manage remote teams

How can HR leaders manage remote teams effectively?

manage remote teams

Remote work is the new global trend. It is because more and more companies are realizing the advantages and benefits it can bring. 

But there’s another side of the coin. As along with advantages there comes certain challenges such as decreased employee visibility, increased distractions, chances of miscommunication and disengagement. Therefore, comes the question of managing a remote team.   

If not managed properly your remote team members can easily feel abandoned and isolated. This can lead to a downfall in employee retention, performance and efficiency. 

Is your organization  dealing with this chaos because of ill management of the remote teams? If yes, as the HR leader you can take certain measures to ensure the discontinuation of such inconveniences.

Whether you are dealing with newly remote teams or teams working remotely from a long time, in both the cases, it is important to learn about managing remote teams effectively for better performance, engagement and employee satisfaction.


What are the challenges in managing remote teams? 

manage remote teams

As a HR leader, here are the most common challenges you might be facing while managing your remote teams-

  • Communication
  • Company culture
  • Employee Engagement
  • Building trust
  • Building human connections

How can you manage remote teams effortlessly?

Here is a 5 step-blueprint for you to successfully manage your remote teams-

1Train your managers

Training managers and leaders to manage remote workers effectively is crucial to the success of every remote work programme.

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2Communication is the key

communication is the key

Start training your remote manager with the lesson of Proactive communication.

Encourage your managers to schedule one on one meetings to solve any doubts employees might have. One- on one meetings are also great to build personal connections with the employees as well as build trust. 

Ask your managers to use icebreakers in such meetings to make them feel comfortable and engaged. 

Train your managers to deal with the issue of scheduling difficulties due to different time zones. You can incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous communication with tools like Slack and Zoom to help them deal with it.

3Support your remote teams 

To manage your remote teams effectively empathy and action both are equally important. Thus train your managers to offer a helping hand to your remote employees whenever necessary.

Managers should   make your employees feel cared and valued by offering a helping hand especially during this Covid -19 outbreak.

Going this extra mile will help you earn their loyalty and your employees will not hesitate to give their best at every step for your organization. You should never forget the fact that your distributed employees are humans and not robots.

4Cultivate work culture

Translate the company culture to your employees with the help of your managers.

Make your remote teams aware of the company culture and values and how it aligns to your organization’s vision. Incorporate the company values from day one by letting your new hires know about it.

You can opt for creating a document that clearly depicts your company culture.

Also make sure you and your leaders are adhering to these principles. Because if you don’t follow the work culture yourself, your employees will not work according to it as well.

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5Inculcate trust and transparency

Trust and transparency are the two main pillars of a healthy remote work culture. 

Train your managers to make the company goals and objects and the employees’ role in that clear. A Clear objective will help your employees to understand where to focus and ultimately help increase performance. Seeing their work is contributing to achieve company’s goals will further keep them engaged.

 Encourage your managers to trust the employees and offer job autonomy. It will  help your employees be accountable and keep your managers away from micromanagement. .

“Because we work 100% remotely, we achieve trust by being transparent and avoiding micromanagement.”

Brenna Loury, Head of Marketing, Doist

Make sure your managers are  setting expectations in the beginning of a project. Also be clear about meetings schedules, holidays, and other such information.

Are your remote employees engaged? 

remote employees

Engaged employees are crucial to a company’s success. And as the HR it is your responsibility to manage your remote teams’ engagement. 

Here are a few steps you can take to keep your employees engaged-

1Check the pulse

Start with surveys and feedback to understand the pulse of your employees. It will help you understand the problems in the present system so that you can work to improve those areas.

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2Make your remote teams feel included

Make your remote employees part of the decision making process by including them in discussions about important projects. This will make them feel their opinion is being valued and thus keep them engaged.

3Foster connections

Build human connections with your managers as well as remote employees and be available when they need you.

Working remotely can create a sense of isolation among employees which directly affects their performance. Thus It is important to help them establish connection with other team members to keep them engaged.

You can incorporate an internal chat system to make your remote teams feel connected. Also create channels for different interests where your distributed teams can make personal connections.

You can also organize annual meet ups to help your employees bond better.

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4Encourage teamwork and collaboration


Ask your managers to ensure team collaboration among the remote employees. 

Organize virtual team building activities.

Create a virtual office by encouraging your remote teams to work for an hour or so with their video on. This will virtually recreate the feeling of working in a physical office with co-workers.

5Recognize and appreciate

Employees desire to get recognized for their contribution. Recognition is an important factor in boosting employee morale and motivates them to give their best in every task.

Use social media platforms to recognize your employees publically. Also train your managers to encourage peer to peer recognition to help maintain a healthy work culture.

6Provide your managers tools to manage remote teams

Incorporate tools to help your leaders manage everyone on the go. As the HR you should also make sure that your remote employees have all the necessary technologies such as a good monitor, good internet connectivity etc. in their home office setup.  

Tools will also help your managers to track and measure to take the right action. This will also ensure better employee experience.

Include HR software in your remote employee management program. It will help you to comprehend how each project is getting completed, who’s working and when, and how efficient their workflow is.

Here are a few tools for collaboration, productivity, engagement, performance etc.-

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1Tools for smooth virtual communication and collaboration 

Slack, Campfire, HipChat, Troop Messenger, Skype, Zoom, Google hangouts, Same Page etc.


2Tools for remote sharing 

Google Drive, Team Viewer, Chrome Remote Desktop etc.


3Tools for Secure Integrations

Zapier, 1Password etc.


4Tools for productivity

Krisp, Todoist, Blink etc.


5Tools for time management

Kickidler, Teamwork, Time Doctor


6Project management tools

ProofHub, Basecamp etc.


7Tools for employee engagement 

Peoplebox is an all-in-one platform that provides a high-touch development journey for managers using actionable insights, easy-to-use performance tools, and personalized coaching support (a combination of AI + Human) in an affordable way.

Key features


The challenges you will face in  managing remote teams are a bit different from the in-office scenario. And so is the way you overcome those challenges.  Putting some extra effort to keep your team in a loop and by embracing technological solutions you can make your remote teams a success. 

So are you ready to manage your remote teams now?

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