What does it take to build a successful remote company in 2023? Lewis Schenk, entrepreneur and founder of Boost Media, shares his tips.
Let’s face it. Building a business can be difficult.
Building a business when you have team members in 4 time zones? A lot, lot harder. That being said, if you do decide to take the path of building a remote company, you better be prepared to face a few hurdles.
Perhaps the most challenging part of creating a remote company is building a solid team. When they’re spread across the country or the world, maintaining strong communication, collaboration, and productivity would be impossible without the right strategies in place.
If you’re dreaming of jet-setting, traveling the globe with the world as your office, then you need to understand the fundamentals of running a remote company.
Australian Entrepreneur and founder of PR & Podcast agency Boost Media, Lewis Schenk, understands just that. With team members in 4 time zones, including the US, UK, Australia, & The Philippines, Lewis understands the challenges of managing a remote team.
“It can be difficult. Scheduling meetings to suit different time zones isn’t always ideal. But to make it work I’ll do whatever it takes” Lewis explains.
Here, Lewis shares his 5 strategies that have helped him run a successful remote business, and how you can too.
1. Set clear channels of communication
When you’re working with a remote team, establishing and maintaining clear communication is vital. That’s why establishing clear and effective channels of communication is one of the most important parts of the setup.
Fortunately, there’s a wide array of options to choose from and they can be combined according to the needs of the team and the business. Such as video conferencing, project management tools, and instant messaging.
“We use Slack for team communication, Monday.com for client project management, and zoom for video meetings. Oh, and google docs too. Lots of google docs” Lewis says.
2. Establish clear guidelines and expectations
Remote employees need clear guidelines and expectations to be as productive as possible. It’s not about micromanaging, it’s about providing a structure within which they can function to the best of their ability.
As a leader, you need to establish how many hours remote employees are expected to work, how they should communicate with colleagues, and what level of productivity is expected from them. This will keep everyone on the same page and encourage accountability.
3. Create a sense of community
One of the downfalls of remote work is that employees spend a lot of time on their own. As such, it can be difficult to feel like they’re part of a team. Remote work can be quite isolating, so it’s important to overcome that by creating a sense of community even in the distance.
Team members should understand each other’s roles to see how they all fit together and have opportunities to connect. That’s why having regular team-building activities, forums, and video calls is a must. This gives employees the chance to share information and ideas, get to know the other people behind the screen, and create healthy work relationships.
4. Encourage and facilitate collaboration
Collaboration is key to the success of any company and that’s particularly true for remote companies. Encouraging and facilitating collaboration amongst remote employees is one of the main drivers of success.
To accomplish that, it’s necessary to invest in project management tools and collaboration platforms remote employees can use to have a smoother experience. More importantly, you must create opportunities for collaboration on projects and give them the opportunity to get to know each other’s skills.
5. Be supportive and provide useful resources
Remote teams may need more support and resources to be more effective, so you must be able to provide that. Your team should know that you have their back and can provide what they need to be productive.
For example, providing access to training and development programs, offering tools and resources, and agreeing on flexible work arrangements. These things go a long way and they make employees feel like they’re standing on solid ground as they work towards common goals.
By following these five strategies, you can create a solid foundation for your remote company to find success. Your business is only as good as your team, so encouraging strong communication, collaboration, and productivity is the only way your company can thrive with remote employees.