5 Tips For Building a Remote Team

Hiring RemoteWorking Remotely

See what it takes to find, hire, and retain a reliable remote team that’s productive and happy to be there (virtually).[image source]

Are you considering building a remote team for your company?

Wondering how to begin the process when you’re used to working with in-house employees only?

You may be surprised to learn that creating a remote team is easier than you think -- especially when you follow the tips in this resource. 

You’ll also learn how to cut down your remote employee turnover at the same time.

Ready to get started?

Let’s begin with a solid foundation.

#1. Lay Down This Important Groundwork Before Building a Remote Team

If you want your remote team to run smoothly despite not being in-house, it’s crucial not to skip these first two steps. They each lay the foundation for a dependable remote team:

Map Out Your Team Member Needs and Their Roles First

[image source]

It can be tempting to jump right into hiring a remote worker

Of course, you want to alleviate some of the stresses of your business and hopefully help it grow. But rushing through this foundational work isn’t going to do your company any favors, and it could turn into a costly mistake.

Having to find, hire, and train new employees is expensive -- both in time and money.

So before you waste both, sit down and figure out exactly what your team needs right now.

Think about positions you need to fill right away and those that would help a few months from now.

Since most people are visual learners, you may want to draw this out as an organizational chart, including both current and future team members.

For potential new employees, create a list of positions you’re looking to fill and the specific skills needed to get the job done successfully.

It may seem like extra work, but do this now, and you’ll actually save time later.

Getting this information out of your head and on paper allows you to start defining your needs and what you’re looking for in a candidate. This will be useful when it comes time to write a job ad and set expectations for your remote team.

Determine How You’ll Communicate and Project Manage Remotely

Next, spend time figuring out how you’ll stay in touch and manage your remote team’s workload.

Are you going to have weekly remote meetings?

How does this change with different time zones?

Will team members be expected to be on camera?

What about day-to-day conversations? Will those happen via email or another communication tool?

Are you enforcing asynchronous communication?

Answering these questions, and determining how often and how you want your team members to stay in touch, can help you decide which tools to use. 

It also pinpoints expectations for employee communication, as touched on earlier.

The most popular communication tools for staying in touch with remote workers include:
  1. Slack
  2. Twist
  3. Skype
  4. GoToMeeting

Slack is an excellent option for day-to-day communications for a few reasons.

First, you can create separate channels for company updates, funny banter, and department-specific conversations. These distinct channels keep things organized and easy to follow in your organization.

Slack also keeps a record of your conversations (up to a certain amount with the free version), which can be easily searched. This is great for referring back to important messages -- which can even be starred and accessed quickly later on.

Now you’re ready to think about how you’ll manage your remote team’s workload.

The best project management tools for remote and in-house teams alike include:
  1. Trello
  2. Asana
  3. Basecamp
Check out and play around with each project management software to see which fits your budget and company’s needs.

#2. Find Team Members with Remote Working Experience


With that vital groundwork out of the way, you’re ready to find team members that match the skills and positions you identified earlier.

Before you decide to tap into the standard 9 to 5 talent pool and convince someone to work remotely, we suggest searching for team members who are already used to this style of work.

You’ll reduce your training time and hiring expenses. And you may find remote workers who are already familiar with your communication preferences and project management tools.

So how do you find qualified remote workers?

Skip the traditional job boards and find a remote work job board to post your ad.

Many experienced remote workers checking these job boards already have the skills you’re looking for, such as organization, discipline, and stellar communication.

And they don’t want to settle geographically for a job so they’d be eager to join your new remote team.

To find a qualified remote worker to add to your roster, post your next job on our remote job board and tap into the largest remote community in the world.

#3. Set Expectations Early

Once you find remote workers to interview, it’s a good idea to let them know your expectations of them, and also what they can expect.

If you’re a small startup and this person needs to wear many hats, for example, let them know in the interview so there are no workload surprises later on.

This will reduce new employee turnover, and save you the hassle of having to find, hire, and train someone else shortly after.

You should also make these expectations clear again when you plan to move forward with a candidate. This ensures everyone is still on the same page.

#4. Create an Enjoyable Onboarding Experience

Your next area to focus on is welcoming your new remote team members.

This is much easier when someone shows up in-person on their first day of work. When this happens remotely, you’ll need to put a bit more thought into how to do this well.

Don’t worry; the effort is minimal, and the results are well worth it.

Simple moves, like sending over a “Welcome to the team!” message in Slack, go a long way for establishing team camaraderie. 

To get down to business, pass along a digital packet or PDF that explains your company, its mission, training procedures, and what new hires can expect in their roles.

To take things a step further and make the onboarding process more memorable, you can also physically send a welcome care package to your new employees. 

Include a card signed by your in-house team welcoming them to the crew. Then stuff the box with company-branded merchandise -- cups, pens, t-shirts, koozies, etc. all work well!

This simple act will really make your new remote workers feel like they’re part of the team.

Consider elevating your onboarding experience today and you may see less turnover.

But that only happens when you also follow this last tip:

#5. Keep the Communication Strong Moving Forward

Whether you’re a few weeks or months into your new remote team, it’s essential to keep up the same positive momentum you began with during onboarding.

Friendly “Good morning!” messages in Slack can set a positive tone each day.

Staying in touch often (which can borderline micromanaging or complaining -- so there is a balance!) also connects your in-house and remote teams so they feel less distant and isolated.

Ready to Build Your Remote Team Now?

Now that you know how to tackle these five steps, you’ll create a remote work environment experienced virtual employees can’t wait to join.

← Back to Blog