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What I learned from building a 100% remote team

Regardless of whether you work in an office or remotely, work should have some element of fun.

What I learned from building a 100% remote team
[Вадим Пастух/AdobeStock]

In the summer of 2013, our team was distributed and working from various locations, such as cafes or coworking spaces. We would schedule two locations to meet at—one for before lunch and one for after. While we had this remote trend consistently going, we would use our time to talk about office space.

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As we continued to focus on our primary goal—building the future of workplace learning—we started to find talent outside of our location in California. Instead of pushing for new talent to relocate, we let each employee work from the comfort of their home.

Becoming a mostly remote team made us think less about the office space we had considered over the summer. By the end of the year, we were fully remote, and we loved it.

Now, of course, working remotely comes with its own challenges, and it took us time to adjust and create our own processes to run a fully remote team. However, today, due to the unprecedented changes in our work environments, a fully remote team is the norm. So, what do you need to know about running a remote team?

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OVERCOMMUNICATE

A remote setting can often feel lonely for team members. Establish regular check-ins and make sure folks can feel your company’s momentum.

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

One of the greatest benefits of being on a remote team is that it pushes you to get better at documentation. This leads to greater transparency and accountability all around and makes it easier for everyone to be aligned to the team and individual goals.

DON’T MICROMANAGE

Many leaders feel the need to micromanage remote employees because they often don’t trust that work will get done outside of the office. On the contrary, companies that allow remote work may have lower employee turnover. Employees in a remote setting tend to work longer and produce better results if you commit to not hindering their efforts.

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INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS

Remote teams need the right tools to learn, communicate, and collaborate. Investing in the right tools is important to keep your teams agile and connected.

TRAIN YOUR TEAM

Employee onboarding and ongoing development are different in a remote setting. However, that does not mean it has to be any less effective. Developing pre-onboarding, onboarding, and ongoing development is essential to any team. Be creative and engaging with your training to help people grow together.

ALWAYS CELEBRATE WINS

Because remote work can feel isolating, it’s important to always celebrate the wins—big or small—and give credit where credit is due. At my company, we have a number of ways to do this, including a “kudos” channel in Slack, celebrating wins together virtually on Zoom, and creating virtual cards/gifts for team members on their birthdays. It’s easy to make your team feel important and appreciated and goes a long way to creating a happy and healthy work culture.

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PLAN MEETUPS

Just because you’re a remote team doesn’t mean you can’t meet in person. It’s still important to bring the team together to meet and learn from each other. Planning regular meetups gives team members milestones to look forward to and allows you to celebrate wins as a team, in person.

MAKE WORK FUN

Regardless of whether you work in an office or remotely, work should have some element of fun. Employees should look forward to coming to work every day and it’s important to foster a fun and exciting work environment.

Being a remote team has allowed us flexibility and the chance to hire diverse talent outside of one location. Remote work does not need to be complex or a source of stress. If you instill trust in your team, you will thrive as a remote organization.

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Scott Burgess is the Founder and CEO of Continu, the World’s First Learning Amplification Platform™ built for modern teams.

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