Building the Right Remote Work Team for Your Startup

Building the Right Remote Work Team for Your Startup

Written by Ramsay, In Business, Updated On
February 11th, 2023

Over the past few years, the number of people who work from home has skyrocketed, especially in the tech industry. Various studies have shown that nearly 40% of workers prefer working from home so much that they would rather quit and find a new job than return to the office full-time.

Choose The Right Remote Team for Your Small Business or Startup

Building the Right Remote Work Team for Your Startup

Let’s look at a few suggestions as to how to choose the right remote team for your small business or startup.

Is the Employee a Good Fit?

Often workers are hired in a vacuum because of their qualifications and companies don’t always think about whether or not a potential new employee will “fit in” with the current team.

There is a common stereotype that the kids from high school who would do group projects by themselves at the last minute end up becoming tech workers. This is often true, because of the nature of technology. However, a remote employee typically still has to be part of a team.

Put simply, they need to be able to work with others and trust that their teammates will be able to finish their assigned tasks on time. John Donne said in the 1600s that “no man is an island”. The modern version of that saying is “no remote employee is fully independent of his coworkers.”

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Can the Employee Complete Their Work Without Supervision?

Not every employee is cut out for working from home. For some, it’s a problem of motivation. They’re liable to spend too much time on Reddit or Twitter if they know that no one is going to walk into their office. For others, not being able to walk down the hall to a coworker’s office for an answer or a document will severely hamper their confidence.

Some of this uncertainty can be relieved by using employee management software to help build a remote team. This will give employers a chance to better understand why an employee is falling behind – is it because they’re too busy on social media or are they spending too much time writing emails to their coworkers to get information?

Can the Job Itself Be Done Remotely?

Building the Right Remote Work Team for Your Startup

For most tech employees, their work can absolutely be done remotely, because coding and accessing company files only requires a company laptop and an internet connection. However, there are a few jobs that require an on-site presence.

Imagine a company that does all of its external business online. There is no physical store or point of sale; customers can only purchase products from the company’s official website.

In this example, it is essential that there is an employee on-site at all times that is capable of solving a server outage or some other issue that can’t be solved remotely. Every minute the website is offline represents a potential lost sale or worse, the possibility that the customer will try a competitor’s product or service instead.

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If the company servers are down all night because no one was there to perform a simple operation like turning them off and on again, the impact on the business could be devastating, especially for a startup that relies on word of mouth and online advertising to generate interest.

Can the Employee Handle Stress and Accept Feedback?

Finally, a remote employee must be able to work in a stressful environment and accept negative feedback. This might sound obvious but it is still very important and it isn’t a knock against the employee. Some people have things going on in their personal lives that make them unable to handle high-stress or pressure situations.

This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be hired, of course. It just means that they might be better off working in the office where they can be surrounded by people and feel less alone. One of the few drawbacks of remote work is the feeling of isolation that some employees can experience and finding ways to mitigate that will make workers happier and more productive.

Similarly, an employee who isn’t very good at receiving negative feedback might be better off working in the office, especially if they’re the kind of person who tends to use “the silent treatment” when they get upset. A remote employee who doesn’t maintain the required levels of communication with their supervisor can pose a problem for the rest of the team and potentially the company at large.

Summary and Conclusion

The best way to manage a remote team is to ensure that qualified individuals are given the resources they need to succeed. The first step in that process is making sure that the right people with the right skillsets are hired for the remote team and that the company doesn’t accidentally delegate essential on-site functions to a remote employee, like having the person in charge of fixing server errors be hired from two states away.

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As long as small businesses and startups keep these tips in mind, the odds of a remote team being able to work well together and be an asset to their employer will greatly increase.

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