Deciding that you wish to have a remote team is quite a big step for each company. It means that you are mature enough to outsource a part of the job outside your fortified office and that you are ready to spread your team across the globe.
You can have a remote team in two ways:
Allow some of your employees to work from home,
Hire people from all over the world.
Both of these methods are equally attractive and efficient. You can even mix them to get the best results for your team
Some of the benefits that you can have from embracing the trend that is on the rise in the past ten years are:
Lower expenses for the company - you don’t have to invest in the new workplace or in the office in another city or country.
Lower expenses for your employees - some of them can save quite a lot on commuting costs, while others will not be forced to move to work with you.
Increased productivity or remote team members - people who don’t have to be in the office all the time are much more productive. Imagine how useful it would be to your team.
Access to talents from all over the world - just picture how refreshing it can be to have someone from Europe working with your USA team, or how many talents there is in Asia who would love to join you.
Now that you know some basics, you should also be aware that there are some challenges and pitfalls that you can come across when having a remote team. There are a few common mistakes that companies are usually making, but there are also some tricks that you can apply to overcome them. One of the most valuable skills or knowledge that you need to have is to know how to communicate effectively.
One of the best tools that you can use to improve team communication is an internal blog. It’s not as pushy as chat apps can be, it is not as tiresome as emails, and it’s much more practical than a newsletter.
An internal blog is also an excellent tool for bringing you closer to your remote team. Here are a few techniques that you can apply in your internal blog practice to have a quality relationship with people who are not in your office every day:
1. Share transparently relevant news and announcements
People love to be involved with daily news from the company where they are working. It is not very likely that something meaningful will happen each and every day, but when it does make sure they know. All you have to do is to create a new post in your internal company blog and publish it. Everyone will find out about it, regardless of the place where they are.
By keeping team members informed about important news in the company you are showing them that you care and that you wish to keep them in the loop. Also, they will be more loyal and engaged with the team if they know what is going on and when they hear it directly from you.
2. Have your Company Culture in writing
We have emphasized the importance of company culture many times before, and we will do it again. Having “the way you do things” in writing is supremely relevant when you have remote team members around. How will they know what you value unless they read it? They can’t spot the usual behavior when they are not in the office, and they can’t learn about it from their peers.
When people can read it, they will at least have an idea of how it should look like and what is generally expected from them. In case they have some questions regarding your company culture they can use internal blog comments to ask, or they can ask you in person. In any case, they will be able to talk about it.
3. Share knowledge
An internal blog is an excellent place to store your knowledge base. Everyone can contribute, learn, make comments, and ask questions about it. Once you start putting such valuable content into your internal blog, it will become an irreplaceable tool for your entire team.
When you add remote team members to the mix, you will see that such a knowledge base is even more valuable for them. They don’t have a person sitting at a desk nearby to ask them how to do something. But, they have an internal blog where they can quickly search for the info they need.
4. Encourage the entire team to participate
As we mentioned above, one of the ways to bring people to your internal blog is to place all relevant information in there. Another is to encourage them to use it is by letting them know that you appreciate their opinion. So, feel free to ask everyone a question, or invite them to participate in a discussion in your internal blog.
To be able to create a bond between all team members, the ones in the office and the ones who are working remotely, it’s crucial that they are all involved. By expressing themselves, they will get to know each other better and make mutual collaboration much easier.
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5. Have some fun blogging categories where everyone will love contribute
For example, create “View from your office window” where everyone will share pictures with the things they see through the window; or “The highlight of the week” category where you can describe an event or some other thing that made the biggest impression on them that week. And anything else that pops into your mind. Just make sure that it is something where everyone will be willing to join.
Such activities are not closely related to work, but they are crucial for team building and creating a sense of community that you wish to have in your company. The team who is good at laughing together is even better at working together, no matter where they physically are.
Now that you know how an internal company blog can help you, onboard new remote team members, it's an excellent time to start making some changes in your business. We wish you a lot of success!