10 Things To Do Once Your Remote Team Is Set Up

Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash

Whether you had to start hiring from scratch or you transitioned an existing team, getting a remote workforce up and running is no mean feat. So, if you’ve finally got everyone set up, you should be feeling pretty proud of yourself. 

But unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Once your remote team is established, how do you move forward, and what are the next steps? 

Well, there are several important things you need to take into consideration for the future success of your business, as well as the happiness of your employees. 

In the guide below, we’re going to look at 10 things you need to do to lead and support your remote team and ensure your company’s success. 

Read on to find out more. 

Steps for Leading and Managing a remote team 

Remote workers will face a unique set of challenges, and their daily routines will look a little different from those in a traditional working environment. 

As such, there are some important steps that you must take to manage each employee individually and as part of a team and to ensure they are able to work to the best of their abilities. We will now outline each of these important steps in more detail below.

1. Take advantage of technology

First and foremost, you need to make sure you take advantage of any relevant and useful technology. This will make running a remote team much easier and will give your employees access to the tools they need to succeed in their roles. 

This could be instant messaging platforms like Slack, video conferencing tools like Zoom or project management platforms like Trello. 

Of course, these are just a few examples, and there are hundreds of other platforms and tools out there for you to choose from. It might be a good idea to ask your team what tools and technologies they believe can support them in their position, then begin introducing these into the business.

2. Agree on ways of working

Following on from our first point, it’s a good idea to agree on how every member of the team will work together. This might include using the same platforms to chat, set out projects, save files, etc. Tools and technologies will be crucial for this. 

It’s also important to set out daily processes, such as how individuals will check in and update each other and how regularly this should be done.

3. Encourage regular communication and team meetings

Part of a strong team is good communication, so it’s important to encourage virtual huddles and weekly team meetings where everyone can share their ideas or discuss their progress. Your remote team may be based in different cities or even countries around the world so this can be a scheduling challenge. It’s also a chance to check in on employee well-being and keep track of how everyone is doing. 

These meetings don’t need to be one either, just as long as they are regular. This just makes it quicker and easier to share important updates and quickly discuss and address any issues individuals might be experiencing. 

Often, scheduled video calls are the most effective way to do this, but mostly it’s about choosing the medium that works best for your team.

4. Arrange one-to-ones

As well as encouraging team meetings and regular updates, it’s also crucial that you or your management team hold one-to-one meetings with each employee. 

This could be weekly or monthly, but it should be fairly structured. This can be very helpful for remote teams, as work can sometimes feel disjointed or disconnected for employees. 

Again, these meetings need to be fairly regular, and you need to take on board what each employee is saying. This is a chance to tackle any challenges they are facing, set and review goals and generally boost morale. So don’t neglect these catch-ups and what they mean to your workers.

5. Focus on the bigger picture

In the earlier days of remote work, there was a lot of concern about how to monitor productivity and ensure everyone was doing what they should be. However, things have changed dramatically since then, and nowadays, it’s not about activity but outcome. Or at least, it should be. 

In order to engage and empower employees, it’s important to set clearly defined goals and the desired results. Not only this, but it’s about showing workers how they fit into the bigger picture and how they contribute to larger company goals. 

So, despite being remote, it’s vital that you still take time out to set objectives and get a plan in place. You can then use your one-to-one meetings to review how each individual is getting on. 

This proves to employees that you trust them and also allows them to take charge of their own careers and their own progress.

6. Ask for feedback

We’ve mentioned feedback briefly already, and that’s because it is so important. As well as team meetings and one-to-ones, you can also ask your employees for feedback in other ways. 

In particular, employee surveys can be really beneficial for both parties, especially when these can be anonymous. 

By regularly asking your team to give their feedback and suggest improvements, you can boost employee satisfaction and prove to them that you care about their well-being. You can also take this feedback on board to make meaningful changes to the business. This can help employees to reach their goals and larger company-wide objectives, as well as make daily functions more efficient. 

It’s a win-win for everyone.

7. Remove remote obstacles

As we mentioned above, remote workers will face unique challenges that can impact their work, and one such obstacle is the physical and emotional isolation they might experience. 

Not only this but working from home comes with other distractions such as TVs in the background, family at home, pets wanting affection and delivery drivers ringing the doorbell. 

Though it’s almost impossible to remove every obstacle, as an employer, you need to work with your team and do your best to ensure they aren’t being pulled in too many directions. 

One of the best ways to address this is to ask individuals about their biggest obstacles and if there is anything they think would be beneficial for tackling these. You might not be able to fix all these issues, but you should work to remove as many obstacles as possible. 

8. Be flexible

On a similar note, understanding that everyone’s remote working environment is different means you should be more flexible. For example, arranging meetings only after an employee’s children have gone to school or allowing them to conduct video calls from whichever room or space in the house is the quietest. 

Some might even wish to go out and take business calls from the local coffee shop if it removes distractions. 

While it’s still important for remote workers to be professional at all times, managers also need to be flexible and allow them to work in a way that best suits their environment and ensures that their work is done to the highest standard.

9. Arrange remote social interactions

An integral part of employee happiness is the social interactions they have with their co-workers and the chances they get to relax and take a break from work. However, remote teams do not spend their days in the same place, so you have to get creative to ensure positive, albeit virtual, social interactions. 

There are loads of great ideas out there already, such as happy hour on a Friday, online pub quizzes, pizza parties, recognition sessions, online games; the list goes on. So let your creative side run free and come up with some fun ways your team can bond, even from a distance. 

If it’s possible, you could also arrange in-person company events every now and then so your employees can meet and spend time together face to face. Of course, this will depend on how far your team stretches, whether that’s across towns, countries or continents.

10. Mentor more than you manage

Finally, taking everything we’ve said into account, it’s clear that being a mentor rather than just a manager is going to be the key. 

Micromanaging is never the way to increase productivity or staff happiness anyway, but this becomes near on impossible when you have a remote team. Instead, it’s all about trust and giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. 

We’ve discussed lots of ways you can do this above, but we also suggest that you practice the different skills and disciplines of leadership rather than management. These skills could include motivation, integrity, communication, adaptability, negotiation and more. 

Do this, and you’ll be able to lead effectively and ensure a happy and productive remote team. 

Final thoughts 

Remember, setting up your remote team is only the first hurdle; it is what you do next that really counts. With that in mind, it’s important that you prioritize regular communication, make sure that your employees have access to the tools they need and focus on the bigger picture. 

You should also ask your team for regular feedback and make sure that you’re listening to what they say and implementing genuinely positive changes. And, of course, practice your mentoring and leadership skills, and check your managerial coat at the door. 

So don’t just assume that your work is done once your employees are onboard and have begun their daily tasks. You need to continually lead and support every member of your team if you want your business to be a success.