As a small business owner, you may be considering enabling a remote work environment. With the rise of technology and the pandemic shifting the way we work, managing a remote team has become a popular option for business owners looking for new and unique ways to grow their business.
However, there are both benefits and drawbacks to consider before making the switch.
We’ll start with the benefits.
- A larger talent pool: With a remote team, you have the ability to hire employees from anywhere in the world. This opens up the talent pool and allows you to find the best fit for your business regardless of location. If the best person for your company is outside of commuting distance, that’s no longer an issue for you.
- Lower overhead costs: Managing a remote team means you don’t need to rent office space or pay for utilities, saving you money in the long run. You also don’t need to provide equipment, as your team members can use their own devices. Of course, if they need highly niche equipment to effectively do their job you may want to consider reimbursing them.
- Increased agility and adaptability: Remote teams can often be more flexible and adaptable to market or industry changes. Workers can more easily adjust their work schedules or routines to accommodate new projects, client needs, or unexpected events.
- Improved employee satisfaction: Remote work can be a huge benefit for employees who value flexibility, autonomy and work-life balance. By offering remote work options, you can attract and retain top talent and boost employee satisfaction and loyalty.
While there are many benefits to having a remote team, there are also some drawbacks to consider.
Because it can be harder to read tone and body language over text or email, communication can be more of an issue with remote teams than onsite teams. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications among team members.
Additionally, without the opportunity to chat in the breakroom or grab coffee together, it can be harder to get to know your team members on a personal level, making it difficult to build strong relationships with colleagues. This can be especially difficult if colleagues work in different time zones and don’t often overlap or have an opportunity to interact with each other.
Finally, managing a remote team can make it harder for you to hold employees accountable. Without the ability to check in in-person, you may have difficulty ensuring that everyone is on track and meeting deadlines. You may rely more heavily on self-reporting, which can cause additional issues.
If you do decide to manage a remote team, there are a few things you can do to make it successful. These include
- Being clear about your expectations in terms of communication, availability, and deadlines.
- Making sure you have the right technology in place to facilitate communication and collaboration, such as video conferencing software and project management tools.
- Checking in with your team regularly to ensure they’re on track and to address any issues or concerns before they become major issues.
- Building relationships with your team members.
Managing a remote team can be a great option for small business owners, but it’s important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks. By setting clear expectations, using the right tools, checking in regularly, and establishing relationships, you can help ensure that your remote team is a success.
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