Yes, research studies do show that remote employees are happier, healthier and more productive than their traditional in-house counterparts.
But is it the same for the entrepreneur who builds the team?
Is it as easy to foster a sense of team spirit and ensure that there are coherence and understanding of a common goal?
So once you’ve decided to go virtual, the next question is how do I build a virtual team?
In recent times, virtual working has progressed and there is considerable content on the web to feed you on knows and how’s.
In this article, we are discussing the three most important tips to consider while building a remote team.
Whom to look for?
Sure, everyone wants to be working out of their pyjamas and in their bathroom slippers, out of their comfort zone with no constant monitoring over the head.
But everyone is not meant for remote working.
It requires a personality and one that can communicate crisply.
So when you’re looking to hire, hunt for a great communicator because casual conversations are very easy to make with so many emojis at our discretion but professional communication requires a tone and an ability to understand the other person’s tone.
Most of the times, conversations are not made face to face and hence you surely need a clear communicator.
You must look for a self-starter who is motivated to work and doesn’t require to be micro-managed because we do agree that it’s difficult to stay away from the gripping TV series on Netflix when you’re not being watched over.
When you start work, set 30 days routine with your employee and establish means of accounting for work and establishing mechanisms to instil that sense of responsibility and commitment to work without being micro-managed.
Customize the Size
The size of your team matters.
Smaller teams are effective for small projects where you can put the pressure on the outcome of the team members.
Healthy pressure certainly leads to better outcomes and evens out efforts from team members, so that one person doesn’t bear the brunt of it all.
If you have a larger project at hand, a bigger team will be helpful but you must clearly define and communicate the roles and respective tasks before starting off with the group to avoid confusion.
A good entrepreneur always keeps a check on the functioning of the teams and ensures that everything is in sync because quite often employees go out of sync as they are all remotely working.
It is you who must pay attention to the routine and how well it is working for the team.
Set a routine call or meeting with all the team members on the board regularly so that everyone is on the same page and you are constantly in the loop to mitigate unavoidable hurdles in your team cohesiveness.
Technology to your Rescue
How often do your team members need to have a meeting or conference call?
This is subjective and depends on the case-to-case basis.
If it’s enough for your team members to brainstorm once a week and touch base on all the progress, then that should be fine. If it requires being more frequent, then schedule it that way.
You must constantly tap the need for a meet and schedule it and regulate it as a consistent process than an emergency rescue.
Also, remember to enthuse your conversations with some informal dialogue as remote assistants tend to feel isolated sooner than in-house employees.
They can feel disconnected and lose sync soon. To encourage informal conversations or humorous fillers in between. This fosters team spirit.
There are many platforms for your team to connect on and can be chosen as per your needs and convenience. A good virtual team embodies technology in their everyday lives. Trust their skills.
Most of the times, virtual teams fail due to lackadaisical approach and unclear communication.
To establish clear guidelines and expectations in the beginning and communicate it well.
Building an efficient virtual team is more difficult and requires greater efforts, commitment, strategy and the right components to make it work.
Lastly, be patient, as the saying goes: Rome was not built in a day.