1. Create a wiki for reference
A simple wiki will allow you to document processes and list where your team can find relevant information. Organizing knowledge in a wiki allows teams to create, share, and edit content, establishing a collaborative and living repository. At Anrok, we use Slab for this purpose, but there are lots of other options such as Notion, Coda, Dropbox Paper, and Google docs.
2. Set up a lightweight customer relationship management (CRM) system
Your finance team needs a CRM to track vendors, team responsibilities, and important contacts. You can even use it to keep a record of your personal connections, as you never know when you might encounter that money market optimization problem that another finance leader mentioned at a prior networking dinner. A CRM puts all the information your team needs to manage vendor and customer relationships in one place and allows them to update it remotely. This means that everyone is working with the most up-to-date information about all these relationships. At Anrok, we use Airtable to create a straightforward CRM using their simple template.
3. Layer video onto Slack
Many find Slack an essential tool for connecting remote teams and enabling casual communication. You can enhance this tool even further by adding a video tool on top of Slack. This option lowers the friction, as it makes remote interaction more like swinging by someone's desk. At Anrok, we use Remotion, which allows for more ongoing, casual connection without having to schedule formal meetings. We also like Loom for asynchronous video, which provides a one-to-many communication method that helps us scale knowledge-sharing.
4. Do team-building activities
When employees work so far apart, it’s even more essential than usual to set up ways for them to get to know each other and build rapport. Trusting work relationships start with a strong foundation of friendship. The key is to break out into smaller groups so that everyone has a chance to participate and express themselves. Among the many options are remote happy hours, virtual escape rooms, online lunch dates and brown bags, and remote learning circles. A great way to kick off a remote happy hour is to do a desk show-and-tell, where each team member grabs an item within arm’s reach and shares it with the team. Gather is a great platform for hosting remote trivia and other types of social events.
5. Help your people get together in-person
Some of your employees may live near enough to each other to make in-person meet-ups and work sessions a possibility. You can enable them to get together, either socially or to work together, by making the expenses of those events easy to handle. Get tools in place that can quickly and easily reimburse employees for what they spend in making these communal activities happen. Airbase is a good tool for this purpose.
6. Encourage wellness breaks
Employees working alone at home can be more sedentary than they are in the office, where there are more reasons to move around the space. Encourage your employees to take breaks and to move every day, even if it's just a quick stretch or a one-minute breathing exercise. You can offer them tools and services to help them do so. Check out o-p-e-n.com, which offers live and recorded meditation, yoga, and other wellness sessions.
7. Track where remote hiring is taking place
Finance teams must be sure to track where new remote hires are located, as this impacts sales tax exposure. Your company may establish physical nexus wherever you have an employee. Nexus is when you’ve triggered the obligation to collect and remit sales tax in a given jurisdiction. If you hire someone in a new state, thereby establishing nexus, but fail to register to collect sales tax, you’ll have to pay sales tax (or book it as a liability) at the expense of the company’s revenue.
The smartest (and fastest) growing SaaS companies make sure to be compliant from day one and collect the sales tax amount from the customer. Tracking remote employees does not have to be a manual process. Talk to Anrok about how you can automate physical nexus monitoring and state registrations today.
While managing remote workers requires considerations that go beyond the ones you’re used to, the process isn’t any more challenging or complex than managing on-site workers. You just need to think about things a little differently and make sure your employees are set up for success in this new way of engaging with your company and their colleagues. It’s all about creating space for serendipity and connection.