5 Successful Strategies for Remote Teams

This article will discuss five successful strategies for remote teams so you can make the most of this growing trend.

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Remote work is on the rise. According to Global Workplace Analytics's study, remote workers have grown by 140% since 2015.

This trend is fueled by the rise of the gig economy, the popularity of coworking spaces, and the increasing affordability of long-distance communication.

Despite all the challenges, there are many advantages to working remotely. For example, remote workers have more flexibility and freedom regarding their work schedules. They can also save on costs such as commuting and office space. This article will discuss five successful strategies for remote teams so you can make the most of this growing trend.

Common Challenges for Remote Teams

Despite all its benefits, working remotely can also be lonely and isolating. It can be difficult to stay motivated and focused when not surrounded by other people.

Additionally, many distractions exist at home, such as family members, pets, and the television. And it can be hard to stay on task when you're not in a traditional office setting.

Another challenge for remote teams is efficient communication.

It can be challenging to keep everyone on the same page when you're not all in the same room. It can prove even more challenging to build relationships and trust with your team members when you're not always face-to-face.

To be successful, remote teams need to have a strong relationship with their team members. They need to be able to trust and rely on each other.

So without further ado, here are the five strategies for building a successful remote team.

1. Set Clear Expectations

The first and arguably most important of all the successful strategies for remote teams is setting clear, company-wide expectations so that everyone is on the same page and is working towards the same goals — even if they're not in the same office.

There are several steps and different avenues for setting clear expectations, but choosing the one(s) that make sense for your team and sticking with it as new people come on the team is essential.

Here are a few ideas for setting clear expectations:
• Establish and maintain straightforward policies
• Define the purpose and objectives of the team
• Set measurable goals and objectives
• Communicate the company's values to everyone on the team
• Make sure everyone understands their role and has self-expectations as well

2. Regular Check-ins and Meetups

Another strategy for building a successful remote team is regular check-ins, whether weekly or monthly. These can be in the form of video calls, phone calls, or even in-person meetups.

The point is to have a consistent time for everyone to touch base so that all employees are up-to-date on what's going on and can offer support if needed. Meetups also allow employees to get to know each other outside the established "workplace" environment.

Some specific strategies under the umbrella of meetups include:
• Planning fun team events
• Hosting annual and semi-annual company events
• Arranging for regular one-on-one check-ins
• Use technology to provide the option for people to connect outside of the work hours

3. Open Communication

Regular check-ins and meetups are linked to establishing open communication, but communication shouldn't just be open when employees are getting together for happy hour or game night.

There should be a designated channel or software that employees can use to communicate with each other during work hours. These communication methods could include Slack, Google Chat, or even a group text.

The point is for employees to feel comfortable enough to voice their concerns or ask questions without fear of judgement. Creating an open and safe environment is critical to having a successful remote team.

In addition to open communication between employees, bosses and leaders within the organisation should prioritise communication even more than they normally would in a non-remote environment.

Some specific strategies for promoting open communication include taking time to learn about the employees and streamlining communication processes. Higher-ups should also encourage transparency from executive team leaders to build trust and respect.

4. Set a Structured Yet Flexible Schedule

While remote teams must have a set schedule, it's also important to be aware of and accommodating to the different time zones of employees.

Setting a structured yet flexible schedule will help ensure everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines and expectations while not putting too much pressure on employees who might be in a different time zone and have other commitments outside of work.

Some ideas for setting a structured yet flexible schedule include:
• Scheduling mandatory weekly or monthly team meetings
• Designating specific times for employees to be available
• Asking employees to share their schedules in advance
• Giving employees the freedom to create their schedule as long as deadlines are met

When it comes to the toolset, you can start with creating a schedule in Google Sheets and move on to advanced project management software as your remote team scales.

5. Prioritise Mentorship

The final strategy for remote teams is to have a mentoring system in place.

Mentoring is essential for several reasons: first, it will help new employees adjust to the company culture and feel like they have a support system. Additionally, it will help with onboarding and training as mentors can provide first-hand knowledge and experience.

Mentorship can also help employees feel like they are part of a community and build lasting relationships with people within the organisation.

Ultimately, mentorship is all about education, and educating the team is a way to ensure that everyone feels like they understand the team's goals but can also advocate for themselves.

Mentorship provides a gap between the standard boss/employee dynamic, thus promoting the democratisation of education in a corporate work environment.

Some successful ways to establish a mentoring system is to include it in:
• Training and development programs
• Onboarding programs
• Mentorship-specific initiatives
• Encouraging peer-to-peer mentoring relationships

Final Word

Now you know five successful strategies for remote teams, specifically for creating and maintaining them. Of course, each team is different, and what works for one might not work for another.

The most important point is to be aware of the various challenges that come with having a remote team and be willing to adjust your methods as needed. With the right amount of effort, any team can succeed — no matter where they are.

This article was guest written by Romy Toma-Catauta.
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