Proven Methods For Managing A Remote Team

As more companies embrace remote work policies, managing a team that is geographically dispersed can pose some unique challenges. However, with the right strategies and tools in place, remote teams can be just as productive, collaborative, and happy as teams working side-by-side in an office. In this article, we’ll explore some proven management methods to help you lead your remote team to success.

Communicate Early and Often

The key to managing any team is open and frequent communication. This becomes even more critical when working with remote employees. Be sure to clarify expectations, give consistent feedback, and create channels for questions and discussions. Many online project management platforms have messaging features specifically for team conversations. Schedule video conference check-ins periodically so you can talk face-to-face. The more you communicate, the less likely your remote team members are to feel disconnected.

Set Clear Goals and Metrics

Without seeing their work visibly unfolding before you each day, it can be tricky evaluating how your remote team is progressing. That’s why goal-setting is so valuable for remote workers. Collaboratively establish individual and team objectives, benchmarks, and success metrics. Tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp allow you to break large projects down into smaller action items and track progress. Celebrate when milestones are achieved or adjust course quickly when things go off track.

Foster Employee Engagement

When people work apart, it’s important they still feel connected professionally and personally. Schedule regular all-hands video meetings for status updates and team bonding. Send weekly newsletters highlighting recent wins and employee recognitions. Organize virtual social events like cooking classes or online games. The more at home your team feels amongst their peers, the more loyal they’ll be to your company and mission.

Embrace Technology as an Ally

Cloud-based systems form the backbone of successful remote work. Set your team up with collaborative platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Cisco Webex where they can message, video chat, and file share 24/7. Virtual meeting technology ensures discussions stay focused and inclusive for all participants, regardless of location. Time tracking software helps both managers and employees stay accountable during independent work hours. The more robust your tech stack, the less disruptive the “remote” factor will be.

In Conclusion

Leading remote teams calls for adaptability and commitment from managers and employees alike. But when powered by effective communication practices, goal setting frameworks, engagement initiatives, and the right technology—your distributed workforce can thrive. By implementing these proven management tactics, you have every opportunity to build an organization that is productive, connected and built for the modern working world.

Promote Work/Life Balance

Working remotely affords employees flexibility that can improve their quality of life when managed correctly. Make sure your team takes regular breaks, disconnects after reasonable hours, and uses their location freedom judiciously. Discourage overwork by leading by example with your own availability. And emphasize output rather than facetime as the metric of success. A healthy work/life balance actually makes remote employees more focused when working.

Conduct Occasional Off-Site Gatherings

While most collaboration can happen virtually, there is still value in gathering remote workers together periodically. Annual retreats, regional meetups, and conferences are great opportunities for face-to-face interactions and relationship building. Use these events for deeper strategic planning sessions, trainings that benefit from in-person workshops, team building activities, or simply putting names to faces. Just be sensitive to geographic spread and family obligations when scheduling off-site meetings.

Hire the Right People

Not every talented professional has what it takes to be successful working autonomously. Seek out candidates who are self-starters, disciplined, accountable, resourceful and comfortable working independently for long stretches. Personality and soft skills become even more important indicators when hiring for a remote role. Test for traits like adaptability, communication skills and cultural add in interviews and skill assessments. Invest in remote workers who align with your company’s core values to minimize turnover.

Set Rules and Boundaries

While remote work does necessitate more flexibility, don’t confuse this with being “always on call”. Establish work hours that serve your team’s productivity while allowing people reasonable personal time. Discourage late night or weekend emails and messages unless they are time sensitive. Likewise, make sure employees know when you need them available for meetings and deadlines versus when they can schedule personal commitments freely. Maintaining healthy boundaries results in less stress and burnout across the organization.


Leading a distributed workforce has unique obstacles, but can reap tremendous advantages like talent acquisition, improved efficiency and employee satisfaction. By optimizing communication practices, establishing results-driven workflows, integrating collaboration technology and occasional off-site gatherings, today’s remote teams can be happy, engaged and positioned for ongoing success.

I hope you found these proven management methods helpful for effectively coordinating your own remote staff. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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