Distributed teams are growing in popularity among many sectors of business. Technology has made it possible for companies to have more choices of skilled workers, and there are typically fewer expenses associated with hiring a team member in a different city or country than there are with an employee working in the office. However, there are also obstacles to running a remote team that will need to be overcome if you are to be successful. If you’ve come to the place where you need more employees, here are some tips for forming and managing a team of remote workers so that your company can succeed.

Check Job Boards

One of the first things you should do as you build your distributed team is to look at online job boards for the types of workers you need. Staffing companies like Upwork have job boards that can provide you with a large pool of capable and reliable workers in many different fields; for instance, you can hire qualified freelance graphic designers, web designers, virtual assistants, content writers, consultants, paralegals and more. Once you know what kinds of projects you need done, connect with freelancers to start building the team.

Clarify Company Essentials Before Hiring

When you’re looking for remote workers to add to your team, it’s important to establish company essentials before you commit to bringing them on board. For instance, go through the details of the company culture you strive to maintain, and talk to each candidate about their role in that culture. Walk through your company’s mission statement and core values to make sure the candidate is comfortable with them. Also, this is the time to lay all your expectations on the table — from quality of work to work hours and availability.

Trust Your Workers

 There’s one more thing to ensure before hiring a candidate — that you can trust them. If you can’t trust a worker to deliver quality work on time, then they probably shouldn’t be working for you in the first place. Also, if you don’t trust your workers, it will show. It will likely lead to you standing over them throughout each project and task you assign them. This not only puts strain on the working relationship between you and that worker, but it’s also bad for team morale. 

 Communicate Well

 Communicating efficiently is always important when you have a team. And when your team is distributed across the country, this is in many ways more important and more difficult to pull off successfully than it is for a team who works in the same building. Make sure each worker has a clear understanding of their assignments, as well as guidelines for when they are to remain accessible for communicating via phone, email, and so on. Also, make sure your team has any collaboration tools and software necessary to hold meetings and work on projects together.

 Find Ways to Build Morale

 Finally, one of the biggest hurdles for remote teams to jump over is developing and maintaining morale amongst one another. Building morale is easier when you are in the same room with your team multiple times a day. So, when your team consists of remote workers, you have to find creative ways to keep the company culture alive and strengthen relationships between team members. This could include anything from holding bi-weekly virtual team meetings to signing everyone up for a team chat app to arranging for everyone to meet in person once a year. 

While there are many advantages to building a distributed team, you have to come at it with the right approach if you want it to be successful. Start by checking job boards for qualified workers, and make sure that each candidate is clear on your expectations before you hire them. Also, trust the workers you hire, make sure communication is happening amongst your team, and always be looking for ways to build morale. These tips will help you form and manage a healthy team of remote workers.

Thank you to Tina Martin who submitted this post for us.  

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