The Difference Between Remote and Distributed Teams in Startups

Remote teams aren’t distributed teams. Say what?

The Distributed Team Test

A distributed team is one that’s spread across geographical boundaries and time zones. The key difference? Most people will be based in different cities and don’t often physically work together. If you’re not sure if you fit into the category of distributed or remote, take this quick test:

Remote versus distributed team test

The Difference Between Remote and Distributed Teams

To be clear, the trend that’s currently being set in the startup world is around distributed teams. That’s because being distributed helps teams to:

Being an effective Distributed Team

With technology, it’s only becoming easier to be an effective distributed team. To get your team there, you can employ:

  1. Communication tools (& asynchronous comms, e.g. Slack, Hangouts, Skype)
  2. Effective email (short and to the point, e.g. Gmail)
  3. Mastery of time zones (e.g. Homeslice )
  4. A focus on ‘why’ (e.g. jobs-to-be-done and job stories)
  5. Regular retreats (e.g. Buffer’s retreats)

Examples of awesome Distributed teams

These companies are already effective distributed teams:

We can all learn how to be more efficient in our own teams by looking at how distributed teams work. These teams use asynchronous communication and their dispersed time zones as a competitive advantage.