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Building an Amazing Remote Team

A strong remote-first team needs to be set up for success and that starts at the core of the company.

Companies of all shapes and sizes have made the decision to embrace remote work over the last few years. This massive shift is no surprise given the clear benefits of remote work.

But building remote teams involves more than just sending everyone home with their laptops and monitors. A strong remote-first team needs to be set up for success and that starts at the core of the company.

As a leader, how can you build a team that’s truly remote-native rather than simply adapting your existing team to remote life? 

Be output-driven

More and more companies are shifting towards output as a measure of success, rather than outdated notions of time at one’s desk, or butts in seats. As long as the work is done and done well, does it matter where and how it was done?

Even with technology, it’s impossible to accurately count the hours your remote team spends sitting at their computer. (Cue the TikTok of the dog dragging their human’s mouse around the house.) Besides, just because someone can work longer doesn’t mean they’re a better employee by any measure.

Instead, focus on creating an environment of trust that empowers your remote team to deliver results. While this level of trust is crucial for remote-native companies, it’s equally applicable to companies that have a hybrid or in-office approach. In fact, studies have shown that remote employees are more productive – especially in environments with strong culture and leadership.

At the end of the day, your employees’ output is what drives the success of your business – not hours logged on the clock. Just make sure that your team is aligned on goals and expectations so everyone is on the same page.

Offer flexibility

Employees who choose to work remotely do so because it meets their own unique life circumstances. Flexibility is one of the highest-ranked workplace benefits, particularly among millennials.

Whether it’s choosing their own workspace or enjoying the extra time in their day, remote workers embrace the flexibility that comes with a remote-first company.  Here are some ways you can offer more flexibility for your remote-native team:

  • Working hours – Is it really best that everyone works the same hours? Consider allowing your team to work when they feel their best.
  • Location – Does time zone actually matter? Or will your teams succeed no matter where they work?
  • Meeting participation – Will your team feel more confident with more flexibility in attending meetings? (Think off-camera or phone dial as an option.)

Offering flexibility as a remote-native company will help your teams perform their best.

That being said, flexibility doesn’t mean you should allow for a complete free-for-all. Having clear and well-thought-out remote-first policies can help foster autonomy – without your company turning into the wild west.

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Prioritize remote company culture

Company culture is important in every organization. But fostering company culture is even more important when it comes to remote-native teams. It’s well-understood that remote teams need a bit more structure and support in order to foster company culture. 

Set regular and recurring events for your entire company, like All-Hands or Town Halls. Within smaller teams, make sure there are opportunities for regular check-ins and other fun and inclusive activities to ensure no one feels isolated.

More importantly, remember that events for remote teams need to be intentionally designed for the virtual stage. You can’t simply take Friday happy hour and expect it to translate into a remote hit. Prioritize your company culture by using platforms, like Venue, that are specifically designed to support remote-native events.

A robust remote-first company culture will keep your team feeling engaged and valued.

Build meaningful relationships

Perhaps easier said than done, but having strong relationships within your remote teams is imperative. Without communication and strong relationships, it’s hard to build a team you trust and enjoy working with. 

Connecting with other people is simply just more difficult when you don’t see each other face-to-face. 

As a company, it’s important to have the collaboration and communication tools available for your team to build strong relationships with each other. Platforms like Slack are great for streamlining day-to-day communication, but make sure you also schedule regular video check-ins so your team gets face time with all of the members of your company.

Hire remote workers

This one might seem obvious but it’s a bit trickier than you might think. Hiring a remote worker is more than just hiring an employee that works somewhere other than an office. 

A strong remote team needs a foundation of workers who thrive in a remote environment. Despite the benefits of remote work, some workers will perform their best in an office setting. That’s okay – but it might mean that as a leader, you might need to put more thought and care into how you can support them at home.

With that in mind, you also need to be remote-first as an employer – providing the tools, resources, and policies necessary to support your remote team. This is particularly true if you’re transitioning office-based employees into full-time remote teams – this might mean a re-evaluation of your company’s performance metrics, for example.

Amazing remote teams make for amazing companies

Instead of just adapting your existing teams into remote employees, take the time to truly establish yourself as a remote-first organization. From policies to workplace culture, your job as a remote leader is to set your team up for success.

The truth is, remote workplaces are still finding their feet. So the ultimate framework for a remote workplace can require a bit more thought and intention. By proactively taking steps to build an amazing remote company, you and your team will be thriving remotely in no time!

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