Not sure if its the exact same situation as i travel a lot out of neccassity rather then the nomad life style as my full time job is very much unrelated to my development work, but i’ve started establishing an agency and i’ve employed a couple of people abroad recently.
Honestly its not easy. Everyone needs some training and time to get used to your style of work, if you’re lucky. Otherwise they need a LOT of training and time as face to face interaction is limited, sometimes they spend a day or 2 trying to solve a problem you could have answered for them in a few minutes had they been there with you and you realised the issues they were having.
What i’ve done is i start everyone off with making websites, as thats usually the easiest way to test someones ability and work ethic and their style (i.e. especially if they’re the type to just slap things together, or if they are more careful about naming, commenting, etc).
When i know i’m going to be busy for the next few days, i either give them something to read or give them a difficult problem so i can see how they chose to solve it and thats usually a good indication of progress and a good exercise for them. For the designer i just give lots of different design jobs to see how they tackle each.
For communicating and motivating i just make sure to get constant updates via slack, regular whatsapp calls, and constantly asking to see what they had produced over the last day/week, etc. But i don’t do much motivating apart from the occassional “Good job” pat on the back when they do something good. Other than that i spend the majority of the time critiquing their work. But i’m upfront from the begining that thats my style of work and they can’t take anything personally and if i sense they’re annoyed or upset i explain its not personal this is just how work is. But i push until things are being done exactly as i want them to be done, and i dont mind a high turnover. I’d rather someone quits and me having to find their replacement then having someone limit my and the teams productivity.
For clients, firstly for telephones i got a telephone answering service (virtual assistant) who will answer all calls, filter them and forward them to me if i’m available. I carry my uk mobile around as i get free roaming in most places.
The hardest thing about it all is scheduling meetings with potential customers as each one requires either a flight or to make sure i’m in a certain location for a long enough period to give them a chance to scheudle a meeting. However i set my base as London and i’m back there enough to be able to do this with no major issue.
Hope that helps. I’ll update you once i get a bit more experience aswell.