4 Tips to Help You Build an Effective Remote Team

Published on
September 12th, 2019
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We spoke to three founders who have mastered remote work. This is what they said.
Remote work is a divisive topic in the tech world. While some companies like Invision and Basecamp appear to have perfected the approach, many tech leaders remain dubious that it could work for their teams.
Competition for tech talent is fierce. As founders compete to source the best and most cost effective talent for their startups, supporting remote workers becomes an increasingly attractive option.
To learn how to build an effective remote team we spoke to three founders who’ve mastered it: Joel Gascoigne of Buffer, Wade Foster of Zapier and Ben Halpern of Dev.to. Subscribe to our weekly podcast Product Hunt Radio to hear the conversations in full. If you’re already a subscriber, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Be transparent

At Buffer, Joel’s approach is extreme transparency — he finds it fulfilling and liberating to be able to open up. He is direct and honest with his team and customers. It makes everyone feel more connected to the mission.

Align the team through performance metrics

As Zapier’s remote team expanded, Wade realized he needed to do a lot more to keep the team on the same path focused on the customer needs. He spent 18 months developing a new OKR system to create alignment across all the different teams.

Expect things to go wrong at first

At Dev.to, Ben realized that perfecting remote working is a gradual thing, not something you get right at first. For this reason it’s important to understand that things won’t be perfect at the start, but improve since you learn as you go.

Let individuals optimize for their own productivity

Ben reflected on how he used to love having the option to work from anywhere including coffeeshops but now prefers to have a home office with a desk his laptop stays on. Find what works for you and let others on your team do the same for themselves.
Subscribe to our weekly podcast Product Hunt Radio to hear the conversations in full. If you’re already a subscriber, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.
Comments (3)
Love the last point about letting individuals optimize their own productivity. Even for companies who are collocated, I think the trend is for people to find and use the tools that fill a gap in their workflows. This speaks to a broader trend of SaaS tools being adopted by individuals which eventually bubble up to the enterprise.
Printers Buddy
I think transparency is a key factor in establishing trust with investors, partners, employees, customers and other stakeholders. It makes team members feel like they’re in it together, so they can more effectively accomplish their goals. As the owner of a small startup, i always try to manage and control my small team through different productivity tools. I also use a basic monochrome laser printer with my laptop, which is not a big deal but it really helps me for my day-to-day needs. The printer saves me a lot of time when I want to print letters, cover sheets, meeting notes, and handouts.
Printer Deets
You are required to have access to several productivity tools before building a good team. There should be a good printer in your office with super printing speed.