Thinking of building a remote team for your business? Remote work patterns are increasingly showing up in small and large businesses alike, and while this setup can offer some serious perks, it also presents some challenges. One of those challenges is finding effective ways to manage a team of remote staff members, which is where these tips can come in handy.

Get Creative With Communications

When you have staff members working remotely, you have to find ways to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to productivity and projects. That’s why it’s a good idea to look into an automated transcription service that can quickly transcribe video or audio from your team calls. Detailed call notes can keep your team working as a cohesive group, but at some point, you may want more face-to-face interactions as well. So rather than just relying on conference calls, look for video conferencing services that can help you better include remote staff in team meetings and build more connections with them.

It’s also crucial that you and your staff have a wireless carrier you can rely on so that you’ll be able to communicate effectively with each other and clients and customers. You may be best off going with an unlimited plan, so you and your staff don’t have to be concerned about how much data you use. Research which plans fit your needs (e.g., Verizon business plans start with five lines).

Find Temporary Remote Staff Members

You may have current staff that will be transitioning to remote work, or you may actually need remote workers to help fill out your current team. In the latter case, and in many other instances, it may make better sense to fill staff vacancies and needs with freelance or temporary employees. Freelance workers are becoming more popular with businesses because they can provide expertise without any unnecessary overhead costs typically associated with full-time staff members, like health benefits or training modules. If you think that remote freelancers could be your best bet, look to staffing companies that focus specifically on helping employers connect with skilled freelancers.

Manage Remote Staff Productivity Goals

With your remote staff filled out, you will want to keep everyone on task with team projects. Since you can’t physically check in with remote employees on their progress, you will need to find alternative ways to track productivity. Online productivity tools, like Trello, TimeCamp, and even DropBox can be priceless for managing the workflow of a remote team of employees, so try out a few until you find one that fits your business’s needs. For team projects, you can also check out project management tools that can make collaboration more efficient and even more fun for your staff. For example, Asana allows you to create visual boards to bring your projects to life and also provide incentives to help keep your remote team members on track.

Handle Payroll and Accounting for Remote Staff

When you have the right tools and planning, managing a remote team can actually be pretty easy. Handling taxes and payroll can be a lot harder, however, especially when you are dealing with team members who live in different parts of the country. That’s because managing the accounting for those employees often means getting information about various state and local tax laws, and ensuring your practices follow any applicable laws. Instead of handling all that hard work on your own though, you should really consider investing in professional accounting services. That way, you can keep your company out of financial trouble and keep everyone focused on other tasks that matter most to your business.

Creating a remote team, or transitioning current staff to remote work, is not without its unique set of challenges. Still, there are some major benefits to applying this trend to your small business, so make sure you have the know-how needed to help your remote team thrive.

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