The benefits of working remotely are obvious. To only name a few: On one hand, it allows companies to make savings on property leasing and enables international teams to connect and bond together in a way which was never previously possible.

On the other hand, remote employees can work and live anywhere they want with a reliable internet connection and avoid any daily commute time.

But despite these perks, many organisations and remote teams are facing the same issue: how to successfully manage a remote team and keep your staff motivated?

This post explores what remote management entails, why it’s useful for both organisations and employees, how remote managers can successfully lead a remote team, as well as some of the tools that can help you to do so.


The basics of Remote Management


What is Remote Management?


Remote management is the use of adapted communication, techniques, and new technologies to manage and oversee a team who works remotely. This can be achieved through regular meetings with remote team members, virtual collaboration through video conferencing tools, or daily chats about any work-related topic.


Why should you be focusing on remote management?

You might be an accomplished manager and strong team leader in the office – and we don’t doubt that not even for a second! But you need to know that managing a team that is working remotely is quite different.

In remote management, motivation, organisation, and communication are the keys to success.

Your main objective is to make your collaborators feel like they are part of a strong, cohesive, engaging remote unit and keep them focused and organised in their work.

Remote managers can help overcome the challenges of working from home or a hot-desk such as feeling lonely or isolated, getting lost in processes, struggling with a specific software, etc.


What are the advantages of managing your remote team?

If you are able to effectively manage your remote team, you’ll be able to notice a few advantages:


Keep contact with your employees

One of the main advantages of managing a remote team is to keep in touch with your different collaborators and have regular updates on company projects.


Make your employees feel part of the team

Well managed employees will automatically feel like they are part of the team. And you know how the sense of belonging can be extremely important to keep remote team members satisfied and committed to the company.


Staff performance improvement

Giving your employees the right process, the right resources, the right reports, and the right support will make them feel confident and will definitely improve their performance.


Limit employees’ turnover

If your remote employees are well led and know how to do their job efficiently and in autonomy, they can be independent.


They’ll be able to do their tasks whenever they want, wherever they want – as long as they don’t forget that Monday morning team meeting to kick off the week right! 😉


They finally feel free, and this new work/life balance gives them the confidence to keep that job that allows them to do so much more!


What can you do to make remote-teams work for your organisation?


Provide the right tools for the job

Remote managers need to implement and encourage their teams in a number of different tools in order for the team members to feel like they are working from one location.

They need to know how to access tools, know what the processes in place are and which platform they should use for any purpose.


Some tools you could start with are:


Slack or Microsoft Teams for daily chats

Asana or Trello for project management follow-up

Zoom, Skype for Enterprise or Microsoft teams for video calls

Overall, choose the software or tools that will fit your needs and try to limit the number to 2 or 3 tops, as all too often some organisations use 5 or 6 methods of communication, which is obviously too much.  And don’t forget to train your team on how to use them!


Establish clear channels of remote communication

Once you define your tools, one of the most important points is to establish very clear channels of remote communication. This will prevent any miscommunication with your remote staff.


“For written updates on this project, use this specific channel on Slack.”‘


“For the weekly business meetings, connect via the recurring video conference link of Zoom.”


“For sending a note to keep track of the done work, you can do it with this productivity tool.”


Whatever the communication process you put into place, remember to keep it easy for your team and to make sure everyone understands the communication means in place.


If needed, don’t hesitate to create a written and clear process document.


Incite social connection

After establishing the common ground for this remote communication to work efficiently, make sure you incite a social connection with all team members.


Whether it is written communication (chat, emails) calls or video calls, give them the chance to contact you at all work times for those who need it the most.


Write with caution

Writing feedback by email/chat can sometimes sound harsher or more condemning when on paper – or well on screen – than when spoken out loud.


As a result, you should be a bit more careful with the words you pick to express yourself when managing a remote team.


Make sure to read-proof the digital “tone of voice” of your message before sending it!


Find the right balance of autonomy and control

Give your remote employees some freedom by giving them a clear goal, set up boundaries for what they need to do, and allow them to work on their own time.


You’ll have more success in managing remote workers if you let go of micro-managing tasks. So just learn to trust your very competent team. You know they can do it!


Don’t forget about your team, keep motivating them

If you want remote staff to be engaged and committed, then make them feel like they are valuable to your company. No matter if they are miles and miles away!


Create remote-specific rewards programs, virtual team building events, send them some employee appreciation messages or give bonuses for employees who deserve it!


It’s not because now they work remotely that your business reward system should be forgotten.


Give them feedback

This point is crucial! Make sure to regularly give remote employees feedback on their work, so they know where they stand.


They might feel lost sometimes working by themselves, so this could be the only way for them to get an idea of how well they are doing in your company if there are any improvements that need to be made, and overall, stay connected with you as their manager.


Meet at least once in a while

Finally, if you can, organise an in-person reunion once in a while!


It might sound controversial with the idea of a remote team, but trust us, it’s good to create that glue that keeps the team united.


This will not only give employees a chance to see the team in person but also allow them to feel like they are still part of the company.


This might also be your opportunity to organise something fun and show them that their work is appreciated.


Remote management is not as difficult as it might seem. Actually, remote teams are sometimes easier to manage than others and can be more productive if you know how to do things right!