How to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

In the same report, 52% of managers commented that their teams were even more productive than when operating from the office. A year on, a 2021 poll surveyed 3,000 business professionals and found that almost 50 per cent wished to continue working from home. If you are that person who says “I don’t use task management apps because getting into them takes too much time”, chances are, you simply haven’t found a platform that fits your team’s needs. The race for improving team collaboration has become a hip trend in the business world.

That doesn’t mean processes should be rigid, unchanging, or pointless, though. Process, at a small company, is more about providing a feedback loop so that you can measure progress for both the company and the people in the company. We’re major G Suite people, and we use Quip for internal documentation, but we’ve recently moved toward Coda. Designed to combine documents, spreadsheets, and app features like Kanban boards and mini databases, Coda’s main focus is on detailed documents.

The fact is that leading remote teams looks different for each company—it all depends on the culture and remote work approach. Accessing the same documents remotely within a single company requires document management tools and techniques, commonly via cloud solutions. For example, Google Drive or Dropbox are powerful telecommuting tools that allow access to all documents remotely in real time.

We recommend monthly video chat one-on-ones where you can sit down with your employees and discuss whether they’re reaching their goals. These one-on-ones aren’t formal, scary performance reviews—they’re tools to provide insight on how your employees can take their work to the next level. At, every new member of the team spends three months in-house to get to know each other better. Starting new hires with the rest of the team before they begin working remotely fully immerses them in company culture. It’s a crucial time, because building those relationships establishes that “social sensitivity” that all teams need to work efficiently. Google’s Project Aristotle created a study which divided 699 people into smaller groups and gave them tasks to perform.

how To manage a remote team

To manage your remote team can enhance communication between you and your employees for the better. Just because someone isn’t physically located at headquarters doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing fit for our team. Right now, has 15 remote employees in 8 different countries, and they are a vital part of our team. Building and managing a remote team successfully takes a few special considerations and tools – here’s what we’ve learned. Google workspace takes up a holistic approach towards remote project management.

Formally called a repository, it stores programming projects and allows users to pull and push changes, in effect saving new code. Only when stay-at-home orders first went into effect around mid-March 2020 did employers truly encourage and/or plainly require their employees to work from home. Quip’s document collaboration system has a feed, where you can see what everyone in your company is working on at any given time. But a remote employee doesn’t get rewarded in the same way for going above and beyond.

Advocate for mental health days

To ensure better organization, Google Calendar is presented as an essential telecommuting tool. Thus, the agenda can be shared with all collaborators to guarantee better visibility of the achievement level according to the work to be done. In the same context, there are several other tools for organizing slots and meetings, for example, we cite, Calendly, and Foot. If your team seems to be struggling to stay motivated, consider increasing the number of check ins. And encourage your team members to check in with each other as well. If your team seems to be struggling to stay motivated, consider fostering a check-in culture.

  • A huge factor that can seriously affect both morale and productivity is overloading your employees with work.
  • For instance, an employee who has always wanted to visit New York could be given a chance to work on a New York project when it arises.
  • The Accounting Manager is responsible for the completion of the month end closing of the general ledger, preparing/reviewing journal entries and supporting schedules.
  • Note that your group retreats don’t have to be grandiose, but they surely need to be properly organized to achieve the desired effect.
  • For that reason, I recommend having a communication channel where workers can chat casually throughout the day, either privately or in small groups.

For instance, an employee may want to get her groceries at 11 am, when the shops are less busy, and then work an extra hour in the afternoon. Remote employees don’t have the opportunity to interact with you informally in the same building so that you can give them both formal and informal feedback. To provide emotional support, you will need to tackle issues from a place of empathy, always be in communication with your employees, and ask them if there is anything they need from you. You could also look into facilitating the creation of employee resource groups . These are a great place to build community, learn, have fun, and understand how to create more equitable and inclusive workplaces. You could take a leaf from remote working platforms like Upwork, which has a “virtual water cooler” known as the Coffee Break, where employees can interact and share information and news.

Beyond the simple daily check-ins, over-communicating is imperative when it comes to the team’s tasks, duties, responsibilities and desired outcomes, which we’ll cover more in a minute. In a normal workplace environment, lack of communication can already be a challenge. But when employees are working remote – and potentially now focused on new or different tasks and goals, communication is paramount. Consider this article your toolkit for managing remote workers.

How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team

But to do that with a remote worker, you have to ping them on chat which can seem more intrusive. Looking at your employees’ reports, in real time or at the end of the week, means that you know more about where they need your help without them having to ask you for it. IntegratingTeamwork Projects with an app like TimeDoctorwill give you a real-time, comprehensive look at your employees’ workflow.

For example, the team at Zapier was able to measurably reduce the length of their daily standup meeting from 15 minutes to 1 minute without sacrificing its efficiency. For that purpose, Zapier engineers used Geekbot to conduct asynchronous daily standups directly in Slack. Use tools that simplify Agile ceremonies and make it easier to stick to them. For example, use Geekbot to optimize your daily standups, use whiteboard tools to make your retrospectives more engaging, and use Zapier to automate announcements, notifications, and much more. But because of their transparency and efficiency, over time Agile frameworks such as Scrum become globally popular among non-development teams as well.

how To manage a remote team

You can check what task from Teamwork Projects that they’re working on in real time and also get daily or weekly reports of how everyone spends their time. The TimeDoctor integration is flexible, so you can see as much detail about your team member’s daily accomplishments. Transparency into your remote workers’ days isn’t about policing their workflow-it’s about developing a culture where team members feel both appreciated and accountable.

Reward success

Fund your fully remote business, allowing you to find funds in the best way suited to your business. Business formation services to ensure this step is done accurately, compliantly, and is aligned with ensuring your future success. We don’t care where work is done, or where, as long as it meets our standards and customers and other team members are not being inconvenienced by a lack of communication.

how To manage a remote team

The Pomodoro technique is a world-known productivity booster for anyone who struggles to focus on certain tasks. For maximum efficiency, combine the techniques with a DnD status in your messenger so that no one on your team can interrupt your flow. As a side benefit, all the past responses are stored in the same place so it’s easy to track the progress of these meetings. ” You can use Geekbot to conduct the survey directly in Slack or MS Teams and gather all the responses in one channel for quick analysis and follow-up. A simple way to offer flexibility while ensuring your teams deliver is to allow them to spread their set working hours over seven days and work to a structure that best suits them. Staff are often more comfortable expressing their feeling or discussing problems away from the team.

Focus On Communication

We’re constantly working to iterate and improve our onboarding process because it’s crucial for productivity and retention. Try our free 10-member plan at Geekbot and conduct no-nonsense asynchronous meetings and surveys directly in Slack and MS Teams. Flexible is the result of being Agile, but Agile frameworks themselves are far from being flexible. Geekbot’s Focus Mode allows team members to launch Pomodoro sessions directly in Slack and automatically update DnD status when you’re running Pomodoros. When everyone has answered the daily standup questions, Geekbot will automatically organize the responses and send them to any channel you choose in Slack or MS Teams.

If you continually find yourself worrying what someone is doing, then you are spending brain cycles focusing on something other than the product or customers. It’s highly unlikely you could pluck any random set of people, at any random moment in history, dispersed around the globe, put them together, and expect them to build something amazing. Our first hire was Micah Bennett, Zapier’s head of support, who lives in Chicago . Between October 2012 and July 2014, we added eight more people to the team, with members living in Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Tennessee. And then we had our first international hires in August 2014, with writer Matthew Guay based in Bangkok, Thailand and full-stack engineer Rob Golding in Nottingham, UK. In June of 2012, we were accepted into Y Combinator and moved into a shared apartment in Mountain View, California.

Professionals used to be able to stroll into their co-worker’s office and get an issue ironed out in a minute. The approximate pay range for this position is $120,000 to $135,000 base. Please note that the pay range provided is a good faith estimate for the position at the time of posting. Final compensation may vary based on factors including but not limited to knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as geographic location.

how To manage a remote team

Since making the switch to the work-from-home setup, Lifehack has significantly benefited from the productivity and high workplace morale that my team and I have built together. Now, I’m here to help you learn from our experiences and share the successful strategies we’ve discovered along the way. As the CEO and Founder of Lifehack, I’ve had to adapt to the changes of managing a remote team through trial and error, and I’ve learned a lot of helpful secrets along the way. Lifehack made the transition to remote work back in 2019, long before it became the norm today, so my team and I have had plenty of experience with this unique working style. Many experienced business owners transitioned to remote work before the COVID-19 pandemic and figured out the best strategies for how to manage a remote team. To establish legitimacy, be eligible for funding opportunities and reduce personal liability, you will need a new registration when starting a fully remote business.

Culture and Values for Distributed Teams

Long-term personal goal-tracking can help your employees feel invested in the company—and make them more likely to stick around. For example, if your agency is constantly trying to acquire new clients, a goal might be one client proposal per week, two closed deals per month, and twenty per year. Designing a culture means that you’re creating an environment where people trust their teammates and feel empowered to do their best work. They feel accountable to the people they work with—and motivated to do their part.

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 how To manage a remote team electricity for your team members. It could also help them purchase a more ergonomic desk chair or an upgraded headset. These investments can boost their engagement and productivity.

Treat All Employees Equally

As everyone is so different, establishing standards designed to measure productivity is often helpful. Basic guidelines should include the preferred method of communication, for example, video conferencing, voice calls or instant messaging and the most suitable times. Without an open channel that you and your staff can freely exchange information through, teams can splinter. As a result, staff members can become isolated, forgotten, and ineffective. Irina is a marketer and international keynote speaker based in Dublin, Ireland. She’s currently working at HubSpot, on a program called “Surround Sound”, where she is focused on building awareness for the company’s freemium products.

If employees don’t feel invested in the people they’re working with and the company as a whole, it’s easy for them to lose sight of why their everyday work is important. Remote work communication is more satisfying and effective when managers set expectations for the frequency of meetings, tools the teams should use, and the timing of said meetings. For example, town hall meetings can be conducted via Zoom whereas pressing project-related issues can be discussed using Slack and in extreme cases personal phones. Also, every employee should know what’s the best time they can reach out to leaders during the day. Due to business shifting to remote working from the typical office workspace, managers should acknowledge stress, distractions, and rate of adaptability. Then, exercise flexibility in task supervision while managing remote teams.

Set clear expectations

This calls on you to be deliberate when it comes to providing feedback and provide it often and clearly. This may not always be possible, but you could travel to regions where your employees live or organize summits where everybody gets together in the same place. Thus, make an effort to get each team member to present something at each meeting. This does not always have to be work-related; it could be something as simple as asking everyone to say what the best thing that happened to them was since the previous meeting.