10 Tips to Succeed as a Fully Remote Company
Are you considering ways to attract top talent to your workforce? You may be contemplating the benefits of having a more diverse workforce spread out geographically. Or, maybe you’re considering the cost savings of not having physical office space.
If so, you’re in good company. Working remotely has become increasingly popular, allowing companies to embrace the freedom and flexibility of operating virtually. If you’re considering transitioning to a 100% virtual company, we’ve gathered some tips to help ensure success.
10 Tips to Succeed as a 100% Virtual Company
The move to a fully remote, virtual company is daunting at first glance. But creating intentions and policies before the change can help ensure a smooth and successful transition.
1. Establish Clear Expectations
What do all successful virtual companies have in common? Policies and procedures designed to support distributed teams. These policies should be built to help individual employees thrive in their careers, along with protecting company interests.
Start by outlining what success looks like at each level. Begin with the organization as a whole, then break it down into departments, teams, and individuals. That way, you’ll be able to communicate expectations for employees and ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities.
Decide whether you’ll set clear expectations for communication and collaboration on a company or team level—detail boundaries around deadlines and objectives. Establish a virtual workplace policy, which should include guidelines on how to interact with coworkers virtually and expectations for team availability and responses.
2. Invest in Technology
You may need to level up your tech to succeed as a virtual company. Technology is integral to transitioning to a 100% virtual company successfully. Make sure you have the right task management software to support easy access to resources, collaboration, and communication, thereby streamlining team processes.
You’ll want to prioritize technology that allows employees to access, collaborate, and store documents and assets in real time. Time spent waiting for feedback and responses is intensely frustrating and detrimental to productivity. Invest in easy meeting solutions so teams can stay connected and connect virtually.
3. Leverage Automation Tools
Automation tools are essential for helping teams work efficiently, and even more so when your team is spread out geographically. Automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and scheduling, to allow remote teams to focus on completing more complex tasks. Consider investing in tools that integrate with your existing software and hardware systems to update processes and increase productivity.
Some examples are project management software, editing software, automated customer relationship management systems, and payroll or time-clock software.
4. Incorporate Security Protocols
Security should be one of your primary considerations when transitioning to a 100% virtual company. After all, without a central security system, you’re at a greater risk of data breaches in homes.
Ensure employees understand the importance of cybersecurity in the virtual workplace. Provide online resources, such as training modules or webinars, to help them stay up to date on best practices. Highlight the need to avoid public Wi-Fi and use VPNs for sensitive information.
Strong passwords and two-factor authentication should be required to keep their accounts secure. Also, ensure employees understand the importance of being vigilant about phishing scams and other cyber threats. If employees work outside their home office, educate them on the dangers of prying eyes and tech theft.
5. Foster a Virtual Community
There’s no longer a break room or watercooler to gather around. You’ll need to create a sense of community among employees who are not physically in an office. Out of sight and out of mind can be an easy mindset to fall into, but a successful virtual company proactively prevents this. Communication lines are kept open, and often, there are numerous ways to stay in touch.
To ensure your virtual company is a positive and productive environment:
- Create opportunities for teams to connect regularly.
- Encourage employees to get to know one another through online forums and messaging tools.
- Offer options for both work and recreation.
- Consider interests that unify rather than divide, such as parenting, cooking, and photography.
You can also foster a sense of community through virtual events. For example, host virtual celebrations for work anniversaries or fun special events.
6. Hire the Right Professionals
Any good business knows the importance of its human capital. The same is valid for hiring remote workers. A successful virtual company has hiring practices focused on finding someone skilled for the job who also possesses the characteristics of a successful remote worker.
These characteristics include working well alone, having good time management skills, and staying on task. Communication and collaboration skills are also vital to succeeding in a virtual company and should be topics of your remote interview questions.
7. Embrace Flexibility
One of the most complicated transitions is often for leadership. You can no longer walk by an office to get a quick update. But you can’t exhaust your energies requiring constant feedback either.
A successful remote company will be flexible with employees regarding when and where they complete their assignments. Yes, you want to ensure that work is getting done, but you can’t micromanage every task. In doing so, you can quickly reverse the positive impacts working remotely has created.
Often, the solution is flexible scheduling or supporting remote work outside their home office. Rather than concentrating on each task, virtual companies use routine check-ins, clearly defined deadlines, and a focus on more significant trends to pinpoint trouble areas and make adjustments.
8. Promote Cross-Functional Collaboration
Do your team members understand how their contributions support other teams? What might be evident at a higher level might need to be demonstrated to individual contributors.
Successful virtual companies provide opportunities for cross-functional collaboration. Leaders ensure all departments are in sync and understand everyone’s value to the organization. In a traditional office, collaboration happens organically through face-to-face interaction. In a virtual company, this takes time and requires more focus. Team members may need to learn what other departments are working on or how their work affects others.
Encourage teams to find ways to work together on projects to bridge the gap between being physically apart. You’ll also support longevity in employee tenure as team members are exposed to opportunities for advancement, new teams, and building their skill sets.
9. Invest in Employee Well-Being Initiatives
Sure, they’re working in their home office. But your team will still experience stress and burnout. It’s easy to forget that remote employees need breaks and time away from work, just like in an office environment. Supporting employee well-being initiatives can help boost morale, retain talent, and establish trust with your employees.
Consider providing mental health resources, free gym memberships, or access to virtual yoga classes. These activities help maintain a healthy work-life balance and allow employees to socialize outside their home office.
10. Support Career Paths and Growth Opportunities
Have you laid out a clear career path for each of the roles on your team? Keep your team from sitting at home in their offices, wondering about their opportunities for future growth.
Employees need to see that their job has a future to stay motivated and engaged. Be sure to provide training courses and mentorship programs that give employees the tools they need to grow into future roles. And if your company is large enough, create a job board where team members can search for new positions or post openings.
Succeeding as a 100% Virtual Company
Implementing these steps into your virtual company transition will create an environment of trust, collaboration, and growth—all critical qualities of a successful remote business. With the right tools and expectations in place, your virtual company can be an enriching work environment while still keeping costs under control.
Are you ready to grow a thriving remote team? Check out how some best-in-class remote companies recruit top candidates.
By Jessica Howington | Categories: Remote Management