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How to Build a Remote Team that Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Are you looking to build a remote team but not sure where to start? Building a remote team can be a daunting task, especially if you’re used to working in a traditional office environment.

However, with the right tips, tools, and best practices, you can build a successful remote team that delivers great results.

In this article, we’ll explore how to build a remote team, from hiring the right people to managing your team effectively.

What is a Remote Team?

A remote team is a group of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal but are not located in the same physical space. They use technology and virtual communication tools to collaborate and communicate effectively, allowing team members to work from anywhere in the world.

Remote teams have become increasingly popular in recent years, as businesses look for ways to improve flexibility, reduce costs and tap into global talent pools.

These teams can include employees, contractors or freelancers and can be managed by a team leader or manager who is also working remotely.

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for remote teams to succeed, as well as a strong team culture and a commitment to work-life balance.

Why Building a Remote Team is Important?

Building a remote team is important for several reasons:

1. It allows businesses to access a wider talent pool, enabling them to hire the best candidates regardless of their location. This can lead to a more diverse and skilled team.

2. Remote work offers flexibility for employees allowing for a better work-life balance and increased productivity.

3. Similarly, employers can benefit from saving money on office, other overhead costs and more efficient use of resources.

4. It can help businesses weather unexpected disruptions such as pandemics, natural disasters, or other events that may affect traditional office-based work. By having a remote team in place, businesses can continue to operate without significant interruptions and ensure the continuity of their operations.

How to build an ideal Remote Team?

Building a remote team involves several steps including hiring the right people, setting up communication tools and creating a productive work environment. Here are 10 important tips on building a remote team for your business:

Structure Your Remote Team

If you’ve been working in an office environment and now plan to hire remote workers, you need to prepare a team structure.

The following are some of the questions you may want to answer:

  • Will all the employees be working remotely from now on or will it be a few members only?
  • Will it be hybrid work wherein they share their time between the office and home?
  • Will you be hiring remote workers locally, nationally or from around the world?

Also, if you plan to hire nationally or internationally, you need to take into account different time zones and figure out how to assign work such that it doesn’t affect your business.

Use online tools to your advantage

Having essential tools for communication, productivity and collaboration is important when handling a distributed team. With effective use of online tools, you can save time, build better teams and manage them more effectively.

Hence, when evaluating tools, consider factors such as ease of use, costs, security and compatibility with other tools.

Before committing to a tool, test it with your team to ensure that it meets your needs and is user-friendly. Ensure that team members are trained on how to use the tools and define guidelines and protocols for using each tool.

Hire Smartly

Unlike the office, you won’t be able to supervise your employees who work from home. Hence, apart from vetting candidates for their hard skills and cultural fit, you must analyse these soft skills to see if they can work in a remote setting:

  • Time Management
  • Self Motivated
  • Independent
  • Communication Skills
  • Proactive

For starters, you can include these skills as requirements in your job description while hiring remote employees and also ask questions about them in your job interviews.

Define Roles and Expectations

Defining roles is critical for remote teams, especially where communication and collaboration can be more challenging. When team members know their roles and responsibilities, they can work more efficiently and effectively.

To begin with, you can create a team charter which outlines the purpose, goals and responsibilities of the team as a whole. This will help the team work towards a common direction.

You must also set guidelines and expectations for your remote team to follow so that the business doesn’t suffer. Some of these may include:

  • Work timings
  • Tools to use
  • Point of contact for various projects
  • Time tracking if required
  • Weekly/daily meetings
  • Performance metrics

Foster a Strong Team Culture


One of the biggest concerns remote employees have is feeling isolated when working alone. Feeling disconnected from the team can have a detrimental effect on the morale and productivity of the employee.

Hence, as a team leader, you must create virtual social settings wherein employees can connect with each other outside work so that they don’t feel alone.

For example, you can schedule a virtual water cooler meeting on Slack (via the Donut app) every week where you can discuss any topic not related to work. This’ll help your team have healthy debates and get to know each other on a personal level.

Similarly, you can have movie nights wherein all the employees decide on a movie of their choice every month and watch it together virtually.

While you plan such activities for your team, ensure that you’re setting proper guidelines and protocols in place (like in your work setting) so that each team member knows how they’re supposed to conduct themselves outside the work environment.

Appreciate Your Employees

Appreciating your team members on a regular basis can help your team feel motivated and valued thereby increasing productivity.

While every team member works towards completing their projects, they may lose sight if they’re not given regular feedback on the work that they do. They may feel as if nobody is seeing their output and become demotivated to work hard.

Hence, as a team lead, you must always appreciate your team members whenever you get a chance so that they feel seen, appreciated and motivated to work for you.

Some of the things that you can do may include:

  • Have an ‘employee of the month’ award, give it to someone who’s done stellar work during a particular month and tell them why they deserved it.
  • Give a shout-out to your employees in your public group on Slack (or any other platform) for a job well done.
  • Surprise employees with an Amazon gift voucher for their birthdays, weddings or any other special occasion.
  • Send company swag on work anniversaries to thank them for being a part of your team.

Have an amazing virtual onboarding

It’s important to onboard your new employees on a positive note so that they feel welcomed and look forward to working with your team.

Therefore, it’s a smart idea to introduce them to your team on your Slack channel or have a video call. To break the ice, you can ask them questions about their favourite hobbies, food, TV shows, etc.

In addition to welcoming them to your team, you can also share the following things with them so that they’re clear about everything:

  • Your remote work policy
  • Company culture
  • Collaboration guidelines
  • Communication tools
  • KPIs

Invest In Your Team’s Upskilling

Much like in an office setting, you must prioritise upskilling your remote team members regularly so that they stay motivated and ahead of the curve at all times. This’ll not only improve their output but they’ll also grow in their careers with your business.

You can do so by giving your team members access to educational websites like Coursera and Udemy which have plenty of courses on various topics. Alternatively, you can also offer them a monthly stipend that they can use for an online course relevant to their work.

If you have contacts in your industry, you can also invite special guests from time to time and have them conduct online workshops on various topics for your team.

Focus on the right metrics


When you work in an office, it’s easier to gauge how much time is being spent by each of your employees on a daily basis. However, the same is not the case when you have employees working from home.

Having said that, business owners tend to stress a lot about the time tracking done by their remote employees on a daily basis to understand their productivity. While it may be useful, you need to focus on the bigger picture and look at the other important metrics that matter.

For example, you must track the progress your remote employees have made in a specific project, how they’ve communicated and if they’re able to deliver within the given deadlines.

In other words, focus on what is being accomplished and how it is done rather than solely relying on the time taken to do it.

Measure Employee Engagement

Getting regular feedback from your team members is essential in understanding if your team feels motivated and happy to work for you.

Have a monthly or quarterly survey with your employees and ask them questions around the following topics:

  • Work issues they faced
  • Relationships with the management team
  • Feedback on the training provided
  • Team building activities
  • Overall happiness

This way, you can track the common issues faced by your team members and also learn new issues that you didn’t know existed before.

Based on constructive feedback, you can make positive changes every month and strive to create the best possible remote work environment.


Building a remote team can be challenging but with the right tips, tools and best practices, you can create a successful remote team that delivers great results.

From hiring the right people to managing your team effectively, building a remote team requires intentional effort and clear communication.

Remember to prioritize work-life balance and foster a strong team culture to ensure your remote team thrives.

Building a remote team can be challenging, but with the right tips, tools and best practices, you can create a successful remote team that delivers great results.

From hiring the right people to managing your team effectively, building a remote team requires intentional effort and clear communication.

Remember to prioritize work-life balance and foster a strong team culture to ensure your remote team thrives.

Alternatively, you can hire us if you want to save time and money and focus on your business growth instead. As a headhunter agency, we help you build a fully remote creative and marketing team at a 40% lesser cost.