5 Tips on How to Manage a Remote Team

Aleksi Meldo

Co-founder @Evergreen

Remote work is here to stay, offering cost benefits, increased productivity, and access to a wider talent pool. As remote work continues to evolve, mastering remote team management is essential for business success. By hiring the right people, fostering trust, prioritizing communication, setting clear expectations, and providing unwavering support, you can ensure your remote team thrives in the ever-changing world of work.

In this blog, we'll explore how to effectively manage a remote team, offering valuable insights, statistics, and tools to help you thrive in this new era of work.

How To Manage A Remote Team

Working remotely isn’t always easy. Managing a remote team can be even tougher. But here are the important things to know to help make it easier:

1. Hire The Right People

Hiring the right individuals for your remote team is crucial. Look for candidates who exhibit the following qualities:

  • Self-Motivation:

Remote workers must be self-driven and proactive. They should excel in environments where they need minimal supervision to deliver results.

  • Independence:

The ability to work independently and solve problems autonomously is a key trait to seek. Remote employees often need to troubleshoot issues without immediate access to colleagues.

  • Communication Skills:

While independence is vital, excellent communication skills are equally important. Remote team members must be able to express themselves clearly in written and verbal forms.

Remember these qualities, because sometimes people simply aren’t going to thrive in a remote environment. When hiring for a remote team, look for “doers.” Doers are people who are motivated and independent. They work well on their own with minimal direction. When you need something done, a doer will make it happen.

According to a study by Buffer, 32% of remote workers consider "self-discipline" as the most significant struggle, highlighting the importance of hiring self-motivated individuals.

2. Trust Your Team

When you’re not working in the same office with people, it can be easy to think they might be slacking off. You might even be tempted to give in to the urge to micromanage.

But remote teams only work when there’s a level of trust between members. Worrying about what your team members are doing takes time and energy away from your tasks. If you can’t trust your team members to do their work, they might not be right for your team in the first place.

As trust is the cornerstone of remote team management, it is important to:

  • Set Clear Expectations:

Clearly define goals, roles, and responsibilities. When everyone knows what's expected, trust naturally grows.

  • Leverage Technology:

Utilize project management tools and time-tracking software to monitor progress without intrusive oversight.

Tip: Tools like Asana, Trello, or Monday.com help teams collaborate seamlessly and offer transparency into tasks and deadlines, but especially to have a better understanding of how the work is being done.

3. Communication Is Key

The key to successfully managing a remote team is effective communication, that is why you need to have:

  • Diverse Channels:

Offer multiple communication channels (e.g., Slack, email, video conferencing) to cater to different preferences and needs. Make sure your team members are connected to each other, as well as yourself. A good manager will be available through a few different mediums, like Slack, email, and phone, so that people can contact them the way they’re most comfortable.

  • Regular Check-Ins:

Schedule regular team meetings and one-on-one check-ins to maintain connections and provide a platform for feedback. In fact, according to a study by Owl Labs, 53% of remote workers value "regular meetings" for better communication in remote teams.

Tip: Since remote communication is often text-based, hone your writing skills, as most information shared remotely is written. Your writing should be clear, grammatically correct, and informative so that you and your team are on the same page.

4. Manage Expectations

Part of communication is managing expectations. If you want your remote team to thrive, you need to set clear (and realistic!) expectations for their work:

  • Define Goals:

Clearly outline what needs to be achieved, why it's important, and deadlines.

  • Measure Success:

Share how success is measured so that team members understand what to prioritize.

  • Flexibility:

Recognize that remote work allows for more flexible schedules. Trust your team to manage their time effectively.

This sets your team up for success by making sure everyone knows what tasks need to be done, why, and when. Plus, it also allows you to communicate how you measure success, so team members know what to focus on.

5. Support Your Team

Let’s face it, remote work can be difficult on many levels. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your team knows that you’re there to support them. According to the Harvard Business Review, managers should make a point to check in with employees, acknowledge their stress, and empathize with their struggles.

For this reason, it is suggested to promote:

  • Emotional Well-Being:

Acknowledge the stress and challenges of remote work. Offer support, and consider mental health initiatives. In fact, a study found that 46% of remote workers experience loneliness, emphasizing the need for emotional support.

Not sure how to approach the situation? A quick message asking about how they’re adjusting to remote work can start the conversation.

  • Regular Check-Ins:

Beyond work-related discussions, check in on your team's well-being. A simple message can go a long way.

  • Professional Development:

Provide opportunities for skill enhancement and growth, even in remote settings. Understand the motivations of your employees and involve them in projects where they would be thriving.

How to motivate a remote team?

Remote work is indeed here to stay, and its numerous advantages, including cost benefits, increased productivity, and access to a broader talent pool, are driving businesses to embrace it. However, one critical element often overlooked is how to motivate a remote team effectively. Employee recognition plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal. As remote work continues to evolve, mastering remote team management becomes essential for business success. By hiring the right people, fostering trust, prioritizing communication, setting clear expectations, providing unwavering support, and incorporating employee recognition into your remote work culture, you can ensure your remote team not only thrives but also remains motivated and engaged in the ever-changing world of work. This holistic approach will empower your team to excel and contribute their best, even in a remote environment.

Do you want to start easily?

Consider implementing the Evergreen Slack App, which not only facilitates communication but also contributes to environmental sustainability by planting trees in exchange for recognition. It's a win-win for your team and the planet. Sign up for the free trial today and join the remote work revolution!

The Evergreen Slack App makes it easy to stay connected with your remote team. Whenever you give recognition to your colleague, we’ll plant 1-3 trees to offset carbon emissions, and additionally motivates the team and encourages employee engagement.

Sign up today for the free trial!

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