# An opinion on what it takes to build a remote team ## My realationship with remote work I spent my whole childhood making friends online, learning online, and even working online at the age of 14. I'm used to hours of isolation, communicating with a friend I never saw face to face. There are many like me. However when I joined my [first startup](https://newsroom.paypal-corp.com/2021-03-08-PayPal-to-Acquire-Curv), I joined a tight knit team we worked every day for 8-12 hours in the office an hour drive from my home. This experience granted me long lasting friendships and valuable learning experiences. I started working remotely again two years ago during the start of COVID. During these two years I switched time zones alot, started new jobs and traveled around the globe. But most importantly remote work gives me a sense of freedom, to live my own life as I wish. However along the way I have learned a lot of hard lessons regarding remote work. I will share some of my observations with you. ## Building a remote team When building a remote team it's important to understand that we are human and humans thrive on social interaction, we communicate best synchronously and are distracted easily. Don't try to avoid these important facts. Rather encourage them. The key to successful remote work is to simulate localized work as much as possible. Don't fight human nature. When working remotely make sure your team has access to coworking spaces, or perhaps they work at a cafe once a week. Social interactions don't necessarily need to be with the team rather any social environment will relieve feelings of isolation. Don't communicate exclusively asynchronously, make sure your team members have some hours a day in which synchronous communication is performed. It's important to realize that your team must be motivated and have self-discipline. Pay attention to this when recruiting and building your team. Remote work currently may not be suitable for everyone. ## Overthinking remote work I have noticed many concerns around the rumor that remote work requires "special management" or "more effort to coordinate". I don't think there is a difference between remote teams and localized teams in terms of knowledge base building, task tracking and calendar scheduling. The same tools can be used for both. If you are running into issues like this, you are most likely trying to fight human nature and build a remote and isolated team, rather than a remote team that is attempting to simulate a localized team. It's also possible that your team is just not a good fit for remote work. ## Remote work training It's important to realize that a large portion of the workforce has been working in the office for the past 20 years. They are not used to remote work, it will seem a bit awkward for them at first or even come as a complete shock. I think remote work training will be incredibly important for organizations in the future. ## The future of remote work I think that remote work is the future. Remote work circumvents borders giving anyone anywhere equal employment opportunities. It allows employees to live their life, saves them time and allows for a more relaxed lifestyle. As technology catches up we will eventually not be able to tell the difference between remote and local teams. ## TLDR Remote work isn't for everyone. Take this into account when recruiting. Remote teams should attempt to simulate localized teams as much as possible. As a remote worker make sure to socialize and not stay home all day every day, communicate daily with your team and stay focused. Startups building tools for remote teams should focus on building tools that simulate human interaction and closeness rather than complex management systems that just distance people from direct interaction. I'm extremely excited about the future of remote collaboration, I truly believe it will bring about global equality of opportunity.