Remote businesses are growing in numbers, and today are more popular than ever. Many millennials prefer to work for remote companies or at least companies that offer remote work programs. And there’re several reasons for this. Studies have shown that remote work instills autonomy, allows employees to be more productive, and also increases collaboration among team members. And with today’s technology, running a remote business is easy and affordable. Here are six tips for running a remote business of your own:
1) Utilize Project Management Software
There’s no doubt about it; running a remote team requires project management software to keep operations running smoothly. Strong communication is critical in your workforce. Project management can help you manage complex projects, improve communication between staff, and better handle risk management.
Some of the most popular project management solutions are Basecamp, Asana, and Trello. As a business owner, you should test each to see which style of management you prefer. You’ll notice that, although similar, each takes their own approach to how to communicate across various teams, projects, and assignments.
2) Be Transparent
Transparency goes hand-in-hand with project management solutions. When you can’t see everyone in the office, the level of transparency becomes much more important. Even as the founder of the company, it should be clear what projects you’re working on. Your design staff should also be able to see what your sales team is working on. This no-secret approach to workflow creates a more trusting remote environment.
3) Manage Your Employee Leave
Just because you run a remote business doesn’t mean you don’t have to offer traditional business perks, like vacation time and sick days. Furthermore, there are many compliances regarding leave management that you have to follow, whether you’re a sole proprietorship or corporation. You’ll need an effective employee leave management system to help keep track of when your staff will be away, when they’re sick, etc. If you have a very small team, it might not be as necessary. However, many remote businesses, like Basecamp and Buffer, have much bigger remote teams that require proper management (and let’s not forget about businesses that offer remote work, like Amazon and Glassdoor).
4) Don’t Forget About Team Building
You might have to be a little more creative when it comes to team building in a remote business, but it certainly can be done and can boost the morale of your employees. Essentially, company culture in a remote business is just as important as a non-remote business.
A simple team-building tactic to employ is to introduce your remote employee with a thorough email that allows other team members to get to know them. For instance, instead of just introducing them and their position, with a note on what they did in the past, have them fill out a questionnaire with fun questions about themselves, and invite others to reply and engage in conversation with the new hire.
If you have the budget for it, take your team on a work retreat. This will give them the opportunity to get to know one another in person, put faces to names, and become more inspired and motivated to continue doing the best they can for your company.
And lastly, why not take advantage of video conferencing sessions? Host a “team lunch” where everyone hops on a call and has a chat. Be sure to tell everyone to come prepared with fun topics to discuss, or questions they want to ask other members of the team.
Another interesting way to connect with your team is to invite everyone to share photos in your communication portal of choice (like Slack). For instance, what’s everyone’s working environment for the day? Share it. What does everyone’s desk look like? Share it. Fun activities like this allow your team to feel more connected.
5) Register With the BBB
Remote businesses are just as legitimate as any other business, and as such, you should register with the Better Business Bureau to help drive business to your site. It’s also helpful to have your business listed in these types of directories for SEO purposes and to lend your brand an air of credibility and trustworthiness.
6) Offer Co-Working Credits
It’s not uncommon for remote employees to lose their motivation working from home. Working from home can have its own distractions, and the same scenery can start to have a negative impact on creativity. For this reason, offer an interesting perk that benefits everyone. By offering remote co-working spaces—even partially—you can help your staff put themselves in a new environment that allows them to work happier and better. Consider WeWork shared spaces, the Croissant coworking app, or other local coworking spaces.