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Successfully Managing Diverse Work Styles on Your Remote Team as a Digital Nomad

As a digital nomad, managing a remote team can bring exciting opportunities to work with people all over the world without sacrificing independence, flexibility, and the ability to travel. However, managing a remote team can also be an arduous task, especially when it comes to managing a diverse set of work styles. The prevalence of remote work has increased significantly over the last few years, particularly with the global pandemic, and has placed new demands on organizations to adjust how they compensate, supervise, and manage virtual employees. A critical aspect that separates the traditional office from remote work is that remote work comes with diverse communication styles, work ethics, cultural backgrounds, time zones, and personalities.

Managing different work styles requires flexibility, patience, and an understanding of how employees manage their work in remote settings. It is crucial for digital nomads who supervise remote teams to recognize their employees’ diverse work habits in order to implement effective management strategies. In this article, we will provide insight into how digital nomads can efficiently manage different work styles on their remote teams.

Step 1: Understand Your Team’s Work Styles

It is vital to understand each team member’s work style to achieve an effective and efficient team dynamic. Equally important is evaluating how an individual’s work style can be applied to specific tasks and work conditions. Some work styles are individual, team-oriented, fast-paced, or project-based; the styles could vary depending on the type of client, project, or workflow of the day. The different styles of work can be classified into 8 categories:

  1. Autonomous Style
  2. Collaborative Style
  3. Detail-Oriented Style
  4. Results-Oriented Style
  5. Innovative Style
  6. Process-Oriented Style
  7. Customer Service Style
  8. Administrative Style

The following insights analyse the different work styles.

  1. Autonomous Style

The Autonomous Style is characterised by individuals who can work independently and excel in self-guided projects. They are efficient in time management and strongly prefer to work alone. This work style is commonly embraced by developers, writers, and graphics designers.

Managing individuals with an Autonomous Style can be simple since they deliver more when left alone, which means that micro-management may not be necessary. Let them work independently, but understand that regularly checking up on their progress will be necessary.

  1. Collaborative Style

The Collaborative Style is characterised by individuals who work best in a team setting, enjoy brainstorming, building ideas together, and are more likely to come up with innovative ideas when in a team setting. This style of work is particularly applicable to marketing teams and customer support teams. It’s essential to encourage open communication and collaboration between team members, for them to perform better.

  1. Detail-Oriented Style

The Detail-Oriented Style is characterised by individuals who pay very close attention to small details and execute time-consuming tasks with precision. Individuals with this work style usually excel in jobs that demand accuracy and meticulousness, such as accountants and Quality Assurance (QA) teams. Given the importance of detail, a highly organised, methodical work environment must be built to enhance their work style.

  1. Results-Oriented Style

The Results-Oriented Style is characterised by individuals who are competitive, goal-oriented and, motivated when deadlines or incentives are presented. Sales and marketing teams excel with this work style, and it’s essential to establish specific goals and track progress regularly to keep everyone on track.

  1. Innovative Style

The Innovative Style is characterised by individuals who can think outside the box and come up with new and creative ideas. The individuals with an innovative style tend to include people with creative professions, such as graphic designers, writers, and artists. To manage such individuals, it is necessary to create an open and safe environment for people to express themselves freely.

  1. Process-Oriented Style

The Process-Oriented Style is characterised by individuals who prefer structured workflows and habits. Individuals with this work style excel in tracks that are procedural and technical, and include people in sectors like project management and systems engineering. To manage this team, clear guidelines must be developed that spells out the exact steps that must be taken for each project and ensure that everything operates in a smooth, consistent manner.

  1. Customer Service Style

Customer Service Style work is characterised by people that have excellent communication skills and are good at navigating difficult situations. They are empathetic, charismatic, and patient; this makes the individual have an easy time in customer-focussed roles such as Customer Success, Support and Marketing teams. Managing these individuals requires providing the tools and skills necessary to deliver premium customer service and help them connect with users seamlessly.

  1. Administrative Style

The Administrative Style is defined by people who excel at organisational tasks, for instance, Human Resource and Operations teams. They are efficient, process-driven, and can synchronise details and ensure the smooth running of the company’s internal operations. The managerial approach for these individuals is to develop a highly organised and structured work setting where everything is systematic and structured, and all workers function like a well-oiled machine.

Step 2: Set Clear Guidelines and Expectations

To guarantee everyone is on the same page, establish clear expectations and guidelines, including setting deadlines, communication channels, project milestones, and quality standards. It is essential to communicate these requirements explicitly and to provide examples so that everyone understands what is expected of them.

When setting guidelines, keep in mind that remote teams come in diverse shapes and sizes; therefore, preferences and work styles will vary. The goal is to tailor guidelines and expectations that align examples of work processes that are mutually beneficial, yet practical to ensure high quality results.

It’s crucial to establish regular check-ins and update meetings, whether via phone or video conferencing, to ensure everyone is on track and to identify any potential issues before they escalate.

Step 3: Create a Culture of Trust

Forming trust with and amongst team members typically requires sincere, honest and open communication, which is all with remote teams is held virtually using communication channels such as Slack. This virtual setting necessitates virtual team-building activities, such as ice-breaking games to help remote workers feel comfortable communicating and collaborating with one another.

Furthermore, recognising and celebrating individual achievements fosters a culture of trust and collaboration. One effective approach for celebrating achievement is to hold virtual parties to commemorate a job completed, valuable feedback received, or anything else recognised as a significant contribution to the team’s goals.

Step 4: Embrace Flexibility

Flexibility is vital when working remotely. Flexibility involves embracing the varying schedules, work styles, time zones and preferences that may not conform to a standard 9-5 workday. Providing workers with the opportunity to work when they are most productive and providing them freedom is essential to avoiding burnout and boosting productivity.

It’s pertinent to establish a flexible workday, depending on the type of job and workers’ preferences, although deadlines and milestones must always be met; it’s paramount to allow a level of autonomy. In this way, the team will establish a balance between work and life, which will result in improved work performance, productivity and build a strong staff relationship in the long run.

Step 5: Use the Right Tools

To efficiently manage remote teams, it’s pertinent to have the right tools at your disposal. Given that the team is working remotely, communication becomes critical. Tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Trello provide an avenue for real-time chats and collaborations. In addition, tools such as Asana and Trello help track project progress and manage checklists, providing notifications and timely reminders such that tasks would not fall off the radar.

Lastly, Cloud-based tools like Google Drive and Dropbox provide platforms to share files, reducing email communication and ensuring that all team members have a single source of truth for project documentation.

Step 6: Build Effective Communication

Clear and effective communication is the cornerstone of successful remote teams. Digital nomads who supervise remote teams need to establish clear communication protocols. Establishing such rules creates an environment where team members can effectively and efficiently communicate with each other. Some communiques that need to be established include:

  • Channels of communication -Setting up the right communication channel for each team member that aligns with their work style preference, removes delays in responses. A graphic designer might prefer to use Slack and Trello, whereas a team of developers might prefer using different communication apps that are designed for their work processes.
  • Communication etiquette – Similar to the channels of communication, everyone’s communication preference can be different. For example, some may prefer video calls, while others may choose only voice calls. It’s pertinent to communicate these preferences and respect them to ensure that communication is seamless. This ensures that all team members are comfortable when communicating with one another.
  • Check-ins – Establish regular check-ins between all team members – this helps to identify any potential issues or obstacles that would impact progress.

Step 7: Provide Constructive Feedback

Providing constructive feedback is necessary to help team members improve their work and refine their focus on the organisation’s objectives. Feedback is such an essential tool in facilitating quantitative and qualitative analysis of the team’s performance. Feedback should be specific, timely, and measurable. When providing feedback, use the SMART Criteria – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Furthermore, constructive feedback helps build trust amongst team members, especially where it is done sincerely. Acknowledge their progress and encourage towards improvement. It’s easy to assume that simply criticizing is enough – but this approach is counterproductive. So it’s important to provide solutions that would help improve the worker’s approaches to the project.

Step 8: Create a Supportive Work Environment

Remote teams require a supportive work environment to help them succeed. To create an adequate work environment, we must ensure that the team members can work safely, comfortably and efficiently. This includes setting up ergonomic workstations, providing direct support where necessary, and providing training to help the workers safely apply work-related skills.

Furthermore, recognising and addressing team stress and burnout is pertinent to create an environment that fully supports the team’s well-being.


The fundamental aspect of remote work is the flexibility offered to employees who can work in a manner that best suits their work style. Managing diverse work styles requires a deep understanding of the team members’ preferences, communication styles, behavioural patterns, and personalities. Recognising and managing these aspects require patience, adaptability and an efficient management strategy. This guide identified how keeping a check on diverse work styles can increase productivity and creativity, satisfaction from work, and always lead the project team to achieve wider objectives and goals. Ultimately as a digital nomad and team leader, using a combination of the approaches outlined in this guide, you’ll achieve a well-organised, highly-effective remote team.

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