The Top Remote Partners for Distributed Teams

As we wind down towards the end of 2020, it is hard to imagine all of the transformations to work that have taken place this year alone. Remote business operations are here to stay and will be an integral part of any company moving forward. 


People should now be familiar with the classic remote tools that have defined how we communicate and manage projects. Zoom, Slack, Asana, and the Google Suite have become heavyweights in the shift to remote working. However, real business success is never found with tools alone. Your continuity depends on the connections you make and the partnerships that you form to better your business. 


These strategic partnerships typically can be found in the consultants you find, recruitment agencies that provide reliable qualified candidates, and the providers you choose to help set up your operations base.

 

A remote partner is an organization or consultant to help facilitate your business operations, support your distributed teams, and remain competitive in an ever-changing economic landscape.


How to Choose a Remote Partner


Evaluate where your business operations are the most lacking. 

  • If morale is low among remote workers, then maybe a remote company to partner with your HR could be the best option. 
  • Constant blockers and low productivity could mean that you need a consultant to make a full remote transition with your project management processes.
  • If you are looking for a highly-skilled remote engineer, you would want a company specializing in search to hire. 

Once you decide on your most pressing business need, consider your budget and make a list of all the remote partners that come up in your search.


Beware, many opportunists have touted their remote work solutions or knowledge, but the truth is that their bandwagon expertise is no greater than what you can find in most blog articles. 


A tell-tale sign of a remote partner is if they were already working remotely before the pandemic. The experience means they built the playbook for remote work in their respective industries before most of the world even considered it an option.

 

Transition Teams


There’s a common idea that anybody can smoothly go remote because all you’re doing is shifting your workplace and moving employees from one place to another. You can continue working for a few weeks or a few months like you were in the office with absolutely no impact. 


However, this is an incomplete change management cycle.


All of a sudden, processes start to break down, and problems begin to pile up. Instead of panicking and hoping for a quick return to the office, which might put your employees and operations at even more risk, find someone to help you with the transition. 


Distribute Consulting - Their HQ staff has 60 years of collective virtual management experience and are supplemented with a network of over 50 subject matter experts from the most successful remote-friendly organizations in the world. Their CEO, Laurel Farrel, is an accomplished author for remote work on Forbes.

Remote-How - Since 2017, Remote-How has trained over 7,000 professionals in effect remote work process management. They work with 130 different remote work experts to help audit your remote business operations, consult based on your needs and personal optimization strategy, and teach standard remote concepts to your employees through their academy.

Remote consultants -  If you are looking for a more personalized approach, partnering with a remote consultant can provide individualized training sessions for your leadership. These consultants will work with your distributed team to instill the best remote working practices and remote management principles. Notable global figures are Stephan Dohrn, Gonçalo Hall, and Managing Virtual Teams

 

Collaboration

 

A genuine connection is about alignment, unification, communication, and trust. Effective collaboration across distributed teams requires a real relationship between team members. 

 

Yet, with so many time zones, deadlines, world events, political crises, and kids running around at home, it is hard to develop real connections with teammates. Remote partners specialized in collaboration make working together asynchronously easier and leave more time to establish bonds amongst distributed teams. 

 

Friday.app - Although technically considered a remote tool, we argue Friday provides such value to distributed teams that they act as a partner to guide your productivity to new levels. Their product allows teams to spend less time in meetings through automated communication updates, digital work planning, and productivity metrics. Plus, their founder Luke Thomas and web content contain a wealth of information on all things remote. 

 

 

Gitlab - This company has revolutionized the way software developers collaborate over code. Now, one of the largest remote-first companies in the world, they possess one of the best libraries of remote content, plus it is all open-sourced! If there is anyone who figuratively wrote the book on remote, it would be Gitlab’s Head of Remote, Darren Murph

Mural - Mural is a cloud-based collaboration software that enables distributed teams to solve challenges together visually. It is a digital whiteboard for design sprints, project management, and more to make teamwork faster, easier, simpler, and more fun for everyone. Partnering with Mural would automatically be an upgrade to collaboration for any remote design team

 

 

Recruitment

One of the benefits of remote work has been accessing a broader talent pool than ever before. Gone are the days of being limited to the applicants of just one city. You can now find highly skilled professionals from all over the world.

 

The question is, how do you go about discovering your next remote employee? 

 

Leave it to the companies who are experts in facilitating remote hires. They specialize in everything from job boards to onboarding remote workers. 

 

Turing - One of the most in-demand jobs right now is a remote developer. The issue is, it takes an incredible amount of time to hire one. Turing expedites the process with a talent pool of vetted developers, ready to join your team with the click of a button. 

Terminal.io - They recruit, house, support and nurture developers in a variety of “Terminal Hubs” across the world. Remote engineers can work with Silicon Valley companies without the risk of the boom-bust startup cycle while also getting access to a community of like-minded professionals. As a company you are getting a team of on-demand engineering experts to help improve your product.

Remotive - A staple of any remote worker’s job search, Remotive also provides a job board for distributed teams to find their next difference-maker. The cheeky platform has grown exponentially in the last several months and offers a straight to the source approach for remote talent. 

 

 

Payroll

Once you make your first remote hire or expand your distributed team, it might not make sense to keep the same payroll service. 

 

The reason being is that most payroll software is not equipped for paying workers in multiple countries with different bank accounts or payment transfer services. 

So how do you pay your remote employees? 

Luckily, there are specific partners with services designed for making reliable payments and are intuitive enough for anyone to use. They will even include materials for calculating remote salary based on region and expertise. 

 

Deel - Excuse the pun, but they are the real deal. They include everything from labor law compliant contracts to specialist protection for contracting. For an end to end remote payment solution, Deel is steadily becoming a work from household name. 

 

 

RemoteTeam - A payroll and HR-focused partner, RemoteTeam automates your global payments. The company provides onboarding services for contractors and guides you through any required local business taxes and supplementary benefits. You can manage payroll, time off, and local holidays all from one seamless dashboard.

 

 

Remote Office 

Now that we have gone through the list of all the potential remote partners for your distributed team, you can fully picture the interconnected web of remote experts at your disposal.

 

What many forget, however, is setting up a healthy and safe workplace for their remote workers. Before 2020, office solutions were outsourced to furniture providers and left up to HR. There is a significant gap in ensuring employees are comfortable from their home office in the remote era.

A remote office solution provides all the ergonomic equipment necessary, from a monitor to the best ergonomic chair and desk, regardless of location. 

 

GroWrk - This remote office partner allows companies to supply, finance, and manage all the equipment and services remote teams need to do great work from home, or anywhere. Setting up a dedicated in-house team to run a remote working program is complex, expensive and risky. Piecing together multiple services from different providers can be a hassle too. GroWrk’s experience-driven, full-stack platform takes care of it with ease. They also handle health and safety compliance to ensure a happy workforce.