Using teams of remote workers is a growing trend among businesses worldwide. Thanks to the Internet, companies have an incredible ease of access to a global pool of highly qualified workers. In the 21st century, talent knows no boundaries. The fact that hiring remote teams helps businesses reduce their overhead certainly doesn’t hurt. Remote teams seem like a win-win situation for workers and employers alike.
If this sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because — it is. Remote teams can be an incredible benefit for any business, and especially for startups that need to keep their costs down. The tricky part of having remote teams work with you is that they will only be as effective and efficient as is your ability to manage them.
Building a Team
You will have several options when it comes to creating your remote working team. You can choose between dedicated teams or hire freelancers one by one until you have created a team that can do what you need it to do. Either way, you will have to ensure your team is made out of people with the right qualifications and relevant experience. And you will have to find a way to legally hire them and protect yourself from issues like confidentiality breaches.
Your main concern as a team manager will be hiring people who are skilled and capable of being a part of the team. If your team members fail at either of these characteristics, your job will become much harder. You should test your team members for their ability to work along with others as well as their ability to do the work you are hiring them for. And if someone fails to perform to the point when they become disruptive for the whole team, don’t hesitate to replace them.
Getting the Necessary Hardware
You already know remote teams are cost-effective. A part of what makes them that way is that you don’t have to invest in any gear they need for work. So it is not just the office space where you save money. It is also the hardware, like computers and modems.
However, your ability to manage your team will depend on your ability to communicate with it. Because your team doesn’t have to be on the same continent as you, having face-to-face communication can be challenging. And it is still important that you have face-to-face communication occasionally. Most smartphones come with the hardware needed to perform video calls. But if you have a large team working from the same office, you might think about investing in professional video conference gear. Not only will the quality of the communication be better, but you will also be able to communicate effortlessly with a whole room full of team members.
Picking the Right Software
Once you have chosen the team and you have made sure they have the skills, experience, and gear necessary to work with you and communicate, you get to the fun part — starting a project. That is where the bulk of your work as a team manager happens. That is also where the majority of problems come up. You can minimize those problems by using two types of apps.
The first type of apps you will need to use if you want to manage a remote team efficiently are messaging apps. You will use face-to-face communication apps occasionally. You will use messaging apps daily. You will have plenty of different apps to choose from. Slack has grown to become one of the most widely used messaging and collaboration apps on the market, and it is definitely worth checking out. You can also use additional apps for specific types of communications, like when you want to send encrypted messages. Either way, you must have an app that will enable instantaneous and convenient communication between you and every team member.
The second type of apps you will need to use our project management apps. Once again, you will have an incredible variety to choose from, with Trello, Asana, and Basecamp being among the most popular. You need to pick what works best for you and your team. You should also make sure that the app you choose has all the features you need. Or, if it doesn’t, that you can easily compensate for the features it lacks. For example, your project management app might not support a shared digital workspace, but you can always use Google Docs for that.
Managing a remote team can often be a challenging task. Building a good team can be difficult. Creating and maintaining a good workflow has challenges of its own. Staying on top of your team members and communicating with them can be time-consuming. However, you should remember that for every remote team management problem you have, there is a tech solution. You just need to make sure you pick the right one.