How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team

Standing at the intersection of large-scale trends such as globalisation and millennials demanding greater flexibility and work-life balance — remote working is the latest buzzword on everyone’s lips. Businesses today are embracing remote employees and distributed teams, hiring top talent regardless of where that talent may be geographically based. This trend is unsurprising given that the evidence for remote working is largely positive:

  • 82% say they experience lower levels of stress
  • According to Harvard Business Review: 87% feel more connected thanks to new video conferencing tools
  • A survey from ConnectSolutions: 30% says they get more accomplished in less time

However, remote working (or telecommuting, telework, teleworking, working from home, mobile work, flexible workplace, or any of the other buzzwords this trend has taken on) is not a new concept, having existed for at least several decades. The difference now lies instead within the prevalence of technological tools, such as SlackTribePulse, and Zoom, that have made remote working easier and significantly more feasible for the masses. If the majority of communication is via email or slack, what difference does it make if the person is in the same building or in a different state?

Even with remote teams, the role of the manager remains largely unchanged. Managing remote teams falls to the responsibility of a manager, and as the manager of remote team members, it is your job is to nurture, guide and support team members. This is a guide for managers to manage their remote teams and make team members happier. To effectively manage remote teams, there are a 5 key points you need to keep in mind:

1. Use the technology available to you

Remote working is not a new concept, but why is it that it is taking off in such a huge way now? The answer is simple. Technology. Tools such as SlackTribePulse, and Zoom, have made it super easy to communicate quickly and across long distances, often replacing the need for “in-person” conversations. To effectively run a remote team, it is in you and your teams best interests to make full-use of the tools available.

2. Communicate regularly

Some people might view remote working as an introverts dream, but working remotely doesn’t mean that manager should communicate less with their team members. If anything, it means that they should communicate more, I would even dare say that they should over-communicate. Office teams have an easier time communicating due to being in the same building. Remotely managing a team means that you first have to overcome the location barrier. Here, tools that allow for asynchronous communication, like TribePulse, are your best friend.

3. Organize your tasks

With team members distributed around the globe, it is even more important to make sure that everyone knows what they should be working on and even more so that everyone is working on the right tasks. Here, using a team management system such as TribePulse can have a major impact in help you keep on top of what everyone is working on. Along with this point, your role as a manager means you need to manage your team’s time. The common concern managers associate with remote working is that they can’t ensure that team members are working. Well, the rebuttal usually goes — how can you ensure that all the people in your office are working? In both cases, it is highly useful to get all team members to report on what accomplishments they have made each day as well as any outstanding tasks or challenges they are facing.

If a team member’s having trouble with keeping on schedule, don’t automatically assume that they’re just being lazy. Remote working is a difficult nut to crack, and even the best of us fall prey to the dangers of working alone sometimes.

4. Remotely manage by removing obstacles and roadblocks

It often falls to the manager to remove and obstacles and roadblocks and this doesn’t change just because your team is remote. While managers can worry about team members not pulling their weight, it sometimes falls to the manager to stop delaying progress just because the problem isn’t physically close to your. Remote working shouldn’t be an excuse for “out of sight, out of mind

5. Get real face time regularly

Even occasional face time can help make up for the lack of daily interaction, so make it a priority, even if you’re the one who travels, not the entire team. “If everyone is everywhere, a good rule of thumb is to try to get together once a quarter if travel budgets allow” says Nicole Wood, CEO and co-founder of career coaching company Ama La Vida.


In summary, to effectively manage a remote team you need to:

1. Use the technology available to you

2. Communicate regularly

3. Organize your tasks

4. Remotely manage by removing obstacles and roadblocks

5. Get real face time regularly

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to effectively running a remote team!

If you wish to learn more about how to engage your remote workforce, we invite you to check out our other content by joining the More signal, less noise Tribe.

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