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How to Scale Your Remote Team

There are many benefits to utilizing remote teams within your business, but managing them can present unique challenges. 

As the current state of employment continues to shift and the remote workforce continues to grow, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself having to scale your remote team. 

When that time comes, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to make sure productivity and employee well-being continues within your organization.

Is your remote team ready for scaling?

Before you think about scaling your remote team, you need to make sure you’re in a good position to do so successfully. These are just a few of the boxes you should make sure are ticked before you begin.

Evaluate infrastructure and technology capabilities

Investing in the right communication and collaboration tools is essential to providing your remote team with everything they need to thrive, especially since 41% of remote workers say the biggest change to their job has been how they collaborate and communicate when working remotely.

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Collaboration tools such as file-sharing platforms, project management solutions, and online document collaboration tools all enable remote teams to collaborate on projects as if they were in the same room together.

Other tools can also be used to great effect. HR payroll software makes it easy for businesses to connect with their employees, wherever they’re working, whether it’s the USA, UK, or UAE. It gives the business full visibility over its workforce and provides employees with easy remote access to payslips, schedules, and a range of other vital documents.

Review organizational structure and processes

You should make sure that a clear structure is in place and that both employees and members of your leadership team are clear on who reports to who and where they can turn for support should they need it.

Clear, well-documented processes should be in place that establish an agreed way of working. This means that everybody on the team is apprised of their responsibilities, allowing them to work productively even when not under direct supervision.

Analyze team dynamics and culture

When working with a remote team, it can be difficult to foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment. Tools and technologies can help, but it’s still important to make sure that your remote employees don’t feel isolated.

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Loneliness, lack of motivation, and the inability to unplug from work are all negative impacts reported by remote workers. It’s important to analyze the dynamics of your team and the culture of your company to try and limit these impacts before attempting to scale your remote team.

Strategies for scaling your remote team

Scaling your remote team doesn’t just happen overnight. If you want to get it right, there are several steps you should take and strategies you should implement.

Enhance your hiring and onboarding process

If you’re planning on hiring more employees to work remotely, it’s only reasonable that you implement remote hiring and onboarding processes to get them into your company and help them feel at home.

This means investing in tools such as video conferencing software, which gives you the chance to conduct ‘face-to-face’ interviews with candidates, even if they’re not in the room with you.

When it comes to onboarding, making documents such as handbooks and training materials available online means that they can be easily accessed from anywhere.

Establish effective channels of communication

It’s important to provide your employees with the right tools that allow them to communicate, while also making good communication a key aspect of your company culture.

Tools and technology such as a VoIP phone system, video conferencing software, and business messaging apps can all help your employees to communicate.  It’s a good idea to utilize a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous communication methods, especially if your remote employees are spread across time zones.

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The graph above highlights the most used communication tools by remote workers in the US in 2020, showing abundant usage of communication platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

Services such as a virtual PA can also help to facilitate better communication among remote employees. This allows you to send out consistent communications to all your employees, regardless of whether they’re all based in the USA or they’re talking to their UK counterparts.

Adapt your management style

It can be tempting to try to micromanage remote teams, constantly checking in on employees’ progress and attempting to schedule every tiny part of their day. But, this can often be counterproductive.

Instead, it’s better to display trust in your employees, and leave them to complete their work as you normally would in an office environment. It’s been documented that the majority of employees are actually more productive when working from home, provided they’re left to be able to get their work done!

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Define clear performance expectations

To know how successful your efforts have been, it’s important to set targets and goals and track your performance towards them. You can do this by analyzing a variety of KPIs and gathering feedback from your remote workers and other stakeholders.

Tools such as enterprise business management software can help you to track performance across all of your business, making it easy to understand where you’re thriving and where you may be falling short, as well as enabling you to redirect resources where they’re most needed.

Prioritize remote work productivity and well-being

It’s important to make sure that all members of your remote team are aware of their personal responsibilities within a project, and its overall targets.

You can use the communication tools we’ve previously mentioned to hold regular performance reviews with employees. It’s also important to make yourself available through these same channels to answer questions and provide guidance when needed.

This will help to maximize your team’s productivity as they adapt to working remotely.

You should also be conscious of the well-being of your remote workers, taking steps to reduce feelings of isolation or disconnectedness. Encouraging social interactions between your employees can help with this. 

Wrapping up

When it comes to scaling your remote team, the key areas to focus on are communication and collaboration. Prioritizing these ideals in your company culture, and providing the right tools to help employees achieve them, will help you to maintain your productivity levels and the well-being of your employees.

You should check that every aspect of your business is ready for remote work, from hiring and onboarding right through to performance reviews. Take steps to prepare your company for the scaling of remote teams at every level, and you can look forward to strong growth and success for many years to come.

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