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4 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams

'There are no office occupiers anymore. There are only office travelers, now and in the future.'

With employees working more productively from home, and the money companies are saving by ditching or downsizing their office space, it's no wonder people are adopting a remote work situation. "Remote" might mean you and your team are working from home offices, coffee shops, a warehouse, or even on a beach with the wind in your hair. It also potentially means less physical contact with people.

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But really, you're not cut off from the world entirely. Everyone is still expected to be productive, collaborate, and meet with clients. Even as a remote business, your teams is still sending and receiving packages. You're fielding phone calls from current and potential clients. Business as usual doesn't stop simply because you're working away from a physical office.

"We've actually been seeing what others consider an "uptick' in remote work for many years now," says Frank Cottle, Chairman and CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices. Founded in 1992, Alliance provides virtual office space, meeting space, and support services via a simple subscription agreement.

"Virtual office systems with cards and loyalty programs will take the place of offices, and workers will move fluidly from home to near home, to office, to meeting room, to café, to park bench, etc., as their work needs shift," Cottle continues. "There are no office occupiers anymore. There are only office travelers, now and in the future. We are all travelers in a fluid business environment, and we will use every possible technology, facility, and opportunity to continue down this path."

Here, Cottle shares four ways leaders can successfully manage a fully remote team.

1. Save big money for strategic growth.

Owning or renting a physical space costs businesses a lot of money. The ability to go fully remote means getting rid of fixed lease and associated operating expenses, especially those that create debt on your balance sheet. Even going partially remote means you'll need a smaller office space. Either way, the money your business will save can be used for things like product development and hiring more employees.

"Don't be the company that worries about having a big sign on a big building," Cottle says. "The only debt a company should have is debt that is used to grow revenue and keep employees happy."

2. Provide employees with a professional environment away from the office.

For many people, working from home is a dream come true. For others, it isn't feasible. Whether there are too many distractions (how many times has your child spilled orange juice on your keyboard already?) or they don't have enough space, some employees will benefit from having a personal workspace near their home.

"Many individual remote workers simply don't have "office space' in their homes," Cottle says. "They need to work near home from someplace like a coworking center. Many remote workers need specialized support like management, technology, teams, etc."

That's where Alliance Virtual Offices can help. With more than 1,200 locations worldwide, Alliance locations offer remote employees a place to work and conduct meetings in a professional environment that makes a great impression. Alliance's support services also include live receptionists, coworking spaces, mail processing with forwarding options, and much more—the bells and whistles your remote employees need most at a fraction of what you've been paying.

3. Ensure teams have compatible time zones.

Whether your employees relocate, or you begin actively hiring remote workers from virtually anywhere, Cottle recommends keeping their time zones in mind. You'll want teams to be able to collaborate within normal business hours. Client-facing employees should be in time zones that make sense for building those relationships.

"No one wants to start early or stay late just to communicate with their teammates or clients," he says. "Time is the equalizer, not distance. So, staying within a three- to four-hour time window is critical for fluid team success."

4. Have a single, country-wide compensation plan.

While it might be tempting to pay someone in St. Louis less than you'd pay in New York City or Los Angeles, don't try it, Cottle warns. People have the same value no matter where they are—at least when in the same country or region.

Because of this, Cottle recommends implementing a single compensation plan. "You want the best people. You don't want to uproot their families, make them move, incur company expenses forcing them to change locations, etc.," he says. "Simply pay them the same salary you would at your home office. Save the grief and moving expenses and learn to work as a remote team."

Click here to learn more about how Alliance Virtual Offices can help your remote team succeed.

Alliance Virtual Offices

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