionally, this will make your employees feel more respected and happier, which is great for company morale--and, eventually, this will give you a great reputation in the remote jobs world, so as your company continues to grow, you’ll keep getting the best employees out there.
4 Be clear about your expectations
When you’re working on or leading a remote team, every individual needs to know exactly what’s expected of them. The fact is, organizing team meetings is going to be a bit of a challenge if everyone’s spread throughout different time zones, which means that responsibilities need to be clear from the start. Otherwise, you may end up with an employee doing the wrong with entirely--and messing up an entire project because of it.
According to The Business Backer, it’s also useful to provide your employees with a mission, which will give them clarity on what the company’s really about: “it is useful to share information about the organization’s goals so that remote staff can see the bigger picture that they are part of.” It’s important for them to understand the real reason why they’re getting that electronic check at the end of the month, so make it as clear as you can, especially during the hiring process.
Considering that we live in a world where we spend over 4 hours a day on our mobile phones, making responsibilities clear is going to make it so your employees work as hard as they can on the task at hand.
As you can see, by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to running your remote business team as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Do you have any other tips for running a remote business team? What are your worries when it comes to making your team remote?