Building a World-Class Remote Team

November 8, 2019

The global economy and the rise of the remote workforce have changed how businesses are run. In fact, 53 percent of companies are using flexible talent to tap into a global talent pool and reduce employee turnover.

What’s more, 66 percent of employers report increased productivity for remote workers, while saving up to $11,000 per employee.

Benefits like these are appealing, but managing a remote team also has challenges. For example, poor hiring decisions can increase costs associated with churn, miscommunications can cause errors and inefficiencies, insufficient monitoring of employee performance can impact productivity, and ineffective communication of your company’s objectives can lower employee engagement.

But don’t be discouraged. All it takes to start building a successful remote team is a little know-how.

How To Build a World-Class Remote Team

To get the most from your remote workforce and avoid the possible pitfalls, you need to hire the right people, provide effective communication, cultivate employee loyalty, and implement an effective monitoring system. Here’s how:

Hire the Right Team Members

A potential hire may look good on a resume yet not be the right fit for your company. Some candidates could be very talented in their job skills but don’t have the right personal traits to succeed as a remote worker. Here’s how to screen for the right person:

  • Conduct an interview in person, over the phone with a hosted pbx system or via video conferencing technology to have a face-to-face discussion with each candidate. Pay attention to body language, which can help you gauge their level of interest. Pay attention to body language, which can help you gauge their level of interest.
  • Test candidates’ competencies with online assessment tools to make sure they have the job skills needed to succeed.
  • Check references and LinkedIn testimonials to learn more about each candidate’s knowledge, skill level, and professional conduct.
  • Identify self-motivated individuals by requiring candidates to take an online personality test. This helps you see if they have the right qualities to self-manage as a remote employee. Also, consider whether they take the initiative throughout the interviewing process to help you gauge their ability to work independently.
  • Example: Here’s what a world-class customer service team might look like).

Ensure Proper Communications

Effective communication and collaboration is a key to success for any remote team. It’s critical that you preempt potential issues and provide the right platforms so team members can work with each other seamlessly and share information in real time.

  • Consider time zone variations, language barriers, and cultural differences that could lead to miscommunications, difficulties in scheduling, and frustrating employee experiences.
  • Clearly communicate your company’s vision, mission, and values to inspire remote employees to do their best and know their work is meaningful.
  • Create a standard process for communicating issues and addressing challenges.
  • Provide remote employees with the right communication and collaboration tools to streamline workflow and minimize errors or delays, such as a unified communications platform, file sharing app, and project management software.

Cultivate Employee Loyalty

Remote teams that are happy with their employee experience are more motivated, productive, and loyal. They tend to stay in their jobs longer and gain the institutional knowledge required to work independently and productively. Here’s how to improve employee loyalty and engagement:

  • Foster a company culture that increases motivation and empowers employees to take initiative and manage their work proactively. For example, encourage and reward creative problem-solving.
  • Include remote employees in your organization’s culture and help them feel proud to be part of it. For example, hold meetings (effective meetings) and virtual team-building activities where remote team members can chat with leaders, other employees, and each other.
  • Encourage employees to bond with each other. For instance, create “virtual water coolers” so team members can connect and build rapport with each other as part of their daily routine.

Monitor Team Member Performance

Keeping a pulse on employees’ productivity and performance can help you make sure they are meeting their goals. You can also identify issues early on to minimize their impact on performance and morale.

  • Identify relevant job-performance metrics and consider using a scorecard system to measure various aspects of employees’ performance. Automated scorecards also allow you to pick up on trends and compare data for further insights.
  • Create guidelines on how employees should communicate and behave in the virtual work environment to set clear expectations.
  • Make one-to-one management a core component of your operations strategy to ensure that each employee gets the support they need. Pay attention to team dynamics as well as individual performance.
  • Gather feedback from every remote team member to help refine your processes and operations.
  • Implement compliance control software to track adherence to required regulations or professional standards in your industry.


There are many moving parts when you’re managing a remote team. You have to find and retain the right talent, keep them motivated, and monitor their performance. By thoughtfully designing your processes, you can create a world-class remote team that helps your organization thrive while fostering greater engagement and satisfaction in each team member.

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