A Guide to Managing Your Newly Remote Workers


Social updates and shared areas foster cooperation by enhancing visibility, communication, and visibility. Documents and information may also be exchanged online across various teams and locations. One of the first steps to managing employee conflict in a remote team is establishing clear communication channels and expectations. Set up regular meetings with your team so everyone understands the chain of command and who should be consulted for certain decisions. Ensure all team members are aware of the company’s workplace behavior and conduct policies and provide them with the tools they need to communicate effectively. Regular career catch-ups are a results-driven way to manage a remote team as you’re able to build employees’ trust and connect with them on a personal level.

Their power supply may not be consistent, and there may be many distractions and difficult to manage. Some work-related stress is inevitable; however, remote work is stressful in a different way than traditional office work, and not everyone knows how to handle it. Don’t run over time and try to end discussion a few minutes early, so there’s time for questions. This allows overscheduled attendees to log off and on to their next meeting in time. Invite leads or key players only and make it known they need to share out information to their teams instead of inviting others.

Managing a Remote Team

Another way to do this is to create a WhatsApp or Facebook group for your team. The aim here is to provide team members with a space to engage in informal talk, rather than having the group act as another avenue for work communication. In a remote work environment, keeping close supervision on such an individual is a lot more challenging, and without such supervision, such an employee might start slacking. A good way to do this is to set up time to have some formal or informal check-ins with your team members to find out how things are going. Another option is to use websites that can assess each team member’s calendar and schedule meetings and calls based on every member’s availability. The best way to deal with this challenge is to track employees productivity by the work they deliver, rather than time worked.

Adapting to this new work style can be scary, especially if there isn’t enough time to prepare for the change. However, if you know how to manage remote teams the right way, you’ll get the best results from your remote workers. Other options include virtual pizza parties , or virtual office parties how to manage a remote team (in which party “care packages” can be sent in advance to be opened and enjoyed simultaneously). While these types of events may sound artificial or forced, experienced managers of remote workers report that virtual events help reduce feelings of isolation, promoting a sense of belonging.

Your employee might not be underperforming because they’re lazy or incompetent—they might have obstacles getting in their way. For example, they might be sitting in Zoom calls for 4+ hours per day, slowly losing their soul to video fatigue. You could work with them to remove non-essential meetings and free up their schedule. For example, some team members may prefer to work early mornings while others prefer evenings. That’s fine and dandy, but you’ll need a bit of overlapping schedules to enable and encourage collaboration.

Set clear expectations

You can help your remote workforce form connections by investing the extra time and effort. This might involve additional digital team-building activities or frequent in-person team gatherings—whatever works better for your logistics. Think about ways you can position all your team members for success. Make sure, too, that you’re using objective data to evaluate their performance. Learning to remotely manage a team will have its inevitable growing pains.

Want to provide more actionable advice to your product development team? Consider providing your remote workforce with a monthly stipend to help with remote-friendly offices or a coworking space in their area. This could help offset the price of internet and electricity for your team members. It could also help them purchase a more ergonomic desk chair or an upgraded headset.

You can take action to overcome these obstacles and better lead your remote teams. Let’s jump into a few game-changing best practices that’ll get your team headed in the right direction. 60% of remote workers feel less connected to their colleagues. That’s going to be a problem when you’re trying to build trust and nurture close-knit relationships. The best managers mentor and coach more than “manage.” They also understand the not-so-subtle nuances and differences between the disciplines of leadership and management. And just because we are in the midst of volatility, complexity and ambiguity, that doesn’t mean we halt any and all efforts in developing our teams – and ourselves.

Label business information for easy prioritization

Contractors have experience with phone sales and with using Overpass, but not with the particulars of your business. Additionally, we have a Training section within your workspace, where you can provide supplementary instructions or information. Organize all your project activities with a project management software. Companies like Aha, NationBuilder, Automatic Buffer and many more are successfully working as 100% remote companies.

Managing a Remote Team

It becomes a tough gig to empower the teams to thrive when, for instance, an Indian sitting in Banglore is working for an American company and so on. But the company’s culture suffered until the staff figured out ways to maintain a sense of community and connectedness through virtual and in-person meetings and get-togethers. A recent report by software company Buffer shows that 19 percent of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge.

Tips for prioritizing outcomes with remote work:

May well need something a bit more robust, however, to cut down on toggling between apps all day. It’s also been built with practicalities in mind and can be deployed as an industry-specific tool for the likes of healthcare, retail, tech companies, and education. With the person to their left or right if they’re unsure of something.

  • Unexpected problems related to project, or a teammate or how the work is being done are common in every business.
  • They instituted weekly happy hours, an office-wide fantasy football league, and also started a monthlong trivia game.
  • When asking your employees about work update, do not forget to say hi, how they are doing.
  • Knowing the potential challenges you’re likely to face when managing a remote or hybrid work force means you can better equip yourself to deal with them quickly and efficiently.
  • The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, and work-related tasks have become challenging for those who struggle with managing remote teams.

Now, when you start your meetings on time , you’re actually depriving your team members of this same opportunity. It may feel counterintuitive, but if you make a point to open the call 10 minutes early and let people casually enter in, you are recreating that unstructured space in which people can build connections. You don’t have to sit idly by and watch distance destroy your teams.

Using this method to gauge the performance of your remote employees will only create mistrust. When you have a remote team that is scattered across different time zones, scheduling video meetings and phone calls becomes a huge problem. Remote teams rely heavily on collaboration, so it is important to find ways to encourage it.

Invest In The Right Tools

Kohlenberger represents the parent company to these new employees. She frequently travels to other cities to meet new team members and make sure that everyone is operating from the same playbook. Lean into the norms and expectations you established at the outset and encourage your employees to adhere to a set schedule and step away from work when operating hours are done.

Managing a Remote Team

Allowing your team the autonomy to work when it suits them best, has proven to show greater quality and productivity. “Something I think Buffer does well is being conscious of the different energies that people bring to meetings in different timezones. In recent years, the number of remote workers has increased dramatically.

Reinforce company culture

You might ask your team members to all be online between 10am to 2pm PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays , but how they allocate the rest of their time is up to them. As the CEO or team leader, it’s your duty to keep employees motivated. Motivation looks different to everyone, so you’ll need to take a personalized approach rather than a batch-and-blast strategy.

Managing Editor at Yahoo

This is why it is important for anyone managing a remote team to use video as much as possible. Not only does video allow you to build comfort and trust with your team, it also allows you to gauge their mood, their reaction to changes in plans, and so on. Worse, trying to get another team member to help could mean wasting the whole day waiting for a response from the other team member. Determine what your remote team needs to have accomplished within a given time, and then leave them to do it.

Foster a Sense of Trust and Respect Among Team Members

You may be worried about shifting to manage your remote teams. You can also build personal time into meetings, allowing for 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end of meetings for everyone to give a personal update. The big upside of using video conferencing for these ideas is that it naturally leads to more impromptu, unplanned conversations that can often lead to the best ideas from your team members. As a manager, you should be careful not to assign too much work or to impose too tight deadlines. If they feel like they’re under too much pressure and be prepared to adjust work to make things easier for them.

The challenges of managing remote teams

If you have a good friend at another non-competing company that specializes in graphic design, consider asking him to do a 30-minute presentation to your team. Employees will feel more comfortable talking with you if they feel like you’re a champion in their corner . Assist where you can, and ask the hard questions to get them to break out of their pandemic bubble and open up.