The Top Remote Partners for Distributed Teams 2022
As we we are close to the halfway mark of 2021, it is hard to imagine all of the transformations to work that have taken place this year alone. Remote and hybrid 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 remote infrastructure.
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. In this years addition we have included a new section for consultants, virtual co-workings, and communities.
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.
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.
Managing Virtual Teams - With over 10 years of experience managing remote teams, MVT is an industry leader in remote transitions in Europe and LATAM. They offer 1:1 consulting, online courses and workshops and strategy development for online events. The best part, they have trained psychologists to give professional support to the mental and emotional well-being of your team.
If you are looking for a more personalized approach, partnering with a remote consultant can provide individualized training sessions for yourself and your leadership.
These consultants will work with your distributed team to instill the best remote working practices and remote management principles.
They have vast experience in building digital companies and will help you grow your remote business. Some notable global figures in this space are Stephan Dohrn of Radical Inclusion Consulting and Mandy Fransz of Make the Leap digital.
If you or your team is looking for a productivity boost or want to know how to manage your work-life balance better than have Ali Pruitt of fullyremotewithali.com or Jeffery Levine, Ph.D of drworkfromhome.com.
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
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.
Distant Job - This company headhunts globally and has a database full of exceptional remote talent. If you sign up for their service you can find full-time remote workers that match your company core values and culture in under two weeks.
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.
Rimuut - On the invoicing side of payroll, Rimuut is a great option when hiring freelancers or for small digital business owners managing clients. You can send mass payouts in multiple currencies and collect invoices with one click, save time & money while extending your talent pool. Signing up to Rimuut is absolutely free and you only pay when you make a transaction.
Virtual Co-working Spaces
A new remote partner that has taken companies by storm in 2021 are virtual co-working spaces.
Instead of going back to the physical office, it seems many remote companies are comfortable partnering with a virtual one.
This technology is bringing remote teams closer together, and allows for more collaboration rather than just pounding away at the keys alone in your home office.
You can chat, have a virtual coffee, and hold more interactive meetings.
Lounge HQ-Employees all have an avatar that can get up and move around a virtual office. You can build your own office with various rooms and designs. This avatar can attend virtual events throughout the day, get up from their virtual desk and walk around, and even interact with other employees’ avatars.
TeamFlow- This company tries to encapsulate the same feeling of working in an office with your team. You can walk up to your co-workers with your arrow keys and automatically join their conversation. You even have tools like whiteboards for collaboration.
Gathertown- This company turns your virtual office into a side scroller from the early 2000s. Each co-worker creates their own character and your team builds the workrooms, conference areas, outdoor areas together. You can have video on, or play through the area office like a video game.
Physical Co-working Spaces
We also felt it is necessary since part of the world is starting to open up, to include a partner for finding physical co-working spaces. With all the economic shifts in the last year there are tons of empty office, retail and restaraunt spaces that are being underutilized.
Once you get vaccinated and feel safe enough to venture outside, it would be a nice change of pace to work somewhere else than your home office. If you live close to any of your team members, it would be great to meet up and collaborate in person.
Gable- This partner lets you tap into a network of clean, safe, and inspiring workspaces right in your neighborhood! If you have a space that is not being used you can even sign up to become a host like Airbnb.
The last new addition for this year's remote partners ranking are the remote communities that have blossomed after a year of remote work.
You can actively partner with these communities as a place to distribute content, connect with fellow remote workers, or find new business opportunities.
These are great assets for building virtual communities that bring people together regardless of the distance that separates them.
Remote-how community-This consulting firm doesn't just help companies transition to remote work. They also created an online community of remote experts where you can sign up for a desk. Take place in discussions, advertise your services, and interact with other remote influencers. No everyone can join, so you need a bit of remote experience to apply.
Digital One- Started in 2019 as a place for digital nomads and remote workers to meet. It now has a slack channel, newsletter, app, and special virtual events for its members. You just have to apply but they will accept anyone working remotely.
Remote Clan-A remote community founded by Hrishikesh Pardeshi who is the CTO of Flexiple. It is a couple thousand member strong community with a forum similar to Reddit. People share their remote products, there are biographies of remote experts and weekly discussions.
Smart Equipment Management
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 how remote workers get the equipment they need to perform their jobs successfully. Before 2020, office solutions were outsourced to equipment providers and left up to HR. Device management was delegated to IT and they had an IT closet to keep track of everything.
Now in 2021, HR and IT have a limited set of options. These range from ordering and managing all their equipment themselves to offering a home office stipend and having their employees take charge of the delivery.
Obviously if you have a globally distributed team this turns into a logistics nightmare and takes time out of the workday to order furniture.
IT finds themselves in a position where they are storing several valuable laptops or devices in their home. They then need to coordinate all the shipping and maintenance themselves once a new remote worker joins the team.
GroWrk - This remote work software for equipment management allows companies to supply, finance, and distribute all the equipment and devices remote teams need to do great work from home, or anywhere.
They have a global device management service with a network of 150+ countries that makes delivering equipment over borders hassle-free. You can then manage the life cycle of your own inventory or an entire catalog of top-of-the-line devices.
GroWrk even has a payment plan where your company can make monthly payments on the equipment or laptops that you order to fit your budget. Best of all each Mac laptop comes preinstalled with Apple Business Manager or for Windows, mobile device management (MDM) software.
In Gitlab's 2021 remote work report, 82% of over 3000 remote workers surveyed, agreed that remote work is the future of work. 80% even said that they would recommend working remotely to a friend. Remote and hybrid work is here to stay but by no means is it perfect.
Just 37% said that their organization helped them collaborate on projects effectively. Remote partners help organizations make the transition to asynchronous work, collaborate more productively and build a social foundation for your remote workers.
Assess, where your remote operations are lacking and talk to one of the partners on the list for that boost you are looking for. Whether it be productivity, mental health, or equipment management, you will not be disappointed.
Discover the platform that will get your distributed team everything they need to be successful. From laptops to standing desks, from the U.S to any location in the world.