What Is Remote Team Management? Strategies And Barriers

Not working has become a new normal for most people post-pandemic, and it is here to stay. Most companies allow remote work, and some have started becoming completely isolated.

Even though you have not become entirely remote, you would have thought about hiring people remotely or allowing some team members to work remotely at least once. 

It is understandable as hiring people who work remotely has several benefits.

As remote work will become prominent in time, it is essential to understand how to manage a remote team.

Table of Contents

What Is Remote Team Management?

Remote management is about managing a team of projects remotely. The focus is to create and foster evaluation collaboration and innovation in work. 

Most people work remotely at least once a week, and others work at least half a week.

The future is remote work, and even the employees are returning to offices, But it will always be different from before the pandemic.

Managing remote work is something you can only learn in your Business School. You have to figure out things all by yourself.

Common Barriers To Remote Team Management

Managing work remotely has several benefits, but managing it also comes with several obstacles.

Time Zones Are Different

Coordinating all the meetings when employees are in different parts of the world is challenging. 

It is easy to switch around the meeting time to accommodate employees from different time zones. 

But things are easier said than done, so time zones are one of the biggest obstacles in remote working.

Weak Connections

Most people who work remotely feel that they are disconnected from their colleagues. 

When you are trying to build any trust-related relationship or nurture your relationship, this will be one of the significant problems. This is not going to be that, though.

Investing extra time and effort can also help remote workers form connections. 

This can involve additional digital team-building activities or frequent in-person gatherings, whatever works perfectly for the logistics.

Challenging Collaboration

Collaborating or even dropping a colleague’s desk for a quick meeting at the office is straightforward. You need to invest in collaborative software to empower teammates to work together.

You can also invest in some project management applications to align your team. An easy messaging application works correctly, provided it is the right one.

Remote Team Management Strategies

There is no suggestion to sitting idle and watching the distance destroying your world’s productivity. 

Instead, you can take some actions to overcome all the obstacles mentioned above and lead your team better. 

Here are some of the strategies that will make it very easy for you to head your team in the right direction

Include All The Team Members

You must give everybody a voice, especially during meetings. 

It was manageable for introverts to ignore and disappear during face-to-face meetings, but it was effortless during virtual sessions. 

It is because they also have some valuable things to say.

You must go out of your way to give them an excellent opportunity to voice and speak. Introverts might feel like the spotlight, but it will help them contribute correctly and feel more connected to the company. 

You can use different features like emojis and chat polls to get people involved in a way that they feel comfortable.

Motivate Employees

Remote workers feel that they  Lack engagement with the company or other people working in the office. 

Non-engagement comes because of time scarcity. Being a team leader, it is essential for you to keep the employees motivated.

Motivation differs for everyone, so you need to take a customized approach instead of a batch-and-blast strategy. 

Some employees are easily motivated by goal-setting strategies, while others are inspired by collaboration or connections. 

You have to check what is working for your team, whether you feel engaged or a part of the team.

Keep Your Eyes On Priorities

When you are staring at a screen the entire day, it is straightforward for you to get lost in the bigger picture. 

It includes email, Google documents, zoom meetings, or any other app you use when they start blending the to-do lists. 

Also, that makes it very easy for you to keep a tab on the minute items.

Instead, you can take a step back and help your team to focus on different priorities. It would be overwhelming to manage everything. Now keep the teams and employees focused with precise objectives.

Remember To Recognize

All team members put in equal hard work today and wanted to leave a notice. 

You have to make it a point to recognize the contribution of every team member in meetings, department get-togethers, or group conversations.

 Just a quick round of applause or thank you will do wonders for the confidence and engagement of your team members.

You can also learn about different ways to reward hard-working employees so that they are motivated. This can be anything from gift cards or trophies.

Get Involved In The Careers Of Your Team Members

 Being invested in your team members’ careers might be awkward when you have never had any face-to-face conversation. 

But it is your responsibility. Take an interest in your team members’ careers and ask them how you can assist them. 

It is essential to break the bubble and allow them to open up.

Set The Right Expectations

You must tell your team that it is optional to be present  24/7. Make it clear to them when you expect them to be available online and provide them with a flexible working schedule. 

For instance, some team members look forward to working during the early mornings, whereas others choose to work during the late evenings.

It is fine, but you need to ensure no overlapping schedules. You can also ask the team members to be online anywhere between 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and allow them to allocate their dates accordingly.

Set Some Boundaries

You can use some tools to respect the time of team members.

 If somebody is receiving an e-mail at 8:00 PM, they might think it is compulsory to check or even answer them.

 Instead of telling the team not to check any messages after working hours, you can use the scheduling feature of Gmail to send messages only during business hours.

Over-Communicate When Necessary

You have to keep the team members updated about the company’s events. It is always suitable to over-communicate instead of communicating. 

But it would be best if you did not fall into micromanaging the realm. You must provide the daily tasks and check the priorities or the urgent tasks.

 At the same time, you have to host weekly meetings with the team members to ensure that they are doing the right things at the right time. 

Not all sessions must be conducted in one zone; you can also go for old-school conference calls.

Get To The Core Of The Problems

Your employees would be underperforming as they are lazy, or they might have some obstacles in the way. 

For instance, they would be sitting in the zone calls for at least four hours daily and losing productivity. 

You can also work with them to remove the non-important meetings and free up the schedule.

Refrain from overloading the employees before it is entirely late. It is challenging to notice any exhausting signs like fatigue.

 You can indeed watch for some telltale signs from employees that they need some break. 

If you notice symptoms like glazed-over eyes or missed deadlines, consider giving them a breather and distributing the workload.

Gather Feedback

 The team leader might feel uncomfortable sharing feedback in person or in some responses. 

So, you can go for anonymous surveys to gain insight into the team. For instance, if you feel the customer support could be better, you need to hire extra people to share the work.

If the human resource department feels any type of you can consider setting realistic goals all over again, people should be honest with the feedback when they know it can be traced back to them directly.

Find Different Opportunities To Collaborate

It is straightforward for the employees to fall off the goals. You have to find different ways to get other team members working in the same team. 

This will provide a chance for team building and social interactions. Collaborative opportunities are your best bet.

Host Team Building Activities

While you cannot get everyone together for dinner, you can also find different remote team-building activities. You can control your way for some team-building activities every quarter.

This might be like pizza-making night or even some talent shows. You can get the teams together face to face interactions, which can have a long-lasting impact on your relationship. 

You can also incentivize the teams by offering the host a tremendous team-building trip to 1 central location.

Overcoming Challenges in Remote Team Management

Addressing Communication Gaps:

Regular Team Meetings and Virtual Stand-ups:

Conducting regular team meetings helps remote teams stay connected, aligned, and informed about ongoing projects and tasks.

Virtual stand-ups, where team members provide updates on their progress and challenges, promote transparency and accountability.

These meetings foster collaboration, allow for clarifications, and enable the identification and resolution of communication gaps.

Utilizing Video Calls for Face-to-Face Interaction:

Video calls provide a more personal and interactive communication experience compared to written messages or audio calls.

Face-to-face interaction via video helps build rapport, understanding, and trust among remote team members.

Video calls are especially valuable for important discussions, brainstorming sessions, and team-building activities.

Creating a Culture of Open and Transparent Communication:

Encouraging open and transparent communication within the team fosters trust and collaboration.

Remote managers should establish clear communication channels, encourage sharing ideas and concerns, and provide feedback regularly.

Creating a safe environment where team members feel comfortable expressing themselves helps overcome communication gaps and improves overall team dynamics.

Building Trust and Camaraderie:

Virtual Team-Building Activities:

Engaging in virtual team-building activities like online games, virtual coffee breaks, or virtual happy hours helps remote teams bond and develop a sense of camaraderie.

These activities provide opportunities for team members to socialize, collaborate on non-work-related tasks, and strengthen relationships.

Encouraging Casual Conversations and Social Interaction:

Remote managers should foster an environment that encourages casual conversations and social interactions among team members.

Utilizing chat channels or dedicated communication platforms for non-work-related discussions allows team members to connect on a personal level, enhancing trust and team cohesion.

Recognizing and Celebrating Achievements:

Remote managers should acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments and milestones of individual team members and the team as a whole.

Recognizing achievements boosts morale, reinforces a positive work culture, and strengthens team bonds.

Managing Work-Life Balance and Burnout:

Setting Boundaries and Expectations:

Remote managers should establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding working hours, response times, and availability.

Encouraging a healthy work-life balance by defining boundaries helps prevent burnout and promotes employee well-being.

Encouraging Breaks and Time Off:

Remote managers should emphasize the importance of taking regular breaks and using allotted vacation time.

Encouraging team members to step away from work, rest, and recharge improves productivity and prevents burnout.

Providing Support and Resources for Mental Well-being:

Remote managers should ensure that team members have access to mental health resources and support.

Offering resources like employee assistance programs or counseling services demonstrates care for team members’ well-being and helps address burnout and mental health challenges.

Tools and Technologies for Remote Team Collaboration

Project Management and Task Tracking Tools

  • Project management tools such as Trello, Asana, or Monday.com help remote teams organize and track their tasks, deadlines, and progress.
  • These tools allow team members to collaborate on projects, assign tasks, set priorities, and monitor the status of each task.
  • They provide visibility into the overall project timeline, individual responsibilities, and the ability to track the completion of milestones.

Video Conferencing and Virtual Meeting Platforms

  • Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet enable remote teams to conduct virtual meetings, conferences, and presentations.
  • These platforms provide features such as video and audio calls, screen sharing, chat, and recording options, enhancing collaboration and communication.
  • Video meetings help maintain a sense of connection and facilitate real-time discussions, making it easier to address complex topics and build relationships.

Document Sharing and Version Control Systems

  • Document-sharing platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, or SharePoint allow remote teams to store, share, and collaborate on files and documents.
  • These systems ensure that team members have access to the latest versions of documents, eliminating confusion and version conflicts.
  • They provide features like commenting, tracking changes, and granting different access levels to maintain security and control over shared documents.

Instant Messaging and Team Chat Applications

  • Instant messaging applications like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Discord enable real-time communication and quick collaboration among remote team members.
  • These platforms offer chat channels, direct messaging, and the ability to share files, links, and other resources.
  • Instant messaging tools facilitate quick exchanges, ad-hoc discussions, and team-wide announcements, fostering a sense of connectivity and responsiveness.

Time Tracking and Productivity Monitoring Software:

  • Time tracking and productivity monitoring tools like Toggl, RescueTime, or Hubstaff help remote teams track their working hours, measure productivity, and manage time effectively.
  • These tools can track the time spent on different tasks and projects, generate reports, and provide insights into individual and team productivity levels.
  • Time tracking and productivity monitoring software can help remote managers identify bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and ensure efficient resource allocation.

Key Takeaways

  • Remote work is the new normal, and effective remote team management is crucial for success. Companies must adapt and implement remote management strategies.
  • Common barriers include time zones, weak connections, and collaboration challenges. These can be overcome with planning and collaborative tools.
  • Strategies: Give every team member a voice, motivate through customized approaches, set clear priorities, recognize contributions, get involved in careers, and set expectations and boundaries.
  • Over-communicate and provide regular updates, but avoid micromanagement and foster trust in employees.
  • Gather feedback, encourage collaboration, host team-building activities, and incentivize to build of strong remote teams, and foster connection.


How can you overcome time zone differences?

To overcome time zone differences, you can adjust meeting times to accommodate team members from various locations or use scheduling tools to find mutually suitable times for collaboration.

How can you address weak connections and foster better communication?

Investing in team-building activities, using collaborative software and communication tools, and creating opportunities for frequent communication can help address weak connections and improve communication among remote team members.

How can you keep remote teams informed and aligned?

Over-communication and regular updates are essential. Use various communication channels to provide updates, clarify expectations, and keep remote teams informed and aligned.

How can you address potential feelings of isolation in remote teams?

Encouraging regular communication, virtual team-building activities, and providing opportunities for social interaction can help address feelings of isolation and foster a sense of belonging in remote teams.

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