According to experts on work and technological trends, including Forbes magazine, remote work teams are emerging like the ideal solution to growth and expansion challenges, faced by thousands of entrepreneurs and companies around the world.
A survey conducted by Oxford University among companies belonging to the Fortune 500 group has concluded that only two years ago the companies which participated from the sample increased up to 26% the outsourcing of remote projects on freelance platforms. Besides, most of them claimed that hiring freelancers is a key strategy to stay competitive.
Following this survey, we have identified seven key points to determine the success of a project with teams of freelancers. If you want to enjoy from the benefits of a remote work team, or if you want to get more profit of the remote team you already have, put our advice into practice.
7 keys to building a successful remote work team
As any other far-reaching strategy, hiring a team of freelancers to help grow your business may go really well or really bad, depending on how you implement it.
The objective of this article is, basically, to provide you with some tools to ensure everything goes smoothly from your very first project.
1.- Deciding which tasks you can delegate and increasing them gradually
If you come to think about it objectively, you won’t need an employee to be physically there to perform most of admin, accounting, IT, design, marketing, sales or support tasks when starting an enterprise or expanding your business, just to mention a few.
Many of these tasks can be performed from a computer at the other end of the world, as long as there is a good internet connection and readiness for communication.
Others, however, will require you to enable some kind of specialized software (which might also be solved through a freelance developer), but that investment will help you escalate your business on a remote work model.
Actually, according to our report on remote and independent work, most of Workana projects are related to the areas of design and multimedia, and IT and programming.
Once you have the list of remote workers you’ll need, you can start with this sort of profiles and then go on towards operative and administrative profiles as well.
2.- Training your new remote workers as if they were onsite
When a new worker joins your work team, regardless of their condition –temporary, permanent, remote or onsite, it is important to offer them comprehensive training to know in full detail the objectives and processes they will be working with.
Even when we usually regard it as optional, the truth is that training has a lot of advantages, both for enterprises and for consolidated companies. So the first time you hire a freelancer, before starting your assignment you should appoint some time to give them the necessary introduction.
You may use Workana video call tool to have an introductory session with them, where you can explain all the practical details of the project and your company’s philosophy.
If you mean to hire a large team of remote workers, you may even develop online training sessions, which will save you lots of time and help you minimize the learning curve in order to achieve better results.
3.- Finding freelancers with an added value
One of the hallmarks of good freelancers is that they always manage to give a bonus to their work. They offer additional solutions, do a bit (or a lot) more than agreed, give timely suggestions and, in general, show real interest in your company’s growth.
Added value is something that remote workers will show increasingly as they fulfill their assignments, but also something you may identify before you hire them, on their profiles and on the comments of other users. Some of the signs you may get about the potential of a really good freelancer are:
- Experience on very different projects within their know-how.
- Comments from clients stating they’ve exceeded expectations.
- Extra benefit from the freelancer at the moment of the proposal.
- Additional skills which might become of your interest in the future.
4.- Promoting a sense of community
No matter whether you’re working with onsite workers and freelancers too or just with freelancers, it is important to promote a sense of community to motivate them to feel engaged and part of a team.
According to Team Bonding, 65% of remote workers have never joined a team building session, but a good community spirit in remote teams might be easily achieved through group dynamics, games, introductions and flexible collaborative sites, which allow and encourage the exchange of viewpoints, individual statements or even of jokes.
Another excellent way of keeping your remote team connected and engaged is using apps such as Slack or Workplace on Facebook, which work as instant messaging, virtual office and social network all at the same time.
5.- Creating a safe environment for experimentation and innovation
It is usually much better to tell a remote worker which purpose and specific goals they need to achieve than pointing them exactly how to get there step by step. You might see very clear what process you want from your partners, but everything is subject to improvement, and freelancers tend to become experts at reaching the goals through the most efficient means.
That’s why you need to allow plenty of room for creativity, experimentation and, of course, for mistakes –though mistakes without a consequence. Use the features to control changes, revisions and specific permits so that your partners can unleash their new ideas not affecting your business until you give them the thumbs up.
For instance, WordPress has the option “SEND to revise” that allows you to see any change introduced by your partners into the platform before the update.
6.- Building a good feedback culture
Good feedback has endless advantages –to start with, the fact that you can save a lot of time, money and resources, apart from keeping your partners motivated and on top of their performance.
A good feedback culture counts on three main components: the right moment, the right channel and the right manners.
Regarding the moment, don’t wait until the end of the project to give feedback; it’s better to divide work into stages and give feedback by the end of each of those stages so that you can correct mistakes and keep improving along the way.
The best channel to give remote feedback is video call, in order to avoid potential misunderstandings, and the best manner to do so is, well, quite an art in itself! For that reason, we recommend you this article to learn much and more about how to provide good feedback.
7.- Searching for support and guaranties
Last but not least, whenever you work with a remote partner or with a team of remote partners, get the necessary support and guaranties for the investment you’re about to make.
At Workana we want our clients and our freelancers to feel safe and comfortable. As you work with us, you’ll have all these at your availability:
- Finding freelancers with proven experience.
- Checking the scoring and comments from a freelancer’s clients.
- Releasing the funds of a project only until the job has been fulfilled as agreed.
- Counting on our support in case of conflict or mediation.
In such a way, you can be confident that working through out platform you’ll find the best talent for your team of remote workers and also, you’ll be protected to respond to any event.
Advantages and challenges of building a remote work team
Among the many advantages of working with freelancers to foster business growth on an ongoing basis and not just occasionally, we can mention flexibility (numeric, functional and financial) which results in:
- Access to scalable source of professionals with different skills and experience
- Reduction of start-up and expansion costs
- Elimination of conventional barriers of a contracting process
However, working with a remote work team also means some typical challenges, which have prevented many companies from implementing this strategy, namely:
- Difficulty to align internal work with external work, communicating and building commitment
- Need to develop solutions to protect investment and avoid risks
- Need to create the necessary infrastructure for remote work
At Workana we’ve taken all these challenges into account and that is why our platform can be used to create any kind of project, hire qualified freelancers and protect your payments, among many other functionalities. Additionally, we have made lots of research and developed the best techniques to help you increase the productivity of your remote work team on an ongoing basis.
We count on many success stories and yours can be next! Create your projects today and put up your dream team of freelancers.