With more people choosing to work remotely, businesses are jumping on the band-wagon. Some businesses are building teams made up solely of digital nomads. But, with this pool of new remote workers growing, hiring gets a little tricky when everyone is in a different time zone. How can you create and manage the right team for your projects?

Luckily, there are a ton of resources available to you. In addition to a number of platforms and tools, such as Upwork that now link freelancer to businesses, and vice versa, I’ve put together a short guide that will teach you what you need to know to build and maintain a productive and long lasting remote team.

Be Ultra Clear About What You Need

When it comes to resumes and recommendations, the process has been made increasingly easy thanks to the profiles and reviews pages on freelancing sites. But when hiring online, it can be more difficult to get to know the person you are interviewing — without physical proximity, it can be harder to get a clear read. Which is why it is even more important to make the original job and project description clear. Aside from this, you need to consider factors such as time zones, whether or not they have the equipment and experience to work on your project from their location, and if they are familiar with the communication tools you use for project communications. Most importantly, be sure they can work independently, to deadlines.

Define Work Systems and Use the Right Tools

Similarly to in-office employment processes, be sure to define the company standards. Many freelancers choose their own working hours and days, and it’s important these coincide with yours. To make communications more regular, use tools such as Slack for instant messaging and quick file sharing, Skype for project meetings, and Google Drive for Cloud-based file sharing. You may also need screen sharing software and any other resources specific to your industry and project needs.

Create a Workplan and Schedule Regular Meetings

Working with a remote team does not mean that everyone individually completes their part of the project and logs off. It is, in fact, more important than ever for teams to create intertwining and shared work plans so that everyone is on the same page and can help each other. A disorganized remote team is a failed one. It is worth noting that freelancers often have their way of doing things and it is just as important for you to understand their method of work as it is for them to understand yours.

When it comes to managing your virtual team, you need discuss the clear expectations for both parties, policies by which your company runs, issue resolution methods, and clear goals for the projects they are assigned to. Communicating and collaborating regularly is important, but making sure various team members collaborate among themselves is also essential. Be involved with your team members without overpowering and controlling them. After all, you have chosen to work with people who want to work independently first and foremost.

Don’t Forget Rewards Systems

Just because your team members are working remotely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a more personal view on your relationship. Benefits such as medical care and insurance are often foregone as remote employees are generally paid more, however, non-work related conversations, a relaxed communications endeavour, and the occasional bonus during holiday seasons will go a long way. Keep your team motivated and happy by making them feel like they are not only appreciated, but part of the family.

Creating and managing a remote team can be very complex and involve a high level of trial and error. But, you’ll quickly notice that by choosing to embrace this new method of working, you will not only cut costs but build a team that is highly trained, autonomous, and extremely efficient.