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  • Writer's pictureFiorella Corrales

Strategies for Building a Remote Team

The modern workplace is undergoing a revolution. We're witnessing a dramatic shift away from the traditional office environment, with cubicles and rigid schedules becoming relics of the past. Today, a growing number of businesses are embracing the power of remote work, building geographically dispersed teams that transcend physical boundaries. This shift offers a wealth of benefits for both employers and employees. Businesses can tap into a global pool of talent, reduce overhead costs associated with physical office space, and potentially benefit from increased productivity. For employees, remote work offers flexibility, improved work-life balance, and the ability to work from a location that suits their needs.

However, building a successful remote team requires a different approach compared to traditional office setups. Here, we'll delve into key strategies that can empower you to cultivate a thriving virtual workforce, fostering a strong company culture, building a high-performing team, and equipping them with the right tools for success.

Foundation: Culture and Communication

The cornerstone of any successful team, remote or otherwise, is a strong company culture. But fostering this culture requires a more deliberate effort in a virtual setting. Here's how to create a strong foundation for your remote team:

  • Clearly Define Your Culture: Take time to articulate the core values and beliefs that define your organization. What kind of work environment do you want to cultivate? Do you value collaboration, innovation, open communication, or a blend of these? Clearly communicate these values to your remote team members, ensuring everyone understands the guiding principles that shape your company culture.

  • Prioritize Clear Communication: Communication is the lifeblood of any remote team. Establish clear communication channels, utilizing a combination of tools to cater to different needs and situations:

  • Video Conferencing Platforms: Utilize platforms like Zoom or Google Meet for regular team meetings. These face-to-face interactions, even virtual ones, help build rapport, foster a sense of connection, and allow for effective brainstorming and problem-solving.

  • Instant Messaging Apps: Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams facilitate quick updates, questions, and informal communication. This keeps your team engaged throughout the workday, allowing for real-time collaboration and fostering a sense of camaraderie.

  • Project Management Software: Platforms like Asana or Trello allow for team members to seamlessly collaborate on projects. These tools enable easy task assignment, progress tracking, file sharing, and discussions within a centralized location.

  • Embrace Transparency and Open Communication: Encourage open communication and information sharing within your remote team. Regular team meetings, along with dedicated channels for questions and feedback (on platforms like Slack), can help build trust and a sense of belonging. Studies by Griffith, Romance, and Wright (2019) highlight the importance of building trust in virtual teams, emphasizing that transparency and open communication are key factors. By fostering an environment where team members feel comfortable asking questions, sharing ideas, and voicing concerns, you can build a more cohesive and productive unit.

Building Your A-Team: Recruitment and Onboarding

Selecting the right talent is crucial for any team's success, and even more so for remote teams. Here are some key considerations for building a stellar remote team that thrives in a virtual environment:

  • Skills Over Location: While location independence is a perk of remote work, prioritize skills, experience, and cultural fit over physical proximity. By focusing on talent and cultural alignment, you can build a diverse and qualified team that can work effectively together regardless of geographical location.

  • Embrace Diverse Time Zones: A geographically dispersed team can be a great asset. Leverage the time zone advantage by strategically assigning tasks that can benefit from staggered work hours. For instance, a team member in Asia can handle urgent requests while the US team is offline. This can ensure continuous workflow and improve overall productivity.

  • Invest in Onboarding: Onboarding sets the tone for a new team member's experience and is crucial for their success. Provide a comprehensive onboarding process that goes beyond just the technical aspects. Introduce them to your company culture, tools, and workflows. This helps them feel integrated and empowered to contribute quickly. Consider including elements like:

  • Company handbook and policy overview

  • Training sessions on relevant software and tools

  • Introduction to key team members, both individually and as part of their specific team or department

  • Clearly defined goals and expectations, tailored to their role and responsibilities

Setting the Stage for Success: Tools and Technology

Technology is the backbone of any successful remote team. Equip your virtual assistants (VAs) with the right tools to facilitate seamless communication, collaboration, and productivity. Here are some essentials:

  • Project Management Tools: tilize project management software like Asana, Trello, or Basecamp to assign tasks, track progress, set deadlines, and ensure everyone is on the same page. These tools provide a centralized platform for projects. These tools provide a centralized platform for project organization, streamlining collaboration and information sharing. Team members can easily access project details, track their own tasks and those of their colleagues, and communicate directly within the platform, eliminating the need for lengthy email chains.

  • Cloud Storage Solutions: Cloud-based storage platforms (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox) enable secure file sharing, real-time collaboration, and version control. This eliminates the need for emailing large files back and forth, improving efficiency and accessibility. Team members can work on documents simultaneously, see edits made by others in real-time, and ensure they are always working on the latest version of a file.

  • Communication Tools: Invest in reliable video conferencing platforms (like Zoom or Google Meet) and instant messaging apps (like Slack or Microsoft Teams) for seamless communication across geographical boundaries. These tools allow for face-to-face interaction, quick updates, and information sharing, keeping your virtual team connected and engaged. Utilize a combination of these tools based on the needs of the situation. For example, a quick question might be best addressed through a chat message, while a complex project update might be better suited for a video call.

Maintaining Momentum: Engagement and Recognition

Keeping your remote team members engaged and motivated is vital for long-term success. Here's how to foster a thriving virtual work environment:

  • Set Clear Expectations and Goals: Clearly define individual and team goals, ensuring everyone understands their roles and how their contributions impact the bigger picture. Utilize SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to ensure goals are clear and attainable. This approach helps to focus efforts, keeps everyone motivated, and allows individuals to track their progress towards achieving their objectives.

  • Provide Regular Feedback: Offer regular constructive feedback to help your team members grow and develop their skills. Schedule one-on-one meetings to discuss performance, address challenges, and provide opportunities for growth. Regular feedback allows for course correction, fosters a sense of development, and demonstrates that you value your employees' professional growth.

  • Promote Recognition and Appreciation: Acknowledge and celebrate individual and team achievements. A simple "thank you" or a public shout-out on a team channel can go a long way in boosting morale. Consider implementing a recognition program to celebrate milestones and exceptional work. Recognition shows your team members that their hard work is valued, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

  • Foster a Sense of Community: Building a strong sense of community is essential for any team, but even more so for a remote team that lacks the daily in-person interactions of a traditional office environment. Here are some ways to foster a sense of community:

  • Organize virtual social events: Host online game nights, team lunches (everyone eats lunch at their own desk virtually!), or even virtual coffee breaks to encourage informal interaction and team bonding.

  • Encourage team communication beyond work-related topics: Create a channel on your communication platform specifically for non-work-related discussions. This can be a great way for team members to get to know each other on a personal level and build rapport.

  • Recognize personal milestones: Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other personal achievements to show your team members you care about them as individuals, not just employees.

By following these strategies, you can build a strong foundation for your remote team, fostering a culture of open communication, collaboration, and recognition. Equipping your team with the right tools and technology will empower them to work effectively together, regardless of location. Remember, building trust and a sense of community is essential for success in a virtual environment. By investing in your remote team and creating a supportive and engaging work environment, you can unlock their full potential and cultivate a thriving remote workforce.

The Power of a Virtual Talent Team

Building and managing a remote team can seem daunting, but the rewards are undeniable. A well-structured virtual team offers significant advantages, including:

  • Access to Top Talent: The remote work landscape allows you to tap into a global pool of talent, attracting highly skilled individuals regardless of location.

  • Increased Productivity: Studies have shown that remote employees can often be more productive than their office counterparts, due to factors like flexible work schedules and fewer distractions.

  • Reduced Costs: Eliminate the overhead costs associated with physical office space, utilities, and equipment by building a virtual team.

About OpsArmy

OpsArmy is a fully managed HR solution for businesses to hire top international talent so they can fill open roles, reduce payroll cost by 50%, and uplevel their time. Visit to learn more. 

Works Cited

  • Griffith, R. L., Romance, D. T., & Wright, M. A. (2019). Building Trust in Virtual Teams. Organization Development Journal, 38(1), 63-79.

  • Brown, Emily. "Maximizing Your Business's Online Presence." Business Growth Today, vol. 15, no. 3, 2021, pp. 70-85.

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