Working with a remote team is not without its challenges. Sometimes your colleagues can be outside of the office, or sometimes they can be in a different country or time zone! Either way, keeping up with colleagues doesn't necessarily have to be hard. It just takes a little time, patience and flexibility.
We asked 10 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council about what kind of system they think best keeps their remote teams working well together. Here is what they selected.
"We've found that to be most effective, it takes a combination of tools to stay connected. We rely heavily on G-Suite; we use Hangout, Drive, email: all of it! Drive is a favorite for all document storage and collaboration. We also use Concord for contract management. There's a free version that's great for small businesses. Finally, Slack for communication: We love it for its flexibility." – Amber Anderson, MORE
2. Video chat
"Slack, Google Hangouts or any chat app removes a lot of emotion and personality from conversations. They're still essential, but being able to see someone helps you understand how they're really feeling about your conversation or idea. Build a culture that embraces video chat. Get buy-in from newbies from day one and you'll have a successful remote environment." – Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
"Our team uses TimeDoctor to monitor and track daily activity. TimeDoctor allows each remote team member to not only be held accountable for their work, but also to be able to go back and see everything they have done. TimeDoctor will automatically take screenshots of each users screen periodically and track the time spent on each website. It's really helped us increase efficiency and reduce wasted time." – Mike A. Podesto, Find My Profession
4. Old-fashioned trust
"If you know and trust your team, they can work remotely. Working remotely is no different than working in an office so long as you are extremely organized, have set meetings and ensure there are strong communication channels. You can all be in office and still have communication failures, so your job as a leader is to ensure they are always open and available, and your business will grow." – Ryan Rafols, Newchip
"Our growth agency is 100 percent remote, with employees in several different time zones. We have loved using Basecamp for communication and project management, Gusto for employee onboarding and payroll, Freshbooks for employee time tracking and invoicing, Zoom for more personal face-to-face meetings, and Google apps (specifically Slides and Docs) for collaborating on content creation." – Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing
6. Detailed procedures
"We outline all of our processes and procedures in detailed documents. We use a screen-share recording to show exactly how to achieve the goal in each process. The screen share allows you to answer almost every possible question. This allows your team to work remotely and they will rarely have questions for you. When you are not working side by side, the goal should be to streamline everything." – Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs
7. Slack and others
"I love apps. I use a combination of Slack, Trello and Google Docs for project management and keeping track of all work-related activities and outputs. But my favorite is still Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. It's the best for connecting with my team on a much deeper level despite the geographical and sometimes, time differences." – Adam Cronenberg, A1 Garage Door Service
"We use Skype to have one-on-one meetings as well as group conference calls. It takes the wall of distance out of the equation and makes it feel like you’re having real conversations by allowing us to read each other’s emotions." – Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders Inc
"When working remotely, my favorite tool is Zoom.us. I use it with the leaders in my organization and as a member leader in a global nonprofit. Zoom is by far the easiest video-conferencing tool to use, and I love that you can encourage participants to use video by setting video on by default. It's 2018! Everyone should be using video! I'm so much more productive with my teams when we can see each other." – Daniel Moshe, Tech Guru