Motivation. When you’re in an office, you can be a hands-on leader more easily. You can pop over to people’s desks, hold meetings together, etc. When running a remote team, you can still do all of those things, but it becomes more difficult. That’s why having great communication channels set up is so important.
Skype chat can be the equivalent of stopping by someone’s desk. Just have everyone on your team on Skype when they’re working. Then that check-in is simple as a chat. Schedule weekly meetings where you meet with the entire team and then smaller groups of people. Do it in a Skype group chat or using a tool like Zoom.
The challenges are definitely there, but with today’s digital resources, there’s a solution to all of them. You just need to figure out which ones work best for you and your company.
Thinking of creating your own remote startup? See how Nathan and Connor built a successful and effective remote team from scratch.
Read full interview from Interview with Nathan and Connor, owners of Freeeup.
The challenges in building a remote team are very similar to the difficulties in building a local team. For example:
Finding people oriented to your vision. For remote, you will have to reinforce the mission and the vision further. Once that is done it is easier to ensure you do not commit common mistakes of managing remote workers.
Taking the time to invest in remote workers. Make sure that you spend enough time and attention to the training of remote workers
Creating a culture of collaboration. You need to build an ecosystem with remote workers collaborating just like you would build out locally.
Ayush is a CEO that is committed to helping companies build successful remote teams—see his process and tips for developing location independent teams that thrive.
Read full interview from Interview with Ayush, a CEO and avid remote team builder.
Relationship building is going to be more acute once we start hiring remotely. We’re a small startup where folks have to wear a lot of hats, so we need to communicate and have a solid foundation of trust.
Building that trust across time zones will be difficult, but not impossible. Thankfully, we have the shared knowledge of hundreds of remote work experts to guide us.
Class is in session! Corine and her team have been studying how to incorporate remote work in their startup for months. Learn about the effective remote work practices she and the team are implementing in their new company.
Read full interview from Company Interview with Corine, co-founder of Sike Insights.
Truthfully, it's much easier to build a culture in a physical office. Water cooler chats and bonding over lunch seem like inconsequential events, but they collectively build a strong sense of community that energizes a team.
But, that doesn't mean that you can't recreate those important bonding moments virtually. Managers have to be especially diligent about the tools and processes that they introduce to make sure that teammates feel like they have an outlet to bond.
Hosting office hours and happy hours virtually can be a great way to make people feel more connected.
The long San Francisco commute sent Vivek into remote work—hear about his three strategies for eliminating distractions & his must-have tools.
Read full interview from Interview with Vivek, an entrepreneur building a virtual office for remote teams.
Many of the challenges are the same as building an in-office team.
One, we are focusing heavily as of late on talent sourcing. Many recruiting managers overlook the importance of sourcing. They think it’s a numbers game.
I think the more effort you put into this stage, the more fruitful the rest of the recruiting process will be. If in the sourcing stage you are putting low-quality candidates into the flow, the interviews themselves aren’t going to do much to make them better candidates.
A lot of recruiting companies and hiring teams place low-level team members on the sourcing side. That makes no sense to me.
What good does a great recruiter and closer do down the line if in the very beginning of the process low-level team members with no technical expertise are putting candidates who are clearly not the right fit into the process?
If I had to focus on some remote-specific challenges when it comes to building a remote team, it could be the hiring manager’s reference network.
If I hire someone locally, I might have a better feel for the reputation and weight of the candidate’s references or past employers. If the job is open to remote candidates and I want to interview a candidate who is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a hiring manager in the U.S. could have a harder time placing weights on the reputation of the candidate’s past employers, references, etc.
This also applies for hiring managers who might be in Los Angeles, and they are interviewing a candidate that lives in Miami, Florida. Perhaps the hiring manager doesn’t share many past connections with the candidate, and it’s harder for the hiring manager to get more meaningful references.
Gino realized how important remote work could be to finding the best talent—see his strategies for building remote teams.
Read full interview from Interview with Gino, a founder skilled in building remote teams.
Communication and a sense of belonging are two of the biggest challenges when it comes to building a remote team. At AnswerConnect, we directly combat these challenges by making a point of airing on the side of over-communication.
All employees use our internal communication software, have regular video calls with other team members, share status updates, receive company-wide newsletters, and have regular manager check-ins.
Friday newsletters, instant access to HR, & the use of GIFs in comms, Fraser and the AnswerConnect team could write a book on remote work best practices. Check out the process of how they make it all work.
Read full interview from Company Interview with Fraser, Global Head of Marketing at AnswerConnect.
Finding people who are motivated and driven to get incredibly high-quality work done on deadline is a biggie.
Everyone wants to work remotely, but not all pros are wired to be productive outside of an office environment—or at the very least, many will require a ramping-up period.
Another challenge is communication: though I'm not into phone calls (as my husband can attest!), I will call a teammate or client at the first whiff of a misunderstanding. I've found that it has staved off confusing circumstances and has strengthened relationships.
Kristi is a CEO, remote work author, and speaker. In this interview, she shares the impact of new motherhood and remote team leadership on her work.
Read full interview from Interview with Kristi, a CEO and remote team leader.
Challenges? There's a lot. Communication, collaboration, monitoring, to mention just a few. But these challenges aren't just about remote work. Even office-based teams face these issues as well, even when they're in the same building. It all boils down to how good you're in managing your team.
And that's where human resources come in.
I think the biggest challenge, now and in the future, will be finding or building human resource managers geared towards remote teams.
This is something we're doing at Remoteteam.com, helping remote companies manage payroll, compliance, and more.
Hear how Saibu, a thriving HR content writer, navigates the complexities—and perks—of working with a remote team from Ghana.
Read full interview from Interview with Saibu, an HR content writer for a remote company.
Communication must be intentional and strategic, and camaraderie is tougher to build without in-person events and time.
Andrew, co-founder, and CEO of Insured Nomads talks traveling while working, productivity tools, and the best advice he has received.
Read full interview from Interview with Andrew, co-founder and CEO of Insured Nomads.
I think the main challenge—and most concerning—is the toll that remote work is taking on our health, particularly our mental health. These are the results of a survey we conducted in our Slack group last month:
• 61% of our members said they feel lonely at least once per week (M-F) • 38% said they feel lonely at least 2-3 times per week (M-F)
This is a huge reason I started Remote Wing—to be a safe space for remote workers and a place for advocacy and mutual support when it comes to our mental health.
"I've felt burnout HARD in the past. When it hits, it HITS, and it can be tough to recover." In this interview, Nico shares his strategies for balancing work and life and reveals the key to avoiding burnout.
Read full interview from Interview with Nico, marketer and advocate for remote worker mental health.
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