Finding a work-life balance is the ultimate dream. And after centuries of trial and error, the answer finally lies in the wisdom that is virtual teams. And it’s true; there are many benefits that I have enjoyed while working as a remote freelancer.
Take, for instance, the opportunities that globalization offers. Companies and people outside the borders of my country recognize my services. And I can continuously build my network all over the world from the safe confines of my home.
Beyond freelancers, tech companies and startups are progressively catching onto the wave that is working with remote teams. The Employee Benefits Report in 2017 showed that more than 60% of companies offered ad-hoc telecommuting benefits.
In 2019, that percentage increased to 69%. The on-demand economy that we currently operate in also seeks more contractors and freelancers. Moreover, after the declaration of coronavirus as a pandemic by WHO in 2020, the disease is forcing more and more companies to rethink their employment and working strategies.
But creating a virtual team is not all roses and violets. Companies like Yahoo and IBM have withdrawn some of their work from home policies because many new challenges arise within remote teams.
Ever had a long-distance relationship with someone in a different time zone? Remember how hard it was to find the right time to communicate, a time when you were both awake? How many times did you feel you were isolated from your partner?
Working remotely presents similar challenges. Communication issues are just the tip of the iceberg. As an employer, you have to ensure your remote team is productive and collaborative.
You have to ensure that your team members understand and share the company’s mission and culture. So what do you do? You work on building the most effective employee onboarding program. With the direction the future is taking, you have no other choice.
So as you brace yourself for a technology and remote conscious employment future, here are some tips you can use to sail through the continual employee onboarding process.
Start by handling the work related logistics ahead of time
Once you have identified your new hire, you want them to focus on nothing other than work. The only way to do this is tby eliminating any possible gray areas. You will accomplish this by taking care of any work-related logistics before your new hire starts work.
As a manager, you already know the internal and external documents that your new hire will require. It helps to make them readily available. This includes information about your company culture, tools, and channels they will need.
Work with other team members like the CFO, HR, finance, and operations team to get all the paperwork ready for the new hire. This will ensure that your remote workers are paid on time. It will also bring them up to speed with the company policies.
As a remote worker, most of my work is done on technological software and applications. Therefore, the onboarding process becomes efficient when I am notified early of the tools and apps I require for work.
For instance, if your company is already big on Single Sign On (SSO), ensure your new team is synched up effectively on all the platforms you use. Otherwise, introduce your new member to platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Hubspot, DocuSign, Paypal, HelloSign, Async, HipChat, and Google Hangouts.
For example, you can set up their work email account and connect them to Slack. This will help your new hire get instant notifications. Also, signing them up to the Zoom app will make communication between all your team members more efficient. Make sure people in the same team should be on the same platforms.
Additionally, the world today is filled with a million different platforms. You can almost always guarantee that your new hire doesn’t know how to use your company channels. Therefore, pair them with another team member to help them with the assimilation process.
From my experience, starting the logistics process before the first day of work makes my official working day a breeze. It also makes me feel like I’m a valued member of the team.
It’s time to introduce your tools and communication styles
Remember the first challenge we identified for managing remote teams:
The solution to your foreseeable communication problems is selecting the best tools.
I’m guessing you don’t want to bore your workers with long written text and emails. You want something that’s as entertaining as YouTube videos with similar YouTube analytics.
Try RecTrace. This versatile platform will let you create videos with via webcam. You can then provide your information to your workers in bite-sized channels that are fun to watch. RecTrace also has a screen sharing option that offers an excellent alternative to face to face communication.
Besides, while your team members are watching your minutes’ long videos, you can keep track of their watch time. This will help you make an audience retention report.
Cincopa’s Zoom integration can also come in handy.
Any and all recorded company meetings are automatically uploaded to Cincopa. Therefore, when one of your remote workers wakes up three hours after the session is over, they will still watch it.
Secondly, if you have remote workers with an accent or limited English, you can take advantage of the closed caption feature that acts as subtitles. Add them to the video in any language.
Moreover, Cincopa has an in-video search feature that allows users to search for sized videos, topics, or words within a video, making it far easier to acclimate oneself to comany jargon and KPIs.
Introduce your recruit to his or her new team members
News travels fast in a company. It should not be surprising to discover that your team is already aware of incoming new members. So introduce them.
When I did my first freelancing gig, members of my soon to be team sent me short videos. In them, they got to share their names, hobbies, and places they had worked. One even asked if they could visit my country to see what the fuss was about; we have been friends ever since.
Webcam-based platforms can prove critical here. Ask your team members to create introductory videos on RecTrace and add them a designated area, accessible to new hires even before they start working (you might want to check out Cincopa Online Video Course).
This is especially important if you are hiring managers. It gives them a personal perspective of their new team members.
Maintain a human element
Your new hire is up to speed, he or she has met all the team members, and it is now time to start working. Even if you have the most talented remote worker, it is essential to keep the human element alive.
If that long-distance relationship requires constant communication to survive, so does your remote worker. So put in the effort by creating a 90-day schedule. In it, include daily, weekly, and monthly milestones.
Also, create an open channel for communication. Go beyond email by using Google Hangouts or Google Voice to give feedback to your remote workers. Take advantage of Zoom and create at least one meeting every day for a one on one session with your team member.
Also, create team meetings for all your remote workers. The goal is not to simply hire new people; it is to create the most effective onboarding program. You want to leave an excellent lasting impression on your employees, and nothing achieves this more than first impressions.