CGL is a fully distributed company that values the autonomy of every individual on our team. We investigate and provide high-quality solutions for our clients. However, we do so without threatening freedom among our team members.
This has raised a lot of questions. There are so many different opinions brought into a distributed workplace like ours, yet we have found a way to navigate these disagreements and work together for the benefit of our customers.
How do we make this work? The answer is 6 steps. We used 6 steps to set up our distributed company. They have empowered us to attend to the needs of our clients without throwing autonomy out the window.
1. Go all in
Creating a remote work environment could splinter your team. (Remember, a remote work environment is built around a central hub or office, while a distributed team is entirely location independent.) It’s very hard to create a strong company culture when you are divided in this way. Instead, we suggest that you transition completely to distributed work. Rip that bandaid off. This will keep your company aligned and everybody rowing in the same direction.
2. Set clear expectations with your team members
Do this right from the beginning to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding. Make sure every team member knows exactly what their work and their roles are. They can remain autonomous and create their own schedule, but still know exactly what is expected of them.
3. Choose the right technology tools
Not all technology tools are suited for all companies, so find the one that accommodates your company the best. Some of these tools are widely known, while others you will have to search out. You need technology that is industry-specific and allows you to run the most efficient organization that you can.
4. Write down processes for everything you do
These clarify the expectations for how everything is supposed to be done. It also provides clear guidance on what needs to be revised or addressed within your company. Clearly writing processes down will give your team members something to refer back to and allow you to continually clarify what to do in new scenarios.
5. Have frequent check-ins with your team members
In these check-ins, keep a pulse on what is going on within the company. Use it as an opportunity to check in with your team members as human beings. Recognize if they are happy with their work, what’s going on in their lives, and how you can better support them.
6. Figure out HR and compliance rules
When you’re distributed, hiring becomes easier because you can hire anybody from anywhere in the world. However, with that comes compliance challenges. Make sure you are compliant in every state and city where your employees are located.
In our distributed company, our team members feel respected and our clients are satisfied. Apply these 6 steps and the same will be true for your company.
To learn more about setting up a distributed work model, check out Episode 011: 6 Tips on Setting Up Your Distributed Company.
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