A guide to managing remote teams

A guide to managing remote teams
A guide to managing remote teams

posted 19 Jul 23

Whilst working from home has increased by 41% in the last five years, for some managers, leading a remote team is a completely new and, understandably, daunting experience. In addition to your everyday management responsibilities, you’ll need to get to grips with how to organise, manage, and lead a team that is working remotely.

To help with this, we share four working-from-home management strategies that you can adopt to set yourself and your remote team up for success.

Four tips for leading and managing a remote team

1. Scheduled Scrums or daily catch ups

When working from home, daily contact is key. Try to stick to the same time each day to allow for structured chats about how they are, what they have achieved, and what they have planned.

Ideally, make video the usual way of communicating and Use systems like Whatsapp, Zoom, Gotomeeting, Skype, or Microsoft Teams to keep your team is focused and motivated.

Top tip: Don’t underestimate the importance of  “how are you?”, this will help build deeper relationships with your team and open a window for them to open up to you regarding any issues or blockers at work.  

2. Manage the ‘to do’

Alongside your daily catch ups, setup a collaborative to-do list that will drive their agenda.

Utilising technology for example, a shared space like Trello or Todoist can aid communication and collaboration. You may also have space setup with your business like Yammer, SharePoint etc.

Top Tip: Ask your team to consider any barriers to success so they can flag them and you can support. Understanding challenges is just as important as understanding what they aim to complete and will keep the team collaborating, positive, and accountable.

3. Weekly goals to achieve

Ideally, everyone in your team is clear on what they need to do, but don't always presume this is the case. What are your team’s weekly goals? Are they clear? Although goals will also drive daily catch ups, we recommend a weekly dedicated video meeting to chat through. Ask your team:

  • What have they achieved this week?
  • What are their plans for next week?

Share plans with remote workers using online file sharing platforms, including Google Drive or DropBox. If your team is working together on the same document, use tools such as Google Docs so that everyone can access and work on it simultaneously.

Top tip: Trust in your daily and weekly catch ups and agreed goals and make your team accountable for their work. From then on, it is important that you trust them to get on with the job and touch base at the agreed points, making it clear that they should contact you if they’re struggling to complete the tasks or indeed with their successes.

4. Lead and manage

Be mindful that for some people, working from home may not be their first choice or a new experience for them. Adjusting to remote work takes time, and your team may not be performing at optimal level right away. Make a conscious effort to keep up morale by providing extra encouragement and support to your team. 

However, while your team works remotely, they shouldn’t change their working habits drastically. When working from home, it can be easy to work overtime. To help avoid this, encourage them to stick to agreed working hours and remind them to log off at the contracted time. Looking after your team’s welfare is important, but when managing remote teams, it’s vital. Read our advice on how to support mental health at work and make positive employee wellbeing a priority. 

Top tip: Celebrate weekly wins to create a sense of purpose. How about also asking the team to call out great behaviours? You could use your company values to drive this. For example, if innovation is one of your values, what can the team point to each week to demonstrate a team member’s innovative approach?

Transitioning from an office setting to remote working can be challenging, but with the right strategy covering the four points above, you and your team will make a smooth transition into working from home. 


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