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Management and Leadership: Resources for Remote Managers

Managing remote teams requires more than merely shifting your meetings online (although, admittedly that will be a big part of it!). 

Remote teams face unique challenges such as managing collaboration over various time zones, physical isolation which can lead to feelings of disconnection or loneliness and fewer opportunities to receive feedback (both positive and negative). As a remote manager, you’ll have to be intimately aware of these extra challenges and be a supporter and problem solver as you navigate them together. 

You’ll need to facilitate virtual check-ins or one-on-ones, facilitate connection among the team and figure out the best method for managing workflow online. 

As long-term remote workers with growing global teams, we’ve learned over the years what works and what doesn’t. Here, we’ve compiled some of our extensive writing on the topic for your convenience. 

Best practices 

As a distributed company, we’ve been managing our teams remotely for many years now. In our best practices resources, we’ve compiled our best tips on how to manage remote teams that will help both new adopters and seasoned travellers alike. 

Quickstart Guide: Best Practices for Managing Remote Teams 
Here’s a good place to start when beginning your journey into remote management. We cover everything from set up and onboarding to engagement and challenges. 

Best Management Practices for Supporting Remote Workers 
For a more in-depth look into what’s required of a remote manager, we chat to Wes Jossey, management coach and co-founder of the organisational development company, Eager Labs and Lisette Sutherland, author of Work Together Anywhere and creator of Collaboration Superpowers to share their insight into best practices. 

Culture 

A significant part of management in any team is the overall culture of the company. It sets the tone for what’s acceptable, encouraged and desired as well as what’s not. This helps manage not only workflow, but also co-worker relationships and overall sense of happiness and wellbeing. 

Diversity and Inclusion in the Remote Workplace 
There’s an ongoing argument that remote work offers more opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups, such as those with disabilities or caring responsibilities that make commuting difficult. While this is true, this extra opportunity means nothing without intentional effort and follow through. Here we talk through what actually makes up an inclusive team, and the changes you’ll need to make if you want to have one. 

Leadership and Shaping Company Culture in a Remote Team 
As part of our podcast series Connection and Disconnection in remote teams, we talk through how company culture and efforts made by managers can help facilitate connection points within remote teams. A heads up — you don’t need a break room or after-work drinks to make it happen.

Organising a Company Retreat For Your Global Remote Team
As much as we are advocates for all the ways we can connect, create and collaborate through virtual technology, meeting face-to-face still has its merits. Here is our account of organising our first company retreat last year. Something we strongly recommend all employers of distributed teams looks into at some point. 

Remote teams

As a manager, you’ll realise remote teams are very different to remote workers. Remote workers can exist in every kind of work model from mostly co-located to hybrid and fully distributed, each requiring their own kind of management style and policy. 

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Teams
This piece incorporates almost all you need to know about remote teams. It’s a thorough guide on everything from recruiting to onboarding and managing a remote team.

Terminating

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, our teams can’t stay the same forever! At some stage, we’ll need to go through a termination process, and, like everything else, doing it remotely is a little different. 

How to terminate a remote employee
Here we talk through all the steps involved in terminating remote employees, including the extra considerations for ones living and working internationally. As always, we place a significant emphasis on compliance. 

Terminating an Employee with Empathy
Whatever the reason, terminating can be tricky to navigate. There are often high emotions involved and competing needs and desires. Our co-founder Tim Burgess argues the case of empathy in these cases as he talks through the Shield termination policy, and what he’s learned from his many years in management. 

Summary 

Without opportunities to check in on your team in person throughout the day, team lunches and spontaneous check-ins while riding the elevator or waiting in the break room for coffee, remote managers have to try a little harder to connect and manage their teams. 

This by no means makes the task impossible, but it will require some more intentional planning, potentially learning some new skills and even some trial and error as you find what works for you and your team. 

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