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    Remote Team Building: Why & How to Do It

    on 29 March 2018

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    Posted by Sam Abrahams

    It has become the office mantra: We need to build a strong team. Well, it’s easier said than done, especially for building a team spread out all over the world. The move to globalisation has dramatically transformed how companies operate. Every year, an increasing number of companies make the move to operate teams remotely.

    Many use collaboration software for remote team building, as it proves a crucial tool for those groups that value strong communicative online workspaces. But questions remain, such as why go remote in the first place, and, having made the decision to do so, how to effectively create and sustain those remote teams?

    Why Remote Team Building Matters

    Building a remote staff increases worker productivity. Many studies indicate professionals who spend at least part of their days working from home are happier and more motivated. Your company reduces travel costs by using technology to communicate with employees and independent contractors who might live halfway around the world. Technology also enhances productivity by delivering components of a project in real time. Telecommuting hugely decreases overheads and real estate costs, as well as promotes a healthier environment.

    Another reason why remote teambuilding matters is because of statistical realities. 25% of the UK workforce says they work remotely at least once a week, with 66% saying it was important to be offered remote working opportunities. With those numbers set to rise steadily over the coming years, companies that fail to include remote work will miss out on the best talent, and be unable to benefit from the reduced costs that remote work offers. 

    How to Build a Remote Team

    Collaboration software should be the heart of any strategy to build a remote team, but company leaders need to understand the practices that make that strategy most effective:

    Encourage feedback

    Getting feedback from colleagues who work remotely is not the same as working around a table together – it’s better. Teleconferencing tools, online workspaces and project tracking tools drive meaningful communications that are constructive and project-focused. Emails may be outdated, but regular information exchanges, easy file transferring, and the ability to address all your team without disrupting their workflow are fantastic devices for delivering projects and meeting key objectives.

    Create a structures work environment

    It might seem counterintuitive, but working remotely does not mean you should lose organisational structure. A structured working environment is especially important for remote teams, as one of the key advantages of remote work is that it is output-orientated; rather than responding to appearances (a quietly busy office), leaders can concentrate on seeing project milestones getting delivered on time. Company leaders in charge of remote work teams should develop daily and weekly schedules of tasks to complete. For daily tasks, send out the list every night before the next work day. Utilise your Glasscubes project management tools to track project progress on a day-to-day basis and ensure that the project is moving in the correct direction and according to your team goals. A structured remote working environment keeps every remote colleague focused and positively contributing to the team. 

    Recruit specialists

    Not all work projects are created equal. For example, you might need an accountant to crunch the numbers for the construction of a manufacturing plant. A work project involving website development might require the professional expertise of a graphic designer. Many of the projects you work on remotely require the recruitment of specialists. This means reaching out to freelancers for a one-time employment contract. How do you find specialists for your unique remote work projects? One method for recruiting the best talent is to advertise job openings in professional trade journals and online job boards. You can also hire skilled professionals on third-party freelancer websites that match employers and freelancers.

    How you build remote teams does not differ much from the methods you use to build teams at the office or in the field. You still have to set clear goals and define the role of every colleague working on the project. Moreover, leaders must always ensure the lines of communication remain open at all times, and have the team utilise their online workspace to full effect.

    Is your organisation transitioning to a telecommuting work model? Find out everything you need to know with this in-depth guide.