How to build a highly effective remote team

The coronavirus outbreak has forced more than 1.5 billion people across the globe to shift to remote work. As chaotic and challenging as this transition may be, the bright side is that working remotely has many business benefits. Remote teams are more productive, more efficient, and happier in their roles. But, managing a remote team comes with its own unique set of challenges. 

Let’s look at some tips on how to build an effective team, no matter where in the world they’re located. 

How to build an effective remote team

Having remote workers comes with its own benefits and considerations. Make the most out of your team with these helpful tips and tricks. 

Hire top talent

When considering how to build an effective team, whether in-person or remotely, the most important step is to hire top talent. No matter where your employees work from, they should be passionate about their role, dedicated to growth, and have goals for both themselves and the business. This ambition and dedication will go a long way, especially when working as part of a remote team. 

In addition to finding the most skilled employees for your team, you should also focus on whether they’re a good fit for the company’s culture. Although they might not all be in the same office, remote teams play a big role in a company’s culture. Before hiring a new team member, have a live video chat with them to make sure they’re a good fit. These chats will help you understand their body language, communication style, and personality. You can even throw in a few ice breaker questions to get to know them better!

Further reading: How Poll Everywhere invites authenticity to the candidate experience

Set expectations

Many employees enjoy working remotely because they have a more flexible schedule and can complete tasks on their terms. While this is one of the benefits, it’s important to set expectations when building an effective team so everyone is on the same page from the start. Some questions to ask yourself when creating your remote work processes might include:

  • What are your working hours? Even if you have employees in different time zones, you should know when people are reachable.
  • How will we track projects?
  • How will we communicate?
  • How often should we have meetings or status updates?
  • What is the expected turnaround time on projects?

These questions will help you create effective processes when you build out your team. 

Further reading: How to successfully work remotely: 20 tips


Because you can’t rely on in-person meetings or impromptu chats in the break room, you have to find new ways to communicate when working remote. We all have email and phone calls, but today’s technology makes it even easier to include remote teams in all kinds of things, from company all-hands meetings to QBRs to casual stand-up meetings. For example, you can create an interactive poll, trivia game, or competition that everyone can participate in. This interactive element makes remote teams feel more included and empowered. 

As you build an effective team, you can also utilize tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Drive, Asana, and many more. These tools will help you stay organized on the status of projects and give team members a chance to connect, no matter where their office is. 

Further reading: Tools you need for virtual meeting success

Establish KPIs

In order to build an effective team, your team must know what they’re working towards. Whether remote or not, setting clear KPIs will help them stay motivated and keep working toward their goals. These KPIs should reflect your employees’ progress and goals and also tie back to the company’s goals. When examining your team, ask yourself how each member is impacting the company’s success. 

Some common KPIs to look for when building an effective team might include:

  • Profit, cost, and revenue
  • Sales
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Net promoter score
  • Customer support tickets
  • Customer churn rate
  • Employee (or team) turnover rate
  • Percentage of response to open positions
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Internal promotions versus external hires

In addition to having KPIs for your remote team, you should also have KPIs for yourself! A team is only as effective as their leadership and having KPIs to examine how you’re performing will help you and your remote team improve. A lot of the above, like employee turnover rate, can be used to measure your success. You can also send out an anonymous poll to collect authentic feedback on your management style. 

Further reading: Management techniques to improve your remote team’s performance

In today’s changing work environment, it’s more important than ever to build an effective team, especially if you’re working remotely. By setting communication expectations, evaluating your team using accurate KPIs, and hiring the best of the best, you can build an effective team that will help both employees and the company grow. For more insight on working remotely, including tech tips and recommended tools, download our remote work toolkit.