Countless surveys and studies show that a remote workforce is more productive. Not only that but businesses that allow remote working – whether that is only some of the time or going ‘all in’ on the idea; are saving a fortune in real estate.
Three steps towards creating a completely remote team
1. Office-based, with some flexibility
Depending on where a firm draws its workers from, managers may favor that everyone works in the same workplace most of the time.
Working in one place, together, still has numerous advantages. So getting everybody together; every week or most of the time, is still the standard in many companies and sectors.
But many companies also want to embrace the option of remote work. With the full range of tools at our disposal, including of course their email and messenger platforms, working from home or another location is easy to regulate.
Even for firms concerned about data security and the secure transmission of files and data, Virtual Private Networks can be set up, to make sure that workers are not sending anything sensitive across an insecure network, especially if they are using public Wi-Fi.
2. Remote team, in one country or timezone
Now here’s where a company is actually starting to embrace the remote ideal.
Maybe they still have a workplace of some description, or they rent desks in a co-working space when they want to get together, but in this scenario, the remote is the default, not the exception.
When a company is working this way, more structure needs to be put in place.
That’s simpler to manage when you have got a team all working in the same region or at least the same time zone. You can set times for the team to meet, and support a working pattern that is approximately the same as if everybody were in the same office, with the benefit that office costs should be lower and employees can work where they want.
Also, it makes it possible that some team members could work at different hours of the day, if businesses want to espouse more flexibility, providing there is an exceptional deal of trust and some overlap in the times of the team when people are working together on the same projects.
3. Completely remote, across the world
In this case – which admittedly isn’t something various companies embrace (although Buffer, the social media sharing firm, is probably the most famous) – everybody is remote, spread across the world, and some are even nomadic.
There are, of course, many challenges connected with this setup. When a team or teams are spread across the world, there are not going to be numerous overlaps, making the times when asynchronous important to the smooth operation of the organization.
Structures and processes have to be put in place to make sure the smooth handover of information between team members, and a significant amount of trust requires to be placed on every hire.
Businesses need self-starters, those who are impelled to do the work whether or not they are getting proper supervision, with strong bonds between team members advanced through regular communication.
To make this simpler, companies can try and narrow job functions and skills in the same time zones, e.g., consumer service delivered in California and Australia (depending on where your clients are) and development focused in Central & Eastern Europe. This way, teams working on related projects and intricacies can interact more easily.
Of course, this pattern comes with many difficulties and benefits. One of those is that depending on where your customers and customers are, there can be 24/7 engineering support and customer service, with the chance of coverage in every timezone around the clock.