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Essential Remote Working Tips for Managers to Effectively Lead Their Teams

Remote work is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more companies adopting it to cater to a changing workforce. The Pandemic has made the work-from-home model the new norm for economies worldwide. Workers have not only found remote work comfortable, but it also promotes work-life balance, provides flexibility, and offers unique advantages to managers. Remote work has brought in multisite teams and reduced the need for on-site workspaces, making it more cost-effective, and efficient for businesses.

However, embracing a remote working model comes with its own share of challenges. For managers, ensuring that teams are productive, motivated, and collaborative requires a whole new set of skills. As a manager, how do you lead your remote team effectively without micromanaging and losing touch? We explore essential remote working tips that managers can use to lead their teams effectively.

Invest in a robust communication network

Communication is fundamental to remote work success. Managers must ensure that their team members are equipped with the right technology and communication tools. Email, messaging apps, video conferencing tools, collaborative platforms’ are quintessential tools for remote workers. Keep in mind that remote working comes with the added pressure of social isolation. Regular communication serves as a bonding mechanism and keeps everyone on the same page.

Ensure clear communication with regular meetings to build an open and supportive remote workplace culture. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to foster innovation and creativity and help your remote employees understand the company vision. Schedule one-on-one meetings to check how your employees are doing, communicate feedback, and create a healthy work relationship.

Foster trust and accountability

Managers who micromanage their remote teams end up destroying trust and undermining the work culture. Trust is key to remote team productivity. Show your remote employees that you trust them to accomplish their tasks by avoiding frequent check-ins and monitoring their every move.

Offer and encourage task and goal-setting by employees, and provide the necessary support and resources to ensure their success. Focus on the outcome rather than the activity, and provide clear guidelines and policies for accountability. By fostering accountability, you can actively create a committed remote team culture that focuses on results.

Set Expectations and Evaluate Performance

One of the primary difficulties that managers face when leading remote teams is evaluating work output, especially for jobs that necessitate more of an attended work environment. Establish precise performance standards, goals, and objectives for your remote team members. Communicate clear expectations, deadlines, and deliverables, noting that remote employees may require additional time to overcome location barriers.

Consider yourself accountable for their success and ensure they meet the same customer service policies or workflows as on-site team members. Set up regular check-ins, identify obstacles to completing goals, and enlarge project parameters that won’t throw off timelines. Encourage acknowledgment of work accomplishments, provide constructive feedback, and lead your remote team towards their best performance.

Foster a Collaborative Environment

Collaboration is critical in a remote work environment, and team building activities go a long way towards creating collaborative remote teams. Encourage online conversations, create virtual meeting rooms, hold virtual coffee breaks to encourage socializing, and participate in team-building activities.

Encourage brainstorming sessions among team members to foster synergy between their unique skill sets, generate fresh ideas that benefit the company, and improve morale.

Ensure Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development opportunities are vital for remote team members, mainly because they do not thrive on physical interaction previously prevalent in on-site workstations. Drives and ambition can suffer from a lack of access to colleagues and decision-makers.

Create professional development plans that enhance your remote team capabilities, expanding team members’ horizons, and show a dedication to their professional growth. Involve virtual workshops, online training programs, and industry certification courses that help enhance skills and stimulate professional growth for each member of your team.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Promoting work-life balance in a remote work environment goes a long way to maintaining a happy and motivated remote team. Encourage scheduled breaks, let workers take time off, and disengage from work through a constant feedback loop. It’s easy to give into the temptation of working continuously when the office is always there, but boundaries must remain in place to create a work-life balance. Managers who promote work-life balance create a positive working atmosphere where remote team members are enthusiastic and driven about their work.

Leverage technology to streamline processes

Leverage technological tools to streamline remote team member processes; software, online platforms, and chatbots can reduce time spent on manual, repetitive tasks, and refine interactions between remote employees.

Integrate a collaboration suite that ensures efficient communication, secure document sharing/storage, and synchronous and asynchronous online discussions that build camaraderie for remote team members.

Consider implementing time-tracking tools to monitor progress and productivity, while also promoting trust and transparency between remote team members and managers.

Encourage Flexibility

One of the significant advantages of remote work is flexibility. Allow your remote team members the flexibility to work at their own pace, providing clear guidelines for task completion and deliverables. Facilitate an environment that is conducive to productivity while also understanding that everyone may work at different times and at varying levels of focus.

Encourage an open-door policy that enables team members to voice their concerns and discuss their work arrangements. Transparent communication leads to trust, and trust can drive remote team success.

Provide Adequate Training

Remote work has unique challenges compared to on-site work. Ensure that your remote team members have adequate training on topics such as remote communication, time management, and software usage. Sufficiently train them on the company’s communication channels, including messaging apps and video conferencing tools. Training and coaching support will empower remote employees to excel.

Develop a Strong Virtual Onboarding Process

Companies that have a robust virtual onboarding process enjoy loyal and engaged remote teams. A virtual onboarding process helps remote team members feel connected to the company from the get-go, fostering a sense of belongingness that translates to better team performance. Clear communication, remote team processes, technology training, and culture building are crucial components of a virtual onboarding process.

Emphasize The Importance of Cybersecurity

Remote work environments can leave companies exposed to cybersecurity risks, such as malware attacks, ransomware, and phishing scams. Emphasize the importance of cybersecurity best practices to your remote team. Devise a cybersecurity policy that details secure remote computing and data storage, including the use of collaborative online tools.

Encourage remote team members to install anti-virus software, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and avoid using public Wi-Fi or personal devices that are not encrypted when accessing company data. By prioritizing cybersecurity, you safeguard the company’s integrity and ensure that sensitive data remains confidential.

Create Opportunities for Employee Recognition

Recognition of employee achievement is an essential contributor to remote team morale. Remote team members need reassurance that their work is valuable, and that they are making a positive contribution to the company. Create an employee recognition program that applauds genuine achievements and demonstrates your company’s gratitude for their efforts.

Provide regular feedback to your remote team members on areas they are excelling in, and constructive feedback on areas they need improvement. Recognition creates a positive atmosphere that will keep remote team members engaged, and inspire them to continue exceeding expectations.

Mind the Timezones

Remote teams often work across different time zones, which can pose some challenges. Ensure that you are aware of your team members’ time zones and work schedules. Scheduling meetings and deadlines must take into account the time differences. This will prevent burnout and ensure that all team members are on the same page.

Use time zone converters or scheduling software that accounts for different time zones. This ensures that everyone is aware of the timing for meetings, deadlines, and other crucial events. It’s crucial to have everyone in sync, even when working remotely.

Create Opportunities for Socialization

Remote work environments can easily lead to social isolation. As a manager, it’s essential to combat this by creating opportunities for socialization among team members. Socialization facilitates teamwork and collaboration, as it fosters stronger relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Create virtual social events like online game nights, cook-offs using video chats, happy hours, or online social groups. This will help your colleagues to connect on a personal level, which will translate into stronger and more productive work relationships.

Provide Access To Resources

Remote team members can face challenges with access to critical resources such as software, tools, and hardware. As a manager, provide remote employees with adequate resources to ensure that they can deliver work efficiently. After all, the success of the remote team is dependent on every member’s ability to utilize resources effectively.

Provide adequate access to cloud-based/shared documents and tools that enable online workspaces. Ensure that your remote team members have fast, reliable, and secure internet connections. Providing access to resources boosts productivity and morale, and enables your remote team members to deliver high-quality work on time.


In conclusion, the success of managing remote teams comes down to effective communication, trust, accountability, flexibility, and work-life balance. Managers who can create a positive remote work environment that prioritizes these factors will lead a motivated and committed remote team.

Remote work comes with unique challenges, but with the right strategies and tools, successful management of remote teams is possible. Focus on building a positive culture, creating opportunities for socialization, and providing resources and support to your remote team, and your team will thrive!

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