remote team building with a remote engineer

Building High-Performing Remote Teams: Tips and Strategies

In an era of globalisation and technological advancements, remote team building is a critical aspect of business success. For an organisation to thrive in today’s competitive business environment, it is essential to harness the power of remote hiring to create a dedicated development team that can work cohesively, regardless of geographical boundaries.

The rise of virtual meetings, online team-building activities, and remote hiring has made it possible to create diverse and dedicated development teams from around the globe. While this shift has numerous advantages, building remote teams that function at their optimum potential requires careful planning, effective communication, and strategic implementation of remote development team services.

Moreover, with the global pandemic fast-tracking the shift towards remote work, the trend of building remote teams is expected to enable sustainable growth. Let’s delve into some fundamental strategies and tips that can assist in crafting a robust and high-performing remote team.

 

Strategies for Building High-Performing Remote Teams

Identify the Essential Skills

The first crucial step in remote team building is to pinpoint the specific skillset your new team members should possess. These competencies include both soft and hard skills.

Soft skills, such as communication abilities and adaptability, are indispensable for any remote employee. Working remotely requires a degree of self-discipline and accountability that traditional office environments may not necessarily demand. Prospective hires should display excellent communication skills and be able to conform to the company culture, taking into account potential cultural differences brought by the diverse geographical locations of team members.

In terms of hard skills, this will vary depending on the nature of the role. For instance, a dedicated development team will require strong technical knowledge in areas like programming languages, agile methodologies, project management tools, and more. Moreover, the ever-evolving digital landscape requires team members to demonstrate a continuous learning mindset, enabling them to stay current with emerging trends and technologies.

 

Define Your Location and Timeline

The freedom to hire from any location is one of the major advantages of building a remote team. However, practical aspects such as time zone differences, cultural variances, employment laws, and work practices must be taken into account.

Choosing where to hire and how much time you have for the entire experience of onboarding is a key decision in building remote teams. The timeline should factor in aspects such as the notice period in different countries and how quickly the new team member can start contributing to your project.

The decision regarding location can affect the range of talent available, the cost, and the regulatory considerations for hiring. Remote hiring means you can source talent from anywhere in the world, expanding the range of skills and experiences available to your company. However, ensuring you have the legal ability and infrastructure to hire in that specific country is essential.

 

Determine Your Budget and Model

The budget and hiring model you choose can significantly impact your remote team-building efforts. Budget considerations can influence the location of your remote employees, whether you hire full-time in-house remote employees or opt for outsourced services.

In-house remote hiring might appear more cost-effective, but outsourced services can save you time and resources on recruitment, onboarding, daily management of team members , payroll, and operational tasks. Moreover, with outsourced services, your new hires can hit the ground running, helping you achieve your company goals quicker.

 

Nurture Company Culture and Employee Engagement

A company’s culture plays a crucial role in remote team building. It is the glue that holds the team together and can significantly influence team morale. Fun activities like virtual team building activities, online team meetings, and virtual happy hours can create a sense of belonging and encourage friendly competition.

Effective communication channels are also key to nurturing your company culture in a remote setup. Platforms like Slack provide various channels for employee interaction, including those for work discussions, casual chats, and even dedicated spaces for sharing achievements and appreciation.

An employee engagement plan can be a valuable tool in implementing these strategies, providing a structured approach to enhance team cohesion and morale. Moreover, a template for employee engagement can guide managers in crafting tailored activities and communication strategies that align with the unique needs and dynamics of their remote team.

 

Remote Team Building Activities to Foster Team Dynamics and Employee Engagement

Beyond the recruitment phase, fostering a strong remote team involves nurturing a positive team dynamic and sustaining high levels of employee engagement.

 

  • Virtual Team Building Activities

Once you’ve assembled your remote team, maintaining employee engagement is paramount. Virtual team building activities offer an excellent platform for team building, enhancing communication abilities, and promoting a sense of camaraderie amongst your remote team members.

Consider organising a virtual team-building event, like virtual escape rooms or online quizzes, games, happy hours, or friendly competitions, which can boost team morale. Such activities are not just a fun diversion; they can provide a much-needed break from routine work and a platform for casual conversation, helping mimic the social interaction of a physical office. Activities for employees that promote lateral thinking can also help create a dynamic and innovative remote team.

Further, mini-teams can be created for specific tasks or projects. This helps to develop a sense of collaboration and encourages collective responsibility towards common goals.

Communication channels like video conferencing and Slack channels facilitate frequent team meetings and ensure the entire team is updated about the company’s progress and objectives.

 

  • Creating a Communication-Friendly Environment

Effective communication is the bedrock of successful remote teams. Selecting the right communication channels is key; platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams can facilitate efficient instant messaging, while video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet are essential for regular team meetings.

Clear communication is the backbone of any successful team, but it becomes even more critical in a remote setting. Without the benefit of face-to-face conversations, messages can often get lost in translation, leading to confusion and misunderstandings.

  1. Invest in the Right Tools: Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Zoom can help facilitate communication. They allow for instant messaging, video conferencing, and even screen sharing, making collaboration seamless.
  2. Set Communication Norms: Establish clear guidelines around when and how to communicate. This could include setting ‘quiet hours’ for uninterrupted work or specifying which communication platform to use.
  3. Encourage Open Dialogue: Fostering an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns, and feedback is critical to maintaining high morale and productivity.

 

  • Ensuring Adequate Goals and Performance Measures

Setting common goals for your remote team helps align efforts and provides a clear direction for everyone. These goals should be realistic and measurable, offering everyone a clear understanding of what success looks like. Regular performance reviews can further ensure that each team member contributes effectively towards achieving these goals.

 

  • Prioritising Mental Health and Well-being

With remote work often blurring the line between work and home life, prioritising your team members’ mental health and well-being is paramount. Regular check-ins, encouragement of work-life balance, and provision of resources for mental health support can all contribute to a healthier, happier remote team.

 

  • Fostering Creativity and Innovation

Cultivating a culture of creative thinking and innovation is another integral part of remote team building. Encourage lateral thinking in problem-solving and provide a platform for team members to share their ideas. This could be through dedicated brainstorming sessions, innovation challenges, or an open-forum communication channel dedicated to idea generation.

 

  • Building Trust and Camaraderie

Developing trust among team members can be challenging in a remote setting due to the lack of physical proximity. However, with deliberate effort, leaders can foster an environment of trust and camaraderie.

  1. Regular Check-ins: Regular one-on-one check-ins help in understanding individual team members’ circumstances, needs, and challenges, thereby enabling leaders to provide the necessary support.
  2. Virtual Team-Building Activities: From virtual happy hours to online quizzes, team-building activities are a fun way to create bonding opportunities. Such activities facilitate informal interactions that foster a sense of togetherness and mutual understanding.
  3. Transparency: Being open about decisions, company news, and changes build team trust. It’s important to provide channels where employees can voice their concerns and ask questions.

 

  • Ensuring Accountability and Performance

  1. Setting Clear Expectations: Defining roles, responsibilities, and goals for each team member is crucial. Not only does this give clarity, but it also helps in tracking progress.
  2. Regular Performance Reviews: Performance reviews should be an ongoing process rather than a once-a-year event. Frequent feedback helps in identifying any issues early and working towards their resolution.
  3. Use Project Management Tools: Tools like Asana, Trello, or Basecamp can help in managing tasks effectively. They provide visibility into what everyone is working on and ensure accountability.

 

  • Promoting Work-Life Balance

While remote working comes with the perk of flexibility, it can blur the line between professional and personal life. Encouraging a healthy work-life balance is crucial for preventing burnout.

  1. Respect Boundaries: Respect each team member’s personal time and avoid sending work-related communications outside of agreed working hours.
  2. Promote Breaks: Encourage team members to take regular breaks to rest and rejuvenate. Leaders should lead by example in this regard.
  3. Support Mental Health: Providing resources for mental health support, such as counselling services or mindfulness apps, can show employees that their wellbeing is a priority.

 

Practical Tips for Remote Team Building

1) Encourage Continuous Learning and Upskilling

In the rapidly evolving tech industry, continuous learning is vital. It’s important to have team members who are proactive in learning new languages or tools to keep up with the trends. This adaptability can make the difference between maintaining a competitive edge and falling behind. At Zartis, we facilitate this by providing regular opportunities for professional development, including training sessions, workshops, and online courses.

2) Foster Empathy Within the Team

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is a key trait in remote team building. It promotes communication, increases collaboration, and enhances problem-solving. At Zartis, we encourage empathy by promoting a culture of mutual respect and understanding. We provide platforms where team members can share their perspectives and experiences, fostering a culture where everyone’s work is valued and appreciated.

3) Be Mindful of Legal and Cultural Differences

Hiring from different countries can bring about a wealth of diversity and new ideas. However, it’s crucial to be aware of legal and cultural differences, such as in countries with three months notice periods like Germany. At Zartis, we ensure this is checked by understanding international employment laws robustly. We also put effort into understanding the cultural nuances of the places our team members come from to ensure a respectful and inclusive working environment.

Now, let’s move on to the potential red flags that you should look out for during the selection process:

 

Red Flags in Remote Team Building

“Red flags” in remote team building are warning signs or indicators that something may be amiss within the team or the management structure. Identifying these early can help address issues before they escalate, potentially saving time, resources, and the team’s overall morale.

Here are a few red flags to look out for:

1) Lack of Recent Learning or Skills

If a candidate hasn’t learned a new language or tool in the past year, it could suggest a lack of drive to adapt and grow. In an industry that’s always on the move, such stagnation might impede your team’s progress and innovation.

2) Lack of Empathy

Empathy is a cornerstone of successful remote team building. Candidates who do not demonstrate an understanding or consideration for others’ work may struggle with collaboration and communication within the team, which could detrimentally affect team harmony and productivity.

3) Inflexible Notice Periods

Countries with extended notice periods can pose a challenge when you need to scale up your team quickly. If such regulations bind a candidate, it could delay their start date significantly. Considering this when hiring from countries with such legal stipulations is crucial.

4) Poor Communication

If team members are not communicating effectively, either due to a lack of response, unclear instructions, or frequent misunderstandings, this could be a major red flag.

5) Low Engagement

If team members seem disinterested during meetings, fail to participate in discussions, or do not engage with the team in other ways, this could indicate a lack of motivation or connection to the team.

6) Lack of Accountability

If tasks are consistently uncompleted, deadlines are frequently missed, or there’s a general lack of responsibility, the team could lack accountability.

7) Frequent Overwork

If team members are often working beyond their regular hours, this could indicate poor time management, unrealistic expectations, or an unhealthy work-life balance.

8) High Turnover Rate

If team members frequently leave, this could suggest issues with the team culture, management style, or overall job satisfaction.

Recognising these red flags is the first step to addressing them and creating healthier, more effective remote teams.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Building a high-performing remote team is a multifaceted task that requires strategic planning and execution. However, creating a productive and cohesive remote team can significantly contribute to achieving your company’s goals with the right mix of skills, an effective communication infrastructure, engaging virtual activities, and a keen eye on mental health.

In the era of globalised business, mastering the art of building and managing remote teams is more critical than ever. With the right strategies, any business can harness the power of a dedicated development team and thrive in the remote work landscape.

 

Streamlining Remote Team Success with Zartis

Zartis, a leading tech recruitment and software development company, understands the complexities of building and managing remote teams. By offering comprehensive solutions, we alleviate the stress and challenges associated with creating effective remote workforces, letting you concentrate on your essential business operations.

Zartis shines with its custom solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re seeking top-tier software developers to augment your remote team or need extended team services, Zartis is equipped to help. We focus on vital elements such as clear communication, trust, and work-life balance, which are integral to maintaining high-performance remote teams. Take the first step to boosting your remote team’s morale and productivity by exploring Zartis’ range of services today.

With a growing portfolio of satisfied clients, Zartis has carved out a space for itself as a trusted partner in the realm of remote work. Additionally, we go the extra mile to ensure the seamless integration of new hires into your existing team, further reducing your workload. Don’t hesitate to contact Zartis today to see how they can elevate your remote team-building efforts!

With Zartis as your partner, building a high-performing remote team becomes less daunting and more achievable. Connect with our experts, and see how Zartis can elevate your remote team-building efforts. Don’t let the potential of your remote team go untapped!

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