15 Productivity Tools For Remote Team Management Leave a comment

More and more employers offer remote opportunities to reduce real estate costs and attract top talent. With the presence of Coronavirus (COVID-19), many organizations are working from home for the first time. Hybrid work schedules exist on a spectrum, with some being “office-centric” and others “remote-first.” But which is right for your team? Read through companies’ hybrid work schedule examples to find some inspiration. Start with this Trello template for a team knowledge base, or resource center.

Since remote employees often work from unsecured locations, they can be more vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks. You’re no longer limited to hiring people who live near your office or who are willing to relocate. This means you can find the absolute best person for each role, regardless of location.

remote team management

Every workplace has its unique challenges, and working from home is no exception. It can be difficult enough to track office-based performance, but in a remote or hybrid makes it that bit harder to stay in touch. It can become extremely difficult to keep work visible—knowing what specific people are working on, how long tasks are taking them, what they’re prioritizing and how engaged they feel. PukkaTeam is the virtual water cooler – a video calling tool that helps you stay in touch with your team by taking a screenshot of everyone every few minutes .

What’s the #1 mistake business leaders make when managing a remote team? Powerful tips to drive a highly-engaged and productive remote workforce. For remote teams, feedback needs to be a regular and natural part of the work process. By setting the expectations for frequent feedback, you avoid drama by catching issues quickly.

Use A Project Management Software

With a knowledge base, you also make sure that the documents are available to everyone who needs them, no matter if they work part-time from an office or are entirely remote. Luckily, being proactive doesn’t mean having to play the role of a dictator. By involving employees in decision-making, you help them feel more involved in their work and the company.

remote team management

This simple app shows you what time zone each of your team members is in. ”, simply login to your Timezone.io page to get a snapshot of what time it is for each of your distributed team members. It takes the hassle out of planning team meetings and trying to sync calendar events when people are working remotely. Following these best practices and leveraging workforce data effectively can make the process easier. Some companies are hesitant to embrace a remote workforce because they’re uncertain about whether or not the work will be completed at the same level as if they were in office.

Support Your Distributed Teams

Communication is the core of everything in a remote working setup, and the manager’s communication influences the overall success of a project significantly. The clarity of the message or feedback holds utmost importance to ensure prompt action. As most of the communication in a remote work setting is asynchronous, it is important that the message should be clearly understood by all members of the team in one go to avoid confusion. Without expert advice from business people who have done it before you, it can be challenging to figure out how to manage a remote team effectively on your own. But if you follow these guidelines and keep a positive attitude, you’ll make the switch to a work-from-home setup without a hitch.

remote team management

You’ll know your team is thriving because… they’ll be confident about how to use your team’s tool stack to communicate, collaborate, and provide status updates. They’ll feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, and will communicate their desires for team connection. As a manager, you’ll be able to gauge the team’s success through a healthy how to build culture in a remote team record of activity. The communication charter can also outline your remote team’s approach to empathy to set the stage for making it OK to bring your whole self to work. Creating social norms together around vulnerability and sharing personal feelings can go a long way in emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence in your distributed team.


Luckily, following the best practices laid out below will help you solve these challenges and more. Another important aspect of maintaining a culture of communication is creating an open dialogue between managers and remote workers. These check-ins and touchpoints are critical to keeping remote employee engagement high and helping remote employees stay productive.

Feedback is necessary for ensuring that employees are doing things correctly and progressing on the right track. It’s also really helpful for keeping the quality of their work in acceptable shape. Just because you’re not in the room with them all day doesn’t mean you can’t give feedback.

For remote teams, it may take a little extra effort to recreate common workplace water cooler communication. And when there is a mix of off-site and on-site employees, remote managers should seek team building opportunities to include everyone whenever possible. It’s hard to show leadership or empathy when you have no idea what your team is doing.

Real-life face-to-face interactions can make a lasting impact on your team’s relationships. You could even incentivize your teams to hit their goals by offering to host a team-building trip to a central location. For example, if engagement in customer support is dipping, you might want to hire additional help to share the load.

  • Thus, it is vital to ensure that everybody understands what’s expected of them with regards remote working.
  • Thus, it is essential to focus on what is delivered, instead of the amount of time an individual spent sitting at a desk.
  • Although documenting productivity standards may seem like too much of an extra effort, it can help spot trends that need to be addressed.
  • It can become extremely difficult to keep work visible—knowing what specific people are working on, how long tasks are taking them, what they’re prioritizing and how engaged they feel.
  • The Daily HuddleA 5-15 minute meeting to discuss tactical issues and provide updates.
  • By gaining insight into the ways your employees work, you can take steps to help them work wiser and ensure they are supported no matter their chosen work environment.

Such empathetic remote team management tools can help you build a culture of positive recognition, reinforcement and camaraderie. Managers should also continuously remind team members – as a group and individually – that just because they are working in different locations, they are not isolated. That kind of data helps managers better understand how their distributed teams work, pinpoint what they need to succeed, and improve productivity overall. Instead of relying on subjective surveys or waiting until it’s time for performance reviews, managers can use objective workforce productivity data to better manage their remote teams. Lack of face time with coworkers and supervisors – face-to-face interaction is vital to company culture and workplace encounters. The absence of in-person communication can be strongly felt by virtual teams.

Remote staffing has many advantages, one of which is the savings you can get from doing away with a physical office. Everything happens online—communication, task management, project tracking, payroll, etc. One of the best things you can do as a remote team manager is to be organized and prepared. This means having all of your ducks in a row before meetings and being available to answer any questions team members may have.

What constitutes “regular contact” depends, of course, on the job and the tasks work from home employees must accomplish. It’s easy for employees to fall off the bandwagon if they’re off doing siloed work day after day. This provides a chance for social interactions, team-building, and bigger outcomes. Learning to remotely manage a team requires at least an acknowledgement that distractions while working from home will be far more prevalent than in an office setting. Twitter, Netflix, dogs, children, and the lull of the couch don’t simply cease to exist when we work remotely. We found that managing a remote team is easier when you use a smaller amount of tools and use them well.

But in a distributed environment it takes an extra effort, since expectations and goals must be set out explicitly to workers for them to stay on-track. Team communication itself has to change, with everyone needing to follow set processes to keep information accessible and clear. Mind maps are great tools for a brainstorming process, making them even more valuable for remote teams. Bubbl.us lets you easily create colorful mind maps to print or share with others. LiquidPlanneris a collaboration tool that combines project management and time-tracking, making it easier to communicate with team members and share ideas. Follow these remote team management best practices in this guide, and you’ll create a productive, efficient remote team that’s excited to show up .

How To Enable Remote Work For Your Employees?

From senior executives right down to the newest interns, a bigger chunk of the workforce is going to continue working remotely, who knows for how long! Having an updated remote team management strategy, thus, is essential. Managers are going to have to ensure that every team member works as efficiently and productively as possible. So let us look at some of the best productivity and management tools that can help your organisation succeed in a remote environment. Once you’ve mapped out the workflow and created useful templates, you can see if there are any possible time-saving automatizations.

As a manager, before you can hope to determine what is expected of others within a changing environment, you will need to start by looking at what is expected of you. The fact that employees are part of your team means that you trust them. If there https://globalcloudteam.com/ are employees that you do not trust, then it may mean that your hiring systems need to be improved. As a remote-first company before the pandemic, we draw from our personal experiences as well those from our community and wider research.

Project Management Tools:

Take a refresher on content marketing, copywriting, and advertising. Want to provide more actionable advice to your product development team? Consider providing your remote workforce with a monthly stipend to help with remote-friendly offices or a coworking space in their area. This could help offset the price of internet and electricity for your team members. It could also help them purchase a more ergonomic desk chair or an upgraded headset. Do you have an employee who always shows up to meetings on time with a positive can-do attitude?

This will help lighten your load and give you time to focus on other things. For example, do employees respond to questions with a sense of humor? During onboarding, Toptal makes a point to use videos to illustrate how employees interact and engage with each other on a daily basis. As a company focused on freelancers and remote hiring, Toptal knows a lot about what makes a strong distributed workforce.

Schedule weekly syncs, huddles, or status updates with team members. Checking in regularly will help you stay connected and aligned with team members. Of course, teams aren’t required to meet face-to-face to be successful, and sometimes there are budget constraints. But most companies that are experienced with remote work do offer retreats and opportunities for employees to get to know each other better. The thing is, a productive remote team doesn’t just happen by accident. You can’t send your employees all home with a laptop and monitor and hope for the best.

With more employees working remotely, managers are left wondering how they’re supposed to properly manage people they rarely see in person. The recruitment process for remote workers is tricky, so you should be certain that you can trust the person you’re hiring before the onboarding process. Don’t hire someone you have doubts about ; it will only prove counterproductive and stressful. For a better view of how much time each team member is spending on tasks, use time tracking apps like Hubstaff, Toggl, or Screenmeter . It will also help you enforce improvements for better time management.

Ensuring Business Continuity With Your It Team

For example, many project management tools feature recurring tasks, making it easy to keep track of daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. Time tracking is a critical tool for every remote worker, keeping all team activity, capacity and work visible. As far as team and project management goes, it’s also pretty essential; you can’t document overtime, bill clients accurately or plan work effectively without it. Timely is one of the few time tracking apps out there that actually automates the whole job for you. It captures all remote employee work in the background and cuts timesheet admin by 75%. Timely also offers real-time dashboards to keep team workloads, capacity, availability and overtime visible.

Expectations When Leading A Remote Team

If you are that person who says “I don’t use task management apps because getting into them takes too much time”, chances are, you simply haven’t found a platform that fits your team’s needs. Team collaboration is important for a reason – it delivers results. But what are the keys to making team collaboration more effective for your company? Don’t postpone celebrations until you have achieved your big, long-term goals. If your employees strive to deliver good results and don’t get to celebrate the impact their efforts create, they might feel discouraged about their performance.

At ActivTrak, we believe that data is the key to unlocking the potential of remote teams. By gaining insight into the ways your employees work, you can take steps to help them work wiser and ensure they are supported no matter their chosen work environment. Given the ease and rapidity of modern communication, remote employment is progressively alluring to both employers and employees. Unless managers make extra efforts to connect and engage in dialogue with their hybrid team, remote workers can quickly grow unproductive. However, if managers employ the above skills they stand a good chance of fostering collaboration, commitment, and cohesion.

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