Managing Remote Teams: Best Practices For Success

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 4th, 2023

Managing remote teams - featured image

Remote work has revolutionized the modern workplace by providing flexibility, inclusivity, and accessibility.

Gone are the days of the daily grind to the office; now, our office is wherever we are. This shift has not just boosted work-life balance, slashed those wearisome commutes, and skyrocketed job satisfaction, it’s thrown open doors for those once sidelined—think remote town residents, the differently-abled, or the dedicated caregivers at home. But here’s the rub: remote teams are a different beast to helm. For the captains of these ships—our managers—it’s not just about steering the vessel but ensuring every crew member is in sync, despite sailing in different seas. The old playbook? Toss it. Managers now juggle building trust, fostering chatter, and weaving a tight-knit virtual tapestry of professionals. Navigating these digital waters isn’t without its whirlpools—lost nuances in chats, blurred role boundaries, or just the plain ol’ human touch missing. So, how do you best do it? Strap in as we delve into the art and science of leading a remote brigade to victory.

remote team having an online meeting

Best Practices For Managing Remote Teams:

Foster Team Cohesion

When team members work remotely, they may feel isolated, leading to a lack of motivation, disengagement, and reduced productivity. Therefore, managers must promote collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging among team members. Fostering team cohesion in remote teams can be challenging, but there are several strategies that managers can use. First, managers can encourage regular communication among team members through regular check-ins, virtual coffee breaks, and team-building activities. This helps to create a sense of camaraderie and fosters a feeling of connection among team members. Managers can promote partnership among team members by providing access to collaboration tools and creating a culture of teamwork. This encourages team members to work together, share ideas, and support each other. Proper team cohesion helps to promote collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging among team members. This can lead to improved productivity, higher job satisfaction, and increased employee retention KPI.

Use The Right Communication Tools

It’s tough to ensure that everyone is completely harmonious and that all projects get completed on time. Therefore, managers need to select the communication tools to ensure that their remote teams can communicate effectively. Some of the best communication tools for remote teams include instant messaging, video conferencing, and email. Instant messaging tools allow team members to communicate in real time, making collaborating and sharing ideas easier. Video conferencing tools enable team members to connect virtually, promoting a sense of face-to-face interaction and making it easier to conduct team meetings or one-on-one check-ins. Email is also a crucial communication tool, particularly for asynchronous communication. It allows team members to communicate important information, share documents, and provide feedback on their schedules. Managers can also check out Vevox, allowing them to create and send polls to their team members. This feature can gather team feedback and better understand their opinions on a specific topic. By using various communication tools available online, managers can ensure that their remote teams can communicate effectively and efficiently. This leads to improved productivity, increased collaboration, and a better overall work experience.

Build Trust

Trust is one of the most critical components of managing remote teams. When employees work remotely, managers have to rely on them to get their work done, and they cannot supervise them in the same way they would in an office. As a result, trust becomes a critical component of managing remote teams effectively. When employees trust their managers, they are more likely to feel comfortable asking for help, sharing feedback, and collaborating effectively. Trust also fosters a sense of security and psychological safety, allowing employees to feel more comfortable taking risks and being creative. Building trust in remote teams can be challenging, but there are several strategies that managers can use to establish it. These include being transparent in communication, showing empathy and understanding, giving team members autonomy and control over their work, and being available to answer questions and offer guidance when needed. Building trust helps foster a productive work environment, promotes accountability, and ensures that employees feel valued and supported.

remote employee talking on the phone

Set Clear Expectations

Employees working remotely may not have the same level of guidance and oversight as they would in a traditional office setting. Therefore, it is essential to establish clear expectations and guidelines to ensure everyone pursues the same aim. Managers should establish clear goals and objectives for their remote teams. This helps to give team members a clear sense of what is expected of them, what they need to achieve, and how they will be evaluated. Clear objectives provide a sense of direction and purpose for the team and help team members stay focused and motivated. Managers also need to establish clear communication protocols. This includes expectations around when and how team members should communicate, how often check-ins should occur, and how to share updates and feedback. Clear communication protocols help to ensure that everyone is informed and up-to-date and that work is done on time and to the desired standard. When expectations are clear to everyone, it promotes a sense of direction, accountability, and purpose and helps to ensure that work is completed efficiently and to a high standard. By setting clear expectations, managers can create a positive work environment that supports the needs and preferences of their remote teams.

Train Your Remote Team

Constant skill improvement is a must in today’s work environment. Remote employees need to feel that they are doing their job well, but also that they are developing their skills and becoming better every single week. With a deluge of useful artificial intelligence-based tools, it’s easy for employees to fall behind and feel that one-day machines will replace them. That’s why you must implement a regular training protocol so that everyone can start using the newest tools. This can motivate a remote team like nothing else and boost productivity as well.

Conclusion

Managing remote teams doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many useful tools and management protocols available that a remote team can often outperform a locally based team. If you find ways to foster team cohesion, use the right communication tools, build trust, set clear expectations, and develop your employee’s skills, there’s no telling what you can accomplish together. Next up, you may want to explore a guide to remote work wellness.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building three small companies, an educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.