Managing Remote Teams: 8 Practical Tips That Work

Gaurav Sharma
April 5, 2023
min read
September 19, 2023
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Managing remote teams can get challenging for remote managers. In this blog post, you’ll learn 8 practical strategies for effective remote team management.
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Managing remote teams in today’s hybrid and fully WFH world is not an easy task.

But remote working is here to stay — the statistics are clear.

According to a 2022 Owl Labs survey report, 42 percent of respondents say they prefer to work remotely and 36 percent prefer a hybrid working style.

Image via Owl Labs
Image via Owl Labs

Besides, 58 percent of job holders in the United States say they can work remotely at least part of the time.

So how do managers and team leaders manage these geographically dispersed team members? 

Without the right strategies for managing remote teams, it can be challenging to keep team members together and work toward achieving the same goals.

In this blog, we’ll discuss eight strategies for managing remote teams effectively.

Let’s get started.

What are the challenges of managing remote teams?

More and more employees prefer to work remotely than ever. However, remote working comes with its fair share of challenges for employers and managers, such as:

  • Lack of clear communication, expectations and boundaries.
  • Lack of in-person supervision.
  • Lack of team cohesiveness.
  • Lack of trust.
  • Isolation, loneliness and burnout.

Here are the best ways for managing remote teams.

1. Understand your responsibilities

As a remote manager, you need to strike a balance between establishing a solid support system for your team and holding them accountable.

But before you can determine what your direct reports are expected to achieve, you need to understand your responsibilities. In other words, you need to ask yourself “what am I expected to achieve as a remote manager in this organization?”.

This will help you apply the rules of the organization you work for consistently.

You’ll create effective procedures that help you build trust, maintain transparency, and create a frequent and open communication system — all essential in managing remote teams.

2. Focus on the results, not what teams are doing

While it can be tempting to keep an eye on your teams often, part of managing remote teams is understanding that the results are more important than what the teams do.

After all, the flexibility of working remotely is what pushes employees to choose this working style.

Besides, when working remotely, different people have different routines. For instance, some employees or freelancers are more productive early in the morning while others work better at night.

And as long as employees know what’s expected of them, you don’t have to worry about checking in on them often.

Be confident that your teams can thrive in a remote working setup without having to keep an eye on them continuously.

Also, establish a system of rewarding teams for accomplishments achieved, not the process they have used to accomplish projects.

3. Have patience & empathy 

While switching to remote working comes with challenges for managers, it can be worse for employees.

For instance, with virtual work, employees are required to learn how to use certain technologies and solutions.

Unless your teams are already aware of the new technology, they are going to need some time to adapt to it.

Besides, some of your employees may be comfortable and more productive when working remotely while others may find it difficult to adjust.

This is why you need to be patient and empathetic. Ensure you provide enough support and collaboration opportunities at all times.

4. Learn remote work management best practices

As mentioned, there are many challenges in managing remote teams.

However, anticipating potential challenges can help you prepare yourself to prevent and overcome them.

Think about the possible hurdles you might encounter when managing remote teams as well as the possible solutions you can implement.

For example, you can leverage the right client portal software to save time of your customer team and boost the customer experience with a customer friendly support system.

Equip yourself thoroughly by finding training programs where you can learn about managing remote teams.

5. Create clear documented procedures

There’s one thing your remote-working team members can’t do—walk over to a colleague’s desk and ask for help with a task.

It can make it hard for them to handle situations where they don’t understand how to execute a certain task.

And this is where creating internal documentation, such as process documentation becomes helpful.

There are many process documentation tools you can use to document procedures for your remote team members, such as Scribe.

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Scribe is available where you work, when you work. So you can build and share documentation without disrupting your flow.


Be sure to inform all employees how to access and use the internal documentation.

6. Keep an eye on your employees 

You’re probably wondering why we’re recommending checking in on your employees when we said it’s not necessary.

But this is a different kind of ‘checking in.’

When working in a physical office, knowing when an employee is overburdened or whether it’s safe for you to assign them more tasks is easier.

It’s also easier to notice when an employee isn’t taking lunch or skipping breaks.

This isn’t possible to know with a remote team. Without checking in on your employees, you could overload them.

Be sure to check in often to see whether you should assign your employees a new task or how much more extra time is needed to complete an assigned task.

7. Create an open line of communication & remove any communication barriers

Effective communication both in-office and remote working setup isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.

But this isn’t always possible for remote workers.

Check this out.

According to a 2022 Buffer State of Remote Work survey, 52 percent of employees feel less connected to their co-workers after shifting to remote work.

Image via Buyer

In addition, 17 percent of workers say their biggest struggle when working remotely is collaboration and communication.

Image via Buyer

In an in-office setup, team members can easily walk into the manager’s or co-worker’s office and inquire about something.

The situation is different for remote working. This means that team members may not understand what they are required to do at a given time.

Thus, as a remote team manager, you need to ensure effective communication is achieved. You need to set up an open line of communication and eradicate any possible communication barriers.

Effective communication removes the dangers of confusion among team members which could hinder successful project completion.

You can use the best Trello‌ ‌alternatives‌ ‌for‌ ‌seamless‌ ‌project‌ ‌management‌ and clear communication among the team members. 

To ensure effective communication, managers and team leaders should work with the best internal communication software. It’s also essential to set aside certain times of the day when employees can reach out to you.

Also, consider involving the team in choosing the communication tools they can easily use.

Some of the best team collaboration and communication tools you can use include:

  • Zoom.
  • Microsoft Teams.
  • Slack.
  • Etc.

8. Set shared expectations

Managing remote teams is easier when team members know what is expected of them. Thus, you need to set shared expectations with team members.

Inform team members about how you intend to manage them remotely. 

For instance, set communication guidelines.

Let inbound sales employees know which tools you’ll use for urgent communication such as Slack, automatic data management such as CRM and non-urgent communication, such as email. 

Set the rules for video conferencing, such as whether everyone must have their cameras on or not. You can also share the goals and metrics you’ll use to assess performance, and don’t forget about providing constructive employee feedback.

It’s also important to tell the remote team members what they can expect from you as well.

When setting expectations, be realistic, document everything and think inclusively.


No doubt virtual working is beneficial in many ways.

However, managing remote teams can turn out to be a hurdle if you aren’t aware of effective remote team management practices.

Apply these tips to experience better manager-employee relationships in a remote work environment.

Author Bio

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

Social Accounts: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Instagram

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