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      Managing a remote team successfully requires effective communication, strategic planning, and a supportive work culture. 

      However, managers all around are facing unprecedented challenges with this new normal. You must ensure progress, growth opportunities, effective communication, and productivity – but do it without ever meeting the people you work with.

      With the shift to remote work, managers have seen a minimum 10% loss in productivity. They also feel unpredictability and a disconnect from their workers. This disconnect can cause a lack of motivation as well.

      Plus, they consider every worker’s situation differently. Everyone has different circumstances, life situations, and challenges, so you must adjust your management style accordingly. 

      Today, we’ll discuss some of the more common problems you might face.

      5 Challenges You Will Face Managing Remote Teams

      There are several challenges to managing a remote team. Some of these are:


      a. Communication 

      Communication is the most common issue that remote teams face because of geographical distance. If the communication isn’t prompt, a backlog of work processes can translate to productivity and financial loss.

      Communication gaps can also frustrate your employees. It is easy to misconstrue conversations over text or other digital platforms. This can become detrimental to your team’s performance and output.

      So, ensuring that communication processes are not affected should be a manager’s number one priority. Otherwise, the workflow gets affected, which impacts the entire team’s progress in reaching deadlines and meeting certain milestones. 

      b. Isolation

      Isolation is a major factor contributing to remote workers’s declining mental health. Although remote teams have a lot of flexibility to aid comfort and experience, the challenge of working in isolation can lead to strenuous mental circumstances for employees. 

      The lack of communication and human interaction can also slow down work because remote workers feel a disconnect between their work, their reason for working, and their work goals. 


      Sadly, prevalent feelings of loneliness were on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic. 61% of respondents to a 2020 study conducted by Cigna reported feeling more isolated, with younger workers facing the issue the most.

      c. Lack of Cohesion/Direction

      When working alone, it is easy to lose sight of goals or high-level targets. Communication breakdowns occur when your team is remote—no matter how well you are connected.

      This makes it hard to get direction on a common goal and can even make workers disconnected from the center. Lack of direction may cause workers to feel that their efforts are not contributing to a larger goal, which may severely hurt overall performance. 

      This can be further exacerbated by different team members working in time zones, leading to further isolation, lack of direction, and ineffective communication. 

      d. Motivation 

      With a lack of direction also comes a lack of motivation. 

      Workers disconnected from the center may feel their work goes unnoticed and underappreciated.  Due to the distracting nature of the remote working environment, remote employees are likely to lose focus and overall motivation to work productively. 

      This affects work output, project goals, deadlines, and resource management.

      Eventually, this can spread to the whole team, affecting their morale and causing burnout. Without frequent meetings, remote workers can feel demotivated and lost without any sense of direction.

      e. Resource Allocation

      With your resources all over the place, it can be problematic for managers to track and allocate them. 

      However, efficient resource allocation is essential to ensure operations remain as productive as they were in the office. Without proper visibility, managers cannot properly delegate tasks, which leads to resource underutilization. 

      It is why so many managers use resource allocation software to manage remote teams. 

      10 Proven Strategies To Manage A Remote Team 

      As discussed, managing a remote team comes with challenges. But with the right strategies, you can foster a productive and cohesive work environment. 

      Here are 10 proven strategies to help you manage a remote team effectively:


      1. Set Expectations

      Set clearly defined goals that will help you determine your output for each team member.  Ensure your whole team knows how tasks are distributed so everyone has visibility into which tasks are dependent on others.

      Set deadlines and follow up with employees regularly after assigning them tasks. This helps keep things on track and makes people accountable.

      You also need to set rules for your team that they can comfortably follow when working from home. This helps manage expectations and keep your team headed in the right direction. This isn’t possible without clear communication and headstrong leadership. 

      Have multiple meetings with your team members to ensure that their expectations and work output are clearly defined. Communicate ahead of time and follow up on results to provide clarity later.

      2. Overcommunicate

      Things get easily lost in translation when working from home. There is an inherent communication gap because of the inability to conversate face to face. This gap can make or break team morale and function.

      It is why you should overcommunicate without overstepping boundaries and personal space. This keeps the workflow going smoothly and removes doubts or misunderstandings about the assigned tasks, deadlines, and goals.

      Remember that coordinating tasks can get complicated with remote workers, as they have to keep in touch with their teammates and in-house employees or employees working in different time zones.

      3. Sync-up 

      Regularly e-meet with your team and hybrid workers. Find out what method of communication they prefer. 

      Are they more comfortable with emails, or do they prefer video conferencing? 

      Do they like voice calls or text messages? 

      Ask these questions individually and cater to their needs.

      Also, ask what time zones they are comfortable working in and if they prefer weekdays or weekends so no one has their routines disturbed. This will ensure everyone is working to their strengths and contributing towards the company’s bigger vision. 

      4. Provide the Right Tools 

      Investing in the right tools significantly reduces miscommunication and information delay, making it easier to manage remote teams. Here are a few solutions to help you manage your remote workforce and make work easier for your remote staff.

      Storage and File Sharing


      A robust file-sharing system will be the foundation of your remote working structure. While solutions like Slack or Microsoft Teams offer file-sharing features, they offer little in the way of search features or folder structures.

      We’ve catered these solutions that can allow your remote workers not only to communicate updated files but also to store them securely:

      • Dropbox
      • Google Drive/ Workspace
      • WorkDocs from Amazon
      • Microsoft OneDrive File Sharing Applications

      We recommend Google Drive because of its ease of use and multi-rich features, and with a subscription, you get access to the entire Google Suite. 

      Project Management Software


      If you have many remote workers working on a project, there may be better answers than spreadsheets. Project management tools can help you keep everyone on track and focused on the end goal.

      Here are a couple of such examples:

      • JIRA
      • Asana 
      • Trello 
      • Wrike 

      We recommend JIRA and/or Asana for development teams planning their scrums weeks in advance. Trello works sufficiently for creative-focused teams, such as marketing and advertising agencies. However, each organization has unique work styles, and you must select the tools that best work with your workflows.

      HR Resources


      Managing remote teams necessitates doing practically everything online, from hiring to training to payroll. HR solutions can assist you in effectively managing your remote staff, regardless of where they are situated. Here are a few suggestions.

      • People Evernote 
      • SurveySparrow
      • TriNet
      • ZOHO People

      ZOHO People is an all-inclusive HR solution. It offers fantastic 24/7 support and is affordable, with subscriptions starting at $1. 

      Time Tracking Software


      Time tracking software lets you track the time of your employees, even if they are working remotely. It helps you allocate the resources your team needs to complete their tasks and hit different milestones while accurately calculating how much time they spent on each. 

      Here are a couple of examples you can choose from:

      • Hubstaff
      • TimeDoctor
      • TimeBee

      We recommend TimeBee. It offers a comprehensive set of features that assist in solving your time management issues. It allows you to work independently or dependently with your team without worrying about deadlines or overspending. 

      It records all the time between your sign-in and sign-out sessions, making the working process hassle-free and accurate. TimBee also records all hours and syncs once you connect to the internet, ensuring no hours worked go untracked. 

      5. Establish a remote work policy

      Develop a clear remote work policy outlining expectations, working hours, communication protocols, and other relevant guidelines. Ensure everyone on the team is familiar with and adheres to these policies.

      By doing this, you respect people’s time and work hours and avoid confusion about the team’s roles and responsibilities. It avoids mismanagement and misallocation of resources and establishes a clear guideline for the remote team’s expectations. 

      6. Meet Up 

      Meet your team regularly, if possible, face to face.  Schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, address challenges, and maintain team cohesion. 

      Video conferences can help foster a sense of connection and engagement among team members. Conduct one-on-one check-ins with team members to address individual concerns, provide feedback, and offer support.

      This helps alleviate stress, keeps everyone in the loop, and helps remote team members feel a sense of belonging. It ensures that goals and tasks are handled correctly while promoting healthy work relationships.

      7. Prioritize Well-Being

      Recognize and address the challenges of remote work, such as isolation and burnout. Encourage work-life balance and provide resources to support mental and physical well-being.

      This is one of the most vital roles of a manager and the greatest opportunity to let your team members know they are looked after, respected, and appreciated. It maintains a healthy line of communication and encouragement, making the team feel more motivated to perform their best. 

      8. Be Flexible 

      People at home face different challenges, have kids, might not have the strongest internet, etc, so trust your team members to manage their work and make decisions. Encourage autonomy and empower individuals to take ownership of their projects.

      Provide the necessary resources and support, but avoid micromanaging remote employees. This requires a high level of trust, but once you provide that, your team will be much happier, more productive, and less prone to burnout as they manage their work. 

      9. Provide Training and Development Opportunities

      Offer training sessions and professional development opportunities for your remote team. This enhances their skills and shows that you are invested in their growth and success.

      This ensures your team is growing along with you and that even if they are working remotely, their skills are increasing, and you are invested in their future. It also makes them feel wanted and keeps them in the loop about new opportunities to learn and excel in their careers. 

      10. Provide Feedback and Recognition

      Provide feedback on individual and team performance regularly. Recognize and celebrate achievements to boost morale and motivation. This keeps the team motivated, encourages communication, and helps teams work more collaboratively. 

      Use performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess productivity and quality of work objectively. This will give team members a sense of direction and motivate them to hit these milestones while leaving distractions in the rearview mirror. 

      The Benefits Managing a Remote Team Provides

      Managing a remote team is crucial in today’s evolving work landscape for several reasons:

      i. Global Talent Access

      Remote work allows organizations to tap into a global talent pool, giving them access to diverse skills and perspectives. Companies are no longer restricted to talent from their own country. They can access skilled labor without geographical limitations, relocation costs, or visa application processing.

      This helps organizations acquire competent labor, diversify their workforce, and gain recognition in a constantly evolving global landscape. 

      ii. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

      Remote work allows employees to balance work and personal life, improving job satisfaction and overall well-being. Employees can choose where, how, and when they want to work. 

      This flexibility vastly increases job satisfaction and commitment to their work and leads to a more fulfilling life that is harder to achieve while working a full-time desk job

      iii. Cost Savings

      Managing a remote team can result in cost savings for both employees and employers. Reduced commuting costs, office space expenses, and related overhead contribute to saving expenses for the business and its employees.

      As real estate costs increase across the US, many companies are finding it hard to pay rent and are instead preferring a virtual workspace that would not have been possible just a few years ago. By managing staff working entirely remotely, many office spaces are now free from the burden of exorbitant rent costs.

      iv. Increased Productivity

      Many employees find they are more productive when working remotely due to reduced distractions and the ability to create a personalized work environment. 

      Employees also reduce their traveling time, which allows them to focus on their assigned tasks and projects and meet deadlines without extra pressure.

      All of these factors help increase productivity and work output. A report by Airtasker found that remote workers are more productive when not in the office. 65% of them reported feeling more productive away from the office altogether. 

      v. Enhanced Communication

      Advances in communication and collaboration technologies make it easier to manage remote teams. Video conferencing, project management tools, and communication platforms facilitate seamless collaboration.

      This makes managing remote teams much easier as management and employees work simultaneously, and communication gaps are minimized. This further helps maintain work-life balance while ensuring sky-high productivity.

      TimeBee – Our Recommendation

      TimeBee is a time-tracking and people management software that helps managers implement productivity into their workflows.


      With active screenshots and productivity tracking, you ensure your remote work employees work productively. TimeBee also helps you analyze working patterns and prevent burnout in your employees. With distraction alerts and auto time tracking, you never have to worry about a missed deadline again.


      Managing a remote team requires ongoing effort and adaptability. By implementing these strategies, you can create a positive and productive remote work environment for your team. Regularly reassess and adjust your approach based on your team’s and the organization’s evolving needs.

      Always welcome feedback, updates, and any concerns your team might have while adjusting to remote work. Everyone needs different levels of feedback and communication, and as a manager, you need to approach everyone’s issues differently, without which you will be at a massive loss.

      If you wish to manage a remote team today, get TimeBee FREE for 14 days.