RemoteWorks

5 must-haves when building your remote team

Set your remote team up for success with these tried-and-tested tips to find happy and motivated talent.

Max Gayler

We’re living through a revolution when it comes to starting new businesses. 15 years ago you could have had an idea that would change the world but recruiting a top-tier remote team of talent was enough to bring world-changing ideas to their knees.

But times have changed. That idea floating around in your head can be brought to life all from your computer or even your phone. The technology we have access to in order to build and connect remote teams is incredible. Working from your office or living room or even your bedroom is completely realistic and building an armchair enterprise is becoming more attainable by the day.

However, that’s not to say we’re in a significantly better position now. Remote work is hard. A recent study claims the more remote hours people work, the less productive they become. In fact, apparently 70% of people who work full-time from home feel like they’re less productive than they were in the office. This statistic may sound scary but these are just teething problems.

The truth is we’re at the start of understanding how to work remotely en masse. Trying to mimic the rituals and nuances of an office is nowhere near as effective as finding relevant replacements that cohesively fit into the routine of a remote worker. Or as our Co-Founder, Pierre Touzeau puts it:

In office culture, the language has been defined organically by rituals that are happening naturally. But the remote-first culture is much more explicit because things aren't as organic. - Pierre Touzeau, Co-Founder at Claap

So when it comes to putting your remote team together, there’s 5 things you should keep in mind. For us at Claap, these are processes we lean on to stay motivated and hit our goals.

Seize the global talent pool

Upwork estimates that 22% of the American population will be working remotely by 2025. That’s over 30 million people. The biggest tech companies in the world like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Meta hire remotely, giving them access to the best of the best, not just the best in town.

Currently 44% of global companies don’t hire remotely, giving your business an edge if you’re able to offer a remote or even hybrid option. The people love working remotely and are looking for remote jobs say these are their main benefits:

  1. Less distractions
  2. More productive (in contrast to other studies)
  3. Generally happier

If these are the top three benefits for this audience, it’s important for you to make sure your business recruits with this in mind. If you make it clear you understand the benefits of remote work, great talent is more likely to believe in your values.

Always improve onboarding

First impressions still matter even when you’re doing it all through a screen. Your kick-off calls, onboarding exercises, and introductory calls, they can all be improved. One of the most exciting but volatile parts of working remotely is streamlining rituals without losing the value. New hires want to be guided through the training but they also need independence.

Working remotely is naturally a much more solitary way of working and it’s important to give new hires the time and space to exercise their brain muscles in new and exciting ways. That’s why we really believe in using our own product internally and replacing the back-to-back onboarding meetings with async video collaboration so new team members still feel empowered and involved while having the breathing room to explore and excel.

At Claap, we’re constantly trying to improve our onboarding and it’s as simple as having a feedback form at the end of your onboarding period. Whether it’s a task in Notion, a ticket in Asana or even just a Slack bot, fresh minds naturally think outside the box and can do wonders for your hiring culture whether it’s increasing the lifecycle of your employees or getting people up to speed, independent, and working faster.

Have a strong mission statement

A toxic work environment is one of the leading causes of employee turnover. Poor company culture is the result of unmotivated team members. Everyone knows a job is a job and for some people this may well be the case, but for some people they want something to believe in. Job satisfaction is 8% higher in remote workers than in-office workers in part because they’re able to choose from a wider selection of companies.

There are people with the exact skillsets you need and believe in the same causes you do. For Pierre, a strong mission statement has been one the greatest tools in helping him build a remote team:

If you want to build a great work culture, you need to understand what culture is all about and what its purpose is. For me, purpose is creating a language and a set of value so that people can make decisions more autonomously. Even if you don't know exactly what people are working on, you know they solve problems and make decisions the same way. - Pierre Touzeau, Co-Founder at Claap

Some companies skip the ‘why?’ and go straight for the ‘what?’. Your company could have the most incredible product but if you don’t define your purpose, it’s harder to get new talent to invest.

You need to define the why, the missions, and the vision. What's the reason you're building this company and what's the problem you're trying to solve? Define the set of values that will let you achieve that. - Pierre Touzeau, Co-Founder at Claap

Bond with your team

Team building isn’t the same over a video meeting. It’s just isn’t. Many companies find as they scale up they tend to forget about connecting their team. With every new hire, it becomes harder and harder to make everyone feel like one cohesive unit. To tackle that at Claap we’ve used a few approaches

Gamification

Scheduled catchups don’t work as well as a chance meeting at the coffee machine. To try give everyone that face-to-face feeling, we use Around, a great online app that allows teams to celebrate, collaborate, and just talk. Your avatar can walk around a digital office, interact with the people near you and even play games together.

Off-sites

This one may seem obvious but it’s true. Some companies may leave this to the end of the year or try find reasons so delay, but there is nothing better to bond a team together than low pressure time together. If you’re spending a few days together, make sure your main goal is for people to spend time together. Going into a four day offsite expecting to come up wit a whole new branding approach isn’t realistic and won’t leave anyone feeling as motivated as if they’d been able to get to know each other.

Collaborate with the right tools

What tools a company uses totally defines how efficient, effective, and happy a team is. It’s an important decision and requires as much care and decision as if you were choosing where to put your office, how to design it, and how you’d make your team feel comfortable.

As we’ve mentioned before, autonomy and independence is crucial when deciding what product, apps, and tools your team will be using every day. We are firm believers in asynchronous communication and believe the best way to keep people out of mundane meetings and focused on your companies goals is to try a tool like Claap.

A lot of remote workers feel stuck between messages and meetings. People want clear information and snappy feedback to keep working to their comfortable rhythm. With a tool like Claap, you can record your screen, give context to what you need help with, and get fast, focused feedback. Instead of making your remote team wait for their turn to talk, let them answer and engage when they’re ready to create an empowering company culture to back up a great product.

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