Remote Working

8 Tips For Building A Successful Remote Startup Team

As a startup Founder, a huge part of your role is to attract and retain the very best talent you can find. Building a remote team can be a great way to achieve this.

There are so many benefits to building a remote startup team – you can attract better employees who are looking for more flexibility in their role, employ people in locations where living costs (and wages) are lower as well as saving money on the office rent and the associated costs.

At Hired By Startups, we’ve been a fully remote team since day one. Our whole team is based in London but we work remotely as our hiring projects require us to be onsite with our clients, based in their offices, rather than ours.

Here are 8 tips we’ve used to build a successful remote team that you can use at your startup too.

Hire people you can trust to work remotely.

If you’re questioning whether you can trust your team to work remotely, you should really be questioning whether you made the right hire at all. The first question I ask when hiring is ‘do I trust you to work remotely’ and if the answer is ‘no’ the interview stops there. Whether your team is office based or not, only hire people you trust to work remotely, autonomously and still deliver.

Make communication and collaboration non-negotiable.

All successful teams need constant communication and collaboration and remote teams are no exception. You need to ensure everyone in your team understands why they need to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues and keep an eye out for anyone who’s particularly quiet. Make communication as open as possible, stick to open channels in Slack (or other IM) to provide that buzz of work and progress you’d get if your team were in an open office.

Provide the tools to make it happen

If you want a remote team constantly communicating and collaborating, you have to give them the tools to make it happen. At Hired By Startups, we use a variety of internal & external tools but the main ones are Slack (for all internal communication), Google Meet (Hangouts – for video calls), Google Docs & Sheets & Trello.

Get face time daily

One of the biggest risks of building a remote team is everyone in your startup becoming siloed with no visibility into what others are working on. To combat this, we have a daily standup (on Google Meet) where everyone discusses their previous day’s achievements and targets for the day. It’s short and sweet and is just the hit of face time needed to remind everyone we’re a real team. After the standup, the team is encouraged to follow up directly with each other on specific questions to ensure there’s a constant flow of information and everyone is fully updated on what we’re working on as a company.

Publically celebrate success

We make a big deal of success and publically celebrate all achievements. This is usually as simple as a public congratulations on our general Slack channel giving everyone an opportunity to say well done with plenty of Gifs and Emojis!

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Meet as often as possible

Getting time together in person is vital. You can have the best remote team in the world but nothing beats some time in person. At Hired By Startups, we’re all based in London so we have one ‘co-working’ day each week where we come together and collaborate in person. For teams more geographically distributed teams, you should try and meet for at least 1 week per year, whether that’s in one go or perhaps two collaborative weekends.

Get to know each other personally

Your remote team will be more communicative and collaborative when they really know each other personally –  interests, hobbies and life outside of work. In my experience, the best two mediums for personal conversation are food & drink. On our weekly co-working day, our team all sits together and eats lunch (paid for by Hired By Startups) and finishes early for some vital ‘team-building’ (read: drinks) in a pub nearby. If meeting weekly isn’t possible, you could try doing this over video chat (Google Meet) – it’ll likely work just as well!

Lead by example

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from leading a remote team, it’s that the vital ingredients for success (trust, communication, collaboration) don’t just happen – they’re the product of a well-executed remote working strategy and leadership. You have to lead by example and make a conscious effort to champion remote working if it’s going to work for your startup.

Hopefully you’ll find these 8 tips for building a successful remote startup team useful! If you have any questions, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here.

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At Hired By Startups, we help startups, scale-ups and VC backed companies hire really talented people and build teams that are more engaged and productive. Our dedicated onsite hiring service enables startups to see the benefits of having their own internal recruiter, with the flexibility of using an agency.

We’ve helped some of the UK’s best known and fastest growing startups scale their teams whilst saving 50% on their cost and time per hire. If you’re a startup looking to scale rapidly, get in touch to find out how we could help! For more info, check out us out here.

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About the author 

Tom Ladds

Hi, I’m Tom – Founder & CEO at Hired By Startups. You can connect with me on LinkedIn here.

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