When it comes to working remotely, there are certain things that can make or break your team. Like any new type of work environment or situation, there is an adjustment period during which changes must be made and people must be flexible.
Although this transition period may be tough, you and your colleagues will eventually get into a rhythm and your processes will be as natural as they were in any traditional office environment. To help you get there, here are six things that have the power to make or break your remote team (so that you can implement or avoid them).
1. Transparent Communication
Transparent communication is the number one thing that can make a significant impact on your remote team. Since you won’t be physically seeing and talking to each other day in and day out, it’s important that you have proper communication tools in place, ensure everyone knows how to use them, and that everyone is actually utilizing them.
As we mentioned in our remote work tools post, at xoombi we use Slack for internal communication between team members, Teamwork for project-based communication, and Trello for content-specific conversations.
2. A Completely vs. Partially Remote Team
What also impacts a remote company's success or failure is if the company is completely remote or only a few members are remote. This is an issue primarily because it impacts the way the team communicates.
For example, if three members of a team are in an office, and one member is working remotely, chances are that the individual working remotely won’t be as up-to-date on ongoing projects as the three working in close proximity to one another.
On the other hand, if all team members are working remotely, conversations will happen across the numerous channels that have been set up so that everyone is updated at the same time.
3. Cloud-Based Systems
You’ll need to ensure that you have cloud-based systems set up that are accessible to the whole team. It’s important that everyone can access the sames systems so that they can seamlessly work together in the cloud.
Think about it this way: A huge contributing factor to the success of any team is effective and efficient collaboration, so making sure your systems are primed for said collaboration will save you and your team both time and money down the line.
4. Well-Defined Processes
Since all of your processes will be digital, it’s essential that they are well-defined. Take your team through each tool and/or system and show them how you expect tasks to be completed, statuses to be communicated, and problems to be addressed.
Getting everyone on the same page from the very start will result in fewer headaches and a more streamlined system.
5. Clear Expectations
Setting expectations is important for any team—traditional or remote. If your team members have experience working remotely, they’ll know what’s expected of them. However, if they haven’t, you’ll most likely need to set remote work expectations on top of general, company-wide expectations.
These might include how much work you expect them to complete every week, what type of communication you expect to see come through (and with what frequency), and how often you want them to check in.
6. Growth Plan
Last but not least, you need to have a growth plan for the company. This will give you and your remote team goals (and their corresponding milestones) to work towards. It will also provide direction and inspire cohesion as a team.
Do you work remotely? What aspects of remote work do you think help and hinder your team?