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The pandemic has changed the way we work — in a very literal sense. Before spring 2020, fewer than one in 30 companies had more than half of their employees working remote, but now, that number is closer to one in three. And past the pandemic, even after all the vaccines have been distributed and the average worker is allowed to return to their office, many companies report that they will still have a remote work policy in place.
All of this is to say that if you manage a remote team, you’re not alone. Putting together the dream team of remote employees takes a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of collaboration, but it’s a must in today’s remote-work world. From the business processes to the technology you’ll need to make all of this work, let’s take a look.
Invest in the right people
As you’re managing your remote workforce, you will find that certain people are better suited to this kind of environment. Successful remote employees are good at communicating their needs verbally and without being prompted — these folks keep you apprised of the goings-on of their day-to-day activities without micromanagement.
It also goes without saying that the best remote workers are motivated and responsible. Independence is key, especially when people are working on different schedules and in different time zones, and if you have to be up all hours of the night nudging your employees for updates on that latest project, that isn’t going to be efficient for anyone.
Invest in the right tools
In addition to finding and hiring the employees who are best suited for remote work, you need to invest in the technology to make a work-from-home office possible. Collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom all provide chat and video conferencing capabilities that make communication easier.
Project management tools are also hugely important for remote work, especially because you can’t stop by their cubicle for a chat about what they have on their plate that week. Keeping track of projects in tools like JIRA, Airtable, or Zoho Projects is a great way to make sure your projects are getting done on time and on spec — and why they’re not, if that’s the case.
Evaluate business processes
Remote work requires a fair amount of creative thinking that face-to-face work may not. Some processes may need revisions, such as how employees interact or when they can be contacted outside of working hours. You may try setting daily goals for your team or conducting daily or weekly stand-ups to give your team time to interface with one another in a formal setting.
When you are looking over your business processes, you should consider the advantages of forming a limited liability company, or LLC. Designating your company as an LLC offers several key benefits to small-business owners, including pass-through tax filing, protection for your personal assets if the business goes under, and more freedom in terms of the requirements (as opposed to an S-corp or C-corp class business). Before filing with an online formation service, however, check the restrictions in your locality, as they vary on a state-by-state basis.
Go forth and do good work
Putting together and managing a dream team of remote workers comes down to the people, tools, and processes you put in place. Once you have these three things down to a science, you are well on your way to success in today’s fast-paced business landscape.
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