How to Manage a Remote Team: 2023 Best Practices Guide

In a remote team, you’ll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them. Even though my co-founders, Bryan and Mike, and I lived in the same city, we had different schedules and were bootstrapping Zapier on the side of our day jobs and school. We worked on Zapier in every spare moment we each had, but those moments didn’t magically line up at the same time where we could work in the same room, so, by necessity, we became a remote team. If you are new to management, then check out our list of tips for first time managers. These prompts will help attendees feel more comfortable speaking and sharing their ideas.

This tool is especially helpful when monitoring the overall team’s performance. So open lines of communication, and balancing the professional and personal in such a way that makes us effective and pull together as a team is such an important element of our work. Retention rates increase with happier employees who find their work fulfilling. Better work collaboration sets the foundations of a work culture that can lead to this conducive work environment. Fortunately, much of scrum’s defined set of rituals, tools, and roles, can be adapted to a remote work environment, including sprints, ceremonies, daily scrums , andretrospectives. However, the lack of independence and trust can easily demotivate your remote team by making them feel undervalued. Virtual team building activities like Virtual Escape Room, Virtual Clue Murder Mystery,Virtual Happy Hour Trivia and Virtual Jeoparty Social are also fun.

An often overlooked—yet potentially more critical—step is documenting and enforcing how each of those tools should be used. No one is surprised to hear that you and your team might be having some extra challenges as you navigate the pandemic and the shift to virtual work. Have you ever had to wait all day after asking a team member for a single password? Ask each person about the things your team did well and the things they can improve. Have periodic one-on-one meetings so that each team member has the chance to express their thoughts in confidence.

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A thousand years ago, nobody was thinking about virtual management. Even twenty years ago, the concept of remote leadership and how to manage remote workers was a glimmer of a far-off and unknown future. Which is understandable; our ancestors had a lot to worry about, like which township to pillage and Y2K. By building a better team culture for your remote team you can also boost morale. Nobody is motivated by a lazy manager, and this is especially true of folks with great work ethic.

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Roll up your sleeves, believe in a DIY mindset, and make results happen that give your team growth opportunities. One of the biggest wins you can have as a manager and leader is giving your people more than they ask for. If someone asks for a raise and deserves more, give a higher raise if you can. When you exceed asks, your team will believe you have their best interests at heart, which is a powerful motivator. Here is a list of employee benefits to consider, an the best employee benefits software for administration. This field includes developing effective team management skills, HR skills, and using remote work software.

These anecdotes and stories about what works and what doesn’t will help you navigate these curious waters as captains of your newly-remote-crewed ships. Socializing is important on a remote team, but the truth is that remote workplaces are usually less social than co-located ones. People on remote teams need to be ok with that and have their own social support system. And the best remote workers will thrive in this type of environment.

The calls foster collaboration and take some of the pressure off the manager to be the primary contact person. He said he didn’t see why they needed to be in the same room all the time.

Catch up with everyone, discuss Netflix shows and explore shared interests. But for remote team communication, ground rules are not just helpful — they are essential. When remote workers are part of the dialogue, they will be empowered in their work and feel more connected and engaged. Remote workers tend to put in more hours than their in-office counterparts, but they often don’t feel part of the team. Remote work has been on the rise for years—and it will only continue to grow.

Remote Team Collaboration Tools

Give them a rundown of the entire company and its mission, introduce them to everyone, and make every tool and resource available for their use or review. Don’t stumble at this stage by assuming you won’t need to include your remote workers the same way you would an in-person employee. And yet, businesses often take remote workers for granted, even those participating in hybrid models. Many, unwittingly, take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach when an employee is out of office but still available and working diligently as ever. As a result, loneliness is the biggest challenge that workers face on days that they are working out of office, according to the State of Remote Work 2022.

Kohlenberger is now senior HR director, North America, for Glanbia Performance Network, a sports nutrition company in Downers Grove, Ill. When the company made a strategic decision to fuel its growth through mergers and acquisitions, senior leadership knew that there would be new employees working in the field or in satellite offices. Kohlenberger represents the parent company to these new employees. She frequently travels to other cities to meet new team members and make sure that everyone is operating from the same playbook. So we strive to bring the team together two times a year somewhere cool, from Vancouver to Minneapolis to New Orleans. Each week, someone inside the team does a lightning talk or demo on something interesting. We’ve had folks share their latest project, new teammates share fun facts about themselves and their backgrounds, and leadership members conduct well-being workshops through these hangouts.