How to best run a company with a remote team

Many companies are successful with a 100% remote team, including Kreativna Agency. However, this is still not a common company structure and unfortunately, there is still not enough information on how to best organize remote work so that you and your team can be successful as a 100% remote company. That’s why we want to share with you what we’ve learned so far because some advice can come in handy during this period. Technological progress allows us to change work habits more easily. It’s hard to think that at any time in history a team of people scattered all over the world could be brought together and expected to build something incredible together. From our experience, we have found that there are three important ingredients for successful remote work: team, tools, and process.
Remote work

What kind of people to find for the remote team?

By far the most important ingredient is the team. Not everyone can work well in a remote environment. Not everyone can manage a remote team either. Therefore, it is important to build a team that can be easily managed in a virtual environment. Here’s what makes the best remote workers for us:

Hire people who love to work

Those people who have established work habits and are self-disciplined will get things done even if they are working from an isolated island. You don’t need to delegate tasks and direct on a daily basis to get something done. You’ll still need to provide guidance and direction on the most important things to do, but failing that, a good associate will do something on their own to find follow-up work.

Hire people you can trust

Remote work stops working when you can’t trust the person on the other end of the screen. If you are constantly worrying about what someone is doing, you waste energy unnecessarily and focus on something other than e.g. per product or customers. Trust is key. On the other hand, you also need to show trust in the people you hire. As a manager, you must learn to lead by expectations, so make sure you can demonstrate trust in those you hire.

Hire people who know how to be without social support

Socializing is important in any team, but the truth is that remote workplaces tend to be less social than physical offices. People in remote teams have to be comfortable with the fact that they won’t be able to have the social support they would have in a physical office. The best remote workers will thrive in this type of environment.

Remote team management software

In a physical office, you can always gather the team for an all-inclusive meeting and easily direct them on your way. But in a remote team, you’ll need the right tools to ensure everyone stays on the same page of information. Here are some of the tools we use to make our job easier. While using the same tools isn’t all that important, you’ll probably need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote work successful. These tools will probably change a lot over the years, so be ready to react agilely to changes and innovations.
  1. Slack Slack is currently the most widely used communication app on the market. Slack is a free and paid tool that allows you to create various channels, reminders, and integrations with other automation and notification tools.
  2. Notion Notion is our personal favorite application for remote work and remote team management. Notion enables the organization of things such as tasks, opportunities, company notes, and input of various documentation (design system and program documentation). Notion needs to pay a few euros per month to manage the team.
  3. GitHub Github is an application for code versioning in programming projects. The tool allows recording changes in the code and can be used for more advanced processes such as continuous releases of CI (Continuous Integration) products.
  4. Zoom Zoom is an application for conference calls. It is currently the first choice for many companies, as it enables uninterrupted conferences with a larger number of participants. If you need conference calls longer than 40 minutes, you will need to upgrade to a paid version.

What the process looks like when managing a remote team

The third component of a well-organized remote team is the process itself. I know most people don’t like to think about the process and can quickly feel bored and stiff. But if you think of the process as “how we work,” we start to look at it a little differently. Good processes allow you to get work done in the absence of everyone else. It provides structure and direction for achieving goals and individual things in general. However, this does not mean that processes should be rigid, immutable, or meaningless. A process in a small business is more about providing feedback so you can measure progress for both the business and the people in the business.

Weekly team meetings

Every Wednesday morning or afternoon we gather to talk about the current situation, demonstrations of new things or acquisitions, or planning. We know that seeing everyone on a weekly basis is much more difficult when you have a team of over 100 people, possibly across multiple departments. These weekly meetings are just to talk about relevant things and you can say a simple “hello” to people you don’t see.

Monthly individual meetings

In many jobs, there is not enough feedback between the task performer and their supervisor. As a result, there are various ambiguities and irregularities in the execution of individual tasks and, as a result, failure to achieve goals. So at Kreativna agency, we have established a recurring monthly event with each team member, where each colleague jumps on Zoom and chats about how the work is going.

A culture of responsibility

People often ask, “how do you know if employees are actually working?” We reserved Fridays for this purpose. Every Friday, each person on the team posts an update on Notion about what they did that week and what they have planned for the next week. This makes it easy to keep everyone in the loop on projects, as well as everyone else on the team.

Automate everything that can be automated

The core of Kreativna Agency is automation. There are a few reasons why we automate things. First, it allows us to keep the group size small because we don’t need people to do repetitive and boring tasks. Second, it allows employees to be able to focus on high-productivity work at all times, rather than dealing with tedious tasks that take up their share of time. Our philosophy is: If you’re going to do something twice or more, automate that work so you can do more meaningful work instead.