Published on by Digitally Squared

Remote teams are a no brainer to give your startup the competitive edge in obtaining top talent, but make no mistake, remote teams require structure, resources, and the right culture to give them the best chance of success. Luckily, we’ve combed through the playbook of some of the most successful¬†remote-based startups to put you on the right path.

  • Define What Working Remotely Means For Your Company

Companies such as Buffer openly champion their culture of mutual respect and trust, and often cite how remote work plays a significant role into their success. Though their team members might be in different time zones, the company is committed to bringing everyone together through retreats taking place at various locations every five months. An important takeaway from this example is that employees know what they are getting. They also know what they need to give and your commitment to follow through on them, then they have a standard to guide their efforts.

  • Use The Right Tools

When working with remote teams, one of the important things to consider is what ways you will need to communicate. Consider the following tools to get your remote team started:

Slack – Ideal for day-to-day communication

Trello – A useful tool for setting up a simple workflow with a card-based project tracking system

Google Docs& Apps – Allows for documents edited in real-time by multiple contributors and removes duplicative work siloed on individual computers – A tool to help you know where your team is and what time zone they are in

Outlook Calendar – Easy access to everyone’s availability to set times for meetings and events

Sococo – Collaborative team communication

Vcita – Client engagement CRM platform by email & SMS

Blog resources – Aside from the basic nuts and bolts tools above, think about ways everyone can keep up-to-date without combing through pages of updates. Some companies such as Automattic use an internal blog coupled with an alert system akin to Google Alerts to keep their team in sync.

Once you decide what tools to use, make sure your team understands how they should communicate and how often.

  • Communicate and Collaborate Often

Whichever communication platforms you choose, build in opportunities to check on your team on a regular basis. Daily standups can translate into a chatroom or Slack channel, so problems get resolved in real time. Additionally, make sure teams are available to each other, regardless of the time zone for at least a certain amount of hours each day. This way, questions aren’t left unanswered for the next day. If you’re not able to meet your teams in person, empower them to meet virtually via Google Hangouts or other collaborative channels to develop rapport across the organization. As the leader of the organization or the person in charge of managing teams, take an active role in checking in with each member working remotely on an individual basis. Calls could cover work-related topics and can also extend into the same kind of conversation you would have with colleagues you see on a daily basis. Sometimes people just want to have a casual chat, and that can make all the difference in how they view the work they do no matter how far away they are.

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