Managing Remote Teams: Strategies for Managers

With more and more companies embracing remote work, the question of how to best manage remote teams has become increasingly relevant. After all, managing a team of employees in the same office is difficult enough, so driving a team across the country also presents its unique challenges.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common challenges faced when managing a remote workforce and some best practices for overcoming them.

What is a Remote team?

A remote team is a group of individuals who work together on a project or task but are not physically located in the same place. Instead, remote employees communicate and collaborate through various online tools and platforms.

Remote work offers many benefits, such as increased flexibility, access to a wider talent pool, and cost savings for employers. However, they also present unique challenges that need to be addressed.

Challenges in Remote Work Management

While remote working offers many benefits, it also has unique challenges, especially when managing a team. Remote work management requires different skills and approaches than traditional in-person management, and managers must overcome various obstacles to keep their remote employees productive, engaged, and connected.

Addressing these challenges is crucial to the success of remote teams and requires a proactive and flexible approach. Some of the challenges of remote team management include the following:

Communication Barriers

As a remote manager, ensuring all remote team members access proper communication channels such as emails, chats, and video conferencing is important. Enabling them to use these communication tools appropriately can help remote workers overcome communication barriers that prevent successful collaboration. Without being in the same physical space, 53% of remote workers say it’s harder to feel connected to their coworkers, leading to miscommunication or a lack of communication altogether.

Different Time Zones

Managing employees across different time zones present a challenge that companies must overcome to maximize the workforce. This can mean establishing certain rules around remote employees setting their work hours and when they need to be contactable.

Sometimes, team members must agree on creative solutions, such as overlapping work periods or night/weekend shifts, to complete projects efficiently while managing the remote workforce’s disparate schedules. To ensure remote teams work optimally, managers must think ahead and establish mutually beneficial working hours for remote workers.

Cultural Differences

Virtual teams often encounter the potential for misunderstandings due to cultural differences. Employees do not benefit from non-verbal communication or office setting cues when working in a remote or hybrid team, leaving them prone to misinterpretations based on cultural context.

As remote teams span multiple countries and cultures, it is important to understand different work customs and workstyles to ensure all team members contribute optimally. Companies must be aware of this risk and mitigate it by clearly communicating their company culture expectations to remote workers and ensuring that any misunderstandings are addressed quickly and effectively.

Lack of Trust among Team Members

Building trust and rapport is difficult because remote employees have no face-to-face interaction with other team members in person.

Building trust and rapport makes it easier to manage remote workers effectively. To overcome this challenge, managers must encourage team members to get to know their colleague’s personal life – ask about their families, hobbies, etc. Additionally, try to be as transparent as possible with them – let them know your goals and expectations, and give them regular feedback on their performance.

Collaborating on Projects

Remote management requires project managers to adjust their management style to ensure collaboration and productivity between colleagues. This can be especially challenging when employees have different roles, personalities, and strategies for completing tasks.

If members work remotely, it requires clear expectations for all project stakeholders and adapting to asynchronous communication. A successful project manager must also use collaboration tools, so everyone is on the same page throughout the project’s timeline.

Employee Motivation

One of the biggest challenges of a remote work environment is keeping everyone motivated because there is no way to keep tabs on what everyone is doing at all times – it’s easy for team members to slack off when they’re not being closely monitored.

Managers must try setting specific goals for each team member and checking in with them regularly through weekly video meetings or calls to see how they’re progressing. Additionally, ensure that everyone knows how their work fits into the bigger picture – they should understand how their efforts contribute to the team’s success.

Remote working poses many challenges, so individuals and organizations must understand how to effectively manage and collaborate within remote teams.

Opportunities in Managing Remote Employees

While there are challenges to managing a remote team, many opportunities and benefits can be gained from embracing this approach. More and more companies are embracing remote management and the benefits of having a distributed workforce.

Let’s explore some key opportunities remote management can offer and how companies can best leverage these benefits to building a successful and thriving distributed team.

Access to a wider talent pool

When a company is open to remote management, it can hire talent from all over the world instead of being limited to a local area. This allows them to find the best people for the job and can lead to a more diverse and well-rounded team.

Increased productivity

Remote management can increase productivity as employees often have more flexible work schedules and can work from a comfortable environment. Additionally, studies have shown remote workers are often more productive than those in traditional office settings.

Reduced costs

Remote management can lead to reduced costs for both employers and employees. Employers can save money on office space, utilities, and other expenses, while employees can save on commuting costs and other work-related expenses.

Improved work-life balance

Improved work-life balance is a significant opportunity that comes with managing remote employees. One of the key benefits of remote work is that it provides employees with more flexibility and control over their schedules. When employees work from home or other remote locations, they can often set their hours, which can help them better manage their personal and family responsibilities. This can lead to less stress and burnout, resulting in happier and more motivated employees.

For example, parents may be able to more easily balance childcare responsibilities with work, as they can adjust their schedules to fit around their family’s needs. Similarly, remote work can be particularly beneficial for employees with long commutes or those living in areas with high levels of traffic, as it can significantly reduce the amount of time spent travelling to and from work.

Better disaster preparedness

Remote management can help companies better prepare for disasters or other unforeseen events. Suppose an office is forced to close due to a natural disaster or emergency. In that case, remote workers can continue working from home or other locations, allowing the company to continue operating despite the disruption.

Overall, remote management can provide various opportunities and benefits for employers and employees, from increased productivity and access to a wider talent pool to reduced costs and improved work-life balance.

Best Practices for Managing Remote Teams

Remote work has become a popular option for many companies, allowing employees to work from anywhere, offering flexibility and supporting a work-life balance. To effectively manage remote employees, managers must establish best practices that foster productivity, collaboration, and accountability.

Here are some of the best practices in remote management:

Define Roles and Responsibilities

For optimal efficiency and collaboration, teams who work remotely must delineate roles and responsibilities. This will ensure everyone knows their tasks and projects can be completed efficiently while harnessing the team’s collective strength.

In a remote work setting, it is easy for team members to misinterpret goals, duplicate efforts, or miss out on critical tasks without clear guidance. By defining roles and responsibilities, everyone knows what they are responsible for, who to collaborate with, and who to escalate issues to. This best practice allows for more efficient and effective teamwork, resulting in high-quality output and successful results.

Set Clear Goals

Remote managers have to set clear goals for the team members. By setting and communicating clear goals, team members can prioritize their tasks efficiently, enhancing productivity and providing a sense of direction.

Additionally, clear goals help to create accountability and promote collaboration, as team members are better able to track their progress and identify areas where they may need additional support. Ultimately, setting clear goals is an essential component of effective remote team management, helping to ensure that everyone stays focused, motivated, and working towards a common vision.

Create a Communication Plan

Communication is key to managing remote employees effectively. Due to the lack of in-person meetings, a communication plan should outline how remote workers will communicate with each other. This plan should establish rules on the use of communication tools and elaborate on communication preferences.

Providing the Right Tools

A successful remote team requires having the right collaboration tools. Numerous resources are available to ensure seamless operations, even if units are working remotely. These tools include project management software that can help track tasks, deadlines, and progress; a time tracking tool that allows members to monitor and manage the time spent on various tasks and projects and; communication tools like video conferencing and instant messaging apps that will enable the entire team to communicate and collaborate in real-time, regardless of location.

Here are some tools for remote working

Utilizing these invaluable options can help facilitate greater collaboration with distributed teams, leading to improved productivity and efficiency in the workplace!

Hold Regular Meetings

Investing in regular check-in is key to maintaining good working relationships, both virtual and physical workspace. It is a great way to ensure that you provide feedback and guidance without having to micromanage.

Hold regular team meetings, even if they are done virtually, to keep everyone collaborating in meaningful dialogue about problems or potential solutions.

Believe in the power of communication, for it allows managers to stay connected with their remote teams whilst promoting mutual trust and understanding between employer and employee—helping them reach goals on time while staying productive.

Encourage team interaction

When managing employees in a remote environment, creating opportunities to bridge the gap among employees is important for a more cohesive working relationship. Even if it’s initially out of your comfort zone, take initiatives that foster strong connections in a virtual environment, such as creating an employee engagement programme. This way, everyone feels connected while having a great workflow in place!

Celebrate Success

Celebrating success is an important part of managing a remote team as it helps to boost morale, increase motivation, and foster employee engagement. A remote worker may feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company, making it essential to recognize milestones to create a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Acknowledging even the small wins of remote employees can take many forms, including giving a simple token and hosting virtual celebrations using video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

By doing so, remote managers can help build a positive and supportive team culture, demonstrating that the company values and appreciates its remote employees.

Adopting these best practices help managers create a positive and productive remote work environment that benefits employees and the company.


Managing remote teams presents a unique challenge that requires careful consideration and proactive strategies. Despite these challenges, several best practices can be implemented, from defining roles and responsibilities to celebrating the team members’ success.

It’s also important to be mindful of cultural differences and take the time to learn about each other’s backgrounds and perspectives to avoid misunderstandings. It requires a thoughtful approach considering the unique challenges of distance and cultural diversity.

Following best practices and avoiding common pitfalls can set you up for success.

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Join our team today and be part of a company that values your skills, invest in your professional and personal growth,, and empowers you to make a difference.

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Finding the right skills for your business should not be a hassle. With our expertise, extensive network, and personalized approach, we can help you find the perfect match that will fuel your business success.