Startup founders are problem solvers by nature, and they are not afraid of challenging conventional thoughts and practices. Remote working is one such new practice that is being adopted by startups all over the world, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are part of this new breed of founders and contemplating adopting remote working, read on for some useful tips.
Building The Mindset
The thought of managing a remote and distributed team may seem unsettling at first but if you take a deep breath and look around, chances are very high that probably only a fraction of your team needs to interact physically to perform their work. For the vast majority, physical location or proximity is completely irrelevant to what you have hired them to do.
The biggest obstacle here is the age-old mindset that holds us back from leveraging new technologies that actually enable us now to work remotely without a hitch. There is no shortage of high-quality resources for managing virtual teams if you are up for the challenge. If executed properly, a remote working setup will help you to break even faster than a traditional office setup.
Managing & Monitoring Teams
Like a high spirited sports team, you should also start your day with a standup meeting over any of the popular video conferencing tools every morning to make sure all of your teammates are on the same page. Apart from helping build team morale, you can use this opportunity to track progress, plan upcoming tasks, and address bottlenecks for each of your team members individually.
In addition to daily team standups, schedule one-on-one meetings with all of your team members at least once a week. You should never have to micromanage your team members if you have hired the right people; however, some unscheduled and candid communications are good for both monitoring purposes and helping to build bonds with your team members at a personal level.
Tackling The Challenges
As a relatively new phenomenon, remote working may pose some initial difficulties for you and your team members as well. To keep morale and, more importantly, productivity high, you all should schedule office hours for work. Otherwise, it is very easy to lose track of your work-life balance, which is proven to drain productivity. Keep these individual office hours overlapping so that team dependencies are met.
In-person interaction and human touch are very important to grow a sense of belonging and increased accountability among team members. When working remotely day in and day out, it is easy to feel alienated or out of touch when all communication is happening virtually. When things start getting a bit stale during virtual team interactions, plan a day out together and rejuvenate.
Though remote working may not suit every type of startup, for the ones that can adopt it, they should embrace it at their earliest opportunity. Apart from the financial benefits of not having to rent an office floor, studies show it also makes employees happy. So, there is really no reason to not give remote working a try if it is feasible.