Remote companies are the way of the future. Technology advances help business owners forgo the typical expensive brick-and-mortar office in exchange for a virtual office they manage from the comfort of their homes. The benefits of running a remote company are endless. You save money on rent and utilities, avoid the dreaded daily commute, and can recruit new employees from around the world, letting you choose the best talent for your business.
We’ll explore tips for creating a remote company that runs seamlessly and creates a win-win for you and your team.
Tips for building a successful remote company
While remote work makes good business sense, it’s more complicated than turning on your computer, sending a few emails to remote hires, and expecting business to run smoothly. You must consider remote work best practices and essential elements when building a remote company that you wouldn’t have to address while running a traditional office.
1. Use the right secure access tools for your remote company.
Your employees must be able to access the essential files they need to complete their tasks efficiently. In a remote setting, that means securely accessing those files from their laptops or home computers. You’ll need to implement several software tools to run a remote company successfully. Here are some examples:
- Remote conferencing software. You’ll need remote conferencing software to hold company meetings, perform webinars, or conduct remote interviews. The best conference call services allow audio and video conferencing calls with task management tools and other features.
- Project management software. Project management tools let you assign specific tasks with due dates for individual workers and create team workspaces for assigning group projects. Your remote workers must be able to see assignments in an organized setup.
- Password manager. Your remote company will need a password manager that encrypts and stores passwords online. If you use shared logins at your company, this tool generates secure passwords that will automatically populate login fields when an employee needs access.
Various tools can track your remote workers’ productivity. However, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 77 percent of executives with remote workers say reduced productivity hasn’t really been an issue.
2. Determine your remote worker communication plan.
One of the biggest factors you’ll miss from a traditional office setting when managing remote employees is the ability to speak with other workers in person. When you can’t discuss issues face-to-face, it’s crucial to have a communication plan in place.
It’s inconvenient to Skype someone to ask a simple question, and email may not generate a quick response. Messaging tools are an excellent solution for communicating with remote workers. These internal communication tools — including Slack, Basecamp and Zoom — offer a seamless way for your company to stay organized and communicate with each other wherever they are in the world.
3. Choose the right remote workers for your remote company.
For your remote company to be successful, you must also foster your remote workers’ success. The first step is hiring employees with skills that help remote workers succeed, including excellent time management, communication and collaboration skills.
As a remote company, you have a vast candidate pool. You can hire anyone regardless of location, but they must be a good fit for your business.
Remote businesses can attract high-quality job candidates from various online recruitment websites. Once you have a pool of quality candidates, interview them using video conference software and ensure they’re self-motivated. Being self-motivated is one of the most crucial qualities in a remote employee because you can’t constantly manage them.
Once you’ve found excellent employees, ensure your HR team supports your remote workers by keeping them informed, offering assistance and ensuring they have the necessary tools.
4. Find creative ways to connect with remote employees.
Creating a great company culture with remote employees can be a challenge without face-to-face interaction. To share your company vision, write it down and post it in a cloud collaboration service where remote workers can access it and be reminded of what binds them together.
Other ways to help make your remote team feel connected include running polls or holding fun interactive challenges, like a non-competitive fitness goal they can track in a shared document. If you have the means, get everyone together once a year for a retreat to allow strong bonds to form among your team.
5. Set clear goals for remote employees.
Setting clear goals for each remote employee helps everyone stay on track. Determine your expectations for each role, decide when deadlines should be met, write up weekly to-do lists, and set employee performance goals.
The Google Analytics goal feature is an excellent way for your team to quantify their goals and track online performance. Goal-tracking can increase company productivity and reduce the chances of team members falling behind in meeting their personal, career and company goals.
Be as detailed as possible with your expectations and goals, and post them where your team can easily access them. While there are bound to be some hiccups and disruptions along the way, setting clear expectations keeps everyone accountable.
6. Rethink cybersecurity for your remote company.
In an office, the IT department can protect your company’s systems and data from a cyberattack with firewalls. However, your data can be vulnerable when everyone works from home (or the local coffee shop). To create a remote cybersecurity plan, standardize your company’s cybersecurity measures and practices, and ensure your employees install and properly use security software, including the best internet security and antivirus software.
7. Give your remote employees flexibility.
Ideally, remote work should allow employees to decide how and when to complete their tasks. While you may be tempted to track employees’ hours and hold them accountable to that metric, a more empowering and productive method is to hold them accountable for getting a specific amount of work done daily or weekly.
Depending on the type of work they do, employees may be more productive during non-traditional working hours, like late at night or early in the morning. Don’t penalize efficient workers who get work done ahead of schedule by piling on more work; this will lead to unproductive and unhappy employees.
In addition to flexibility, benefits and perks for remote employees include company-sponsored laptops, professional development programs and recognition for achievements.
8. Empower your remote employees to make decisions.
A lack of autonomy lowers employee morale and happiness. When employees work remotely, it’s not as easy to run things by the boss or get approvals. Ensure your employees are well trained, and trust established remote employees to make decisions that previously would have needed a manager’s involvement. This respect and autonomy will contribute to employees’ happiness and help them feel like valued team members.
Benefits of a remote business
Working remotely has become a realistic option for employers and employees. The benefits of operating a remote business include the following:
- Remote work provides a broader talent pool. A remote business has access to an unlimited talent pool. When you have a remote team, you can find an ideal team member in town or across the world.
- Remote work gives employees flexibility. Remote employees have the flexibility to work on a schedule that’s best for them, resulting in greater productivity for your business.
- Remote work cuts business costs. Cutting business expenses is one of the best benefits of a remote business. You won’t have to furnish offices or pay rent and utilities for a larger space.
- Remote work produces happier employees. With remote work, you’ll foster more satisfied and productive employees. Employees are happier when they have flexible schedules, and they’ll save the money, time and aggravation associated with commuting. Remote work also gives them more autonomy, which contributes to employee morale.
Creating a remote business that runs like clockwork
In the past, running a company from home seemed impossible, but the opposite is true today. New technology advancements help you create a remote empire with a smaller investment without sacrificing any aspect of your business. Implementing remote-work best practices can help you build a successful remote company and create a business that works like a well-oiled machine.