Running a Remote Team: Tips & Tricks

May 30, 2016
Aleks Yenin

Posted by Aleks Yenin

We have been running a team, some of the members of which work remotely for more than 5 years. We’ve opened and closed some representative offices around Europe and didn’t want to let go of excellent guys that worked there.

People over process:

You’ve probably heard this line a hundred times before, but that’s the core of every team-oriented company. And you can make mistakes in many small things as for example not sitting in  with newbies and welcoming them. That’s especially hard to do if you constantly on the go and the company is rapidly expanding. Onboarding is really essential for the understanding what is expected from a new worker and how things work around here. Spare some time to make initial Skype meetings seem more as a shoulder-to-shoulder working experience.

Defining roles:

Keep up with the expanding of the company, the more it grows the clearer and more specialized the roles should be. Getting it wrong can cause a lot of trouble along the road. It can also lead to disagreements and miscommunication. The team needs to have a clear understanding of what roles everyone has and what scope of responsibilities these roles presuppose. If your team comprises of more that 40 members, it’s time to think about applying best practices to your work. ITSM is by far the best practice to state the roles clearly and harness the business processes in the company.

Watching your tone (online too):

The manner of your speech matters always, online as well. In order to run a remote team successfully, it is important to learn how to avoid all the confusion resulting from misinterpretations.

Building company culture :

After-work drinks and business lunches can be a great way to bring the whole team together and even discuss some strategic moves, but it’s hard to incorporate remote workers into those activities. So it is essential to find ways to bring everyone to the table. Either it is inviting remote team members to the conferences and hackathons, or organizing a day trip somewhere – everyone should participate. Polontech team organizes a holiday trip abroad with the whole team including our remote employees. Also, we have a monthly email newsletter that keeps every member of our team informed of the major changes that have been made and gentle reminders to congratulate the colleagues on their important days.

Keeping it smart (with smart software):

Think about using the software that could keep all your team’s work together, where they can share their ideas directly and track their progress together. Can you think of something? We do – Atlassian software. If you need to get more info on that, drop us a line.

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