Nine Tips for Remote Team Management that Will Drive Business Growth

If you’re considering employing remote workers, you need to be properly prepared. Here are 9 tips to help drive business growth.

November 24, 2023
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A lot has changed over the last five years regarding how businesses manage their teams. Some companies prefer a hybrid model split between home and in-office working, whereas others encourage fully remote or full-time office models.

Really, it comes down to what works best for your business and its staff. 

However, we can’t ignore that a majority of companies have now adopted hybrid or fully remote approaches. With 78% of people claiming to have a better work-life balance, it’s no wonder it’s so popular.

In the same survey, half of those questioned reported that it was quicker to complete work at home (52%) and that they had fewer distractions (53%).

In this article, we look at how to effectively manage a remote team to drive business growth and maintain staff happiness and productivity. 

1. Invest in the Right Tech

Technology is, quite literally, the reason we’re able to work remotely, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s on this list.

You must embrace tech to make remote working more accessible and efficient for your employees. That’s because communication in a physical office is very different from its remote counterpart. For example, while you could walk up to someone and remind them of a deadline in the workplace, remote workers need tools like Assembly to achieve the same end.

By investing in the right tech, your staff are better able to carry out their tasks, leading to greater efficiency and increased productivity. This means you have the capacity to bring more clients on board in the long term, which can lead to better business growth.

2. Provide Top-Tier Training and Resources

The more proficient your employees are, the better equipped they’ll be to help your business grow. That goes for your remote staff as much as it does for the rest of your workforce. You might have a fantastic training program or the best resource offering, but if it doesn’t resonate with those working from home due to their set-up, both of you are losing out.

The key to keeping training and resources relevant for those working outside the office is to ask for their feedback and then adapt accordingly.

It’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse to ensure your remote workers are receiving the same quality and level of training as your in-house staff.

3. Keep Talking

Consistent comms are also crucial for effective remote management. Regular check-ins, whether via video calls or messaging platforms keep everyone on the same page.

Encourage your team members to share updates on their projects but also to reach out for help if they’re facing any challenges, either work-related or personal. Slack and Microsoft Teams are great for this.

Additionally, make sure all information is shared equally between those working from home and in the office. It’s easy to let communication slip when dealing with remote employees, especially if you’re managing in-house staff too. So, create communication channels that combine different teams, hold virtual company-wide meetings, and encourage regular collaboration

Remote workers can feel isolated when they aren’t physically present, so setting up channels to facilitate discussions and making time for group sessions is vital to ensure everyone is happy and remains in the loop regarding the goings on in your business. 

4. Be Supportive from Afar

It’s easy to assume all is well with people when you don’t see them every day. However, that doesn’t mean this is actually the case. For remote workers, it’s important to check in regularly to make sure everything’s ticking along nicely. 

Remember that everyone works differently, so what suits one team member may not suit another. Some people are most productive when working remotely—for example, because there are fewer distractions or because they struggle socially. Ergo, working on their own can make them happier and increase their output. They might thus prefer a more hands-off approach.

On the other hand, there are those who crave one-to-one interactions with colleagues and managers even when they’re not in the office. For these individuals, scheduling regular meetings and catch-ups is important to maintain morale. 

Regardless of where you’re managing your team from, it’s vital to listen to the preferences of your individual workers regarding how they like to be managed and to respond accordingly. That’s because happy and engaged employees are more productive, directly impacting the quality of their work and, in turn, driving growth.

5. Get the Work-Life Balance Right

A good work-life balance is what all staff and companies should be aiming for. However, it’s easy to encounter certain pitfalls when working remotely or managing home-based employees. 

Yes, there are some major benefits to working outside the office, but it’s important to set boundaries to ensure your workers remain happy and productive. For example, being surrounded by home comforts can affect productivity for some individuals or make it harder for them to stay focused and on task. The other side of the coin is that there are those who will work longer hours than they should.  

This is why it’s crucial to encourage clear boundaries by defining working hours, respecting downtime, and avoiding working late. For example, you might find that offering co-working spaces suits some individuals better than being fully remote. 

It’s essential to promote a culture where staff feels empowered to prioritize a healthy work-life balance and not like they have to go above and beyond to improve their visibility (a phenomenon that can be especially common among remote workers). 

After all, the happier an employee is, the less likely they are to leave the business or burnout. SHRM estimates that the cost of directly replacing an employee can be as high as 50 to 60% of their annual salary, and the total associated costs of turnover can rise to 90 to 200% of this figure.

Ergo, investing in employee satisfaction and well-being not only keeps your staff happy but minimizes turnover costs and aids long-term business growth.

6. Monitor and Measure Their Performance

Keep a close eye on performance metrics, too, to make sure everyone is progressing as they should.

There are plenty of tools that can help you achieve this. Trello and Clickup, for example, allow you to easily track tasks and deadlines. Their accessible layouts also make it simple for staff to get to grips with them. 

Regular performance reviews are a must. For remote workers, schedule virtual check-ins to discuss progress, address challenges, and set future objectives. Informed decision-making based on performance analytics will ensure resources are utilized effectively, helping contribute to sustainable business growth.

7. Ensure Your Hiring Practices Are Solid

Back in 2020, COVID changed the way we work. It was the main driving force behind the evolution of remote working, but now, many businesses have incorporated this once-temporary model into their long-term strategy. 

Easier growth, cost-efficiency, and a larger hiring pool are some of the main bonuses of adopting a remote work policy. They mean businesses needn’t worry about maintaining larger offices or covering the travel expenses of their staff. In theory, a business can grow ad infinitum without having to worry about office space.

With that said, there are also certain risks. Firstly, the hiring process may need to be more thorough considering you might not ever meet your future employees in person. Workers may also lack the necessary tech to carry out their roles efficiently. 

This makes it imperative to review your hiring process before fully embracing a remote model. 

8. Hold Remote Social Events 

Just because you’re behind a screen, doesn’t mean you can’t socialize. Staff mental health and their alignment with your culture remain crucial. Virtual socializing can be a great way to support this.

It’s easy for remote workers to feel left out, especially if your business is made up of a hybrid model and also has in-office staff. Sure, most companies will have in-person social events, but it may not be possible for everyone to attend these.

So, hosting online quizzes, happy hours, and so on will likely be well received by your remote teams and will help them feel more included in the social side of your business. 

9. Celebrate Achievements

Finally, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate the triumphs of your remote team. Just because you’re not physically there to pat them on the back, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it virtually.

There are lots of fun and memorable ways to do this thanks to the various tech at our disposal. For example, during scheduled virtual meetings with the whole company, take a moment to commend individuals for their achievements and standout contributions to the business. 

Slack is one of the best platforms for this, as you can send customized gifs and emojis to make it personal to the person being celebrated.

Something as simple as tagging a colleague in a message within a team channel can also be enough to make their day. 

By actively recognizing and rewarding achievements, you not only boost morale but build a culture of success and a desire to excel within your remote team.

Conclusion

Managing a team, whether in the office or remotely, comes with many challenges. For a remote strategy to work, you must prepare for it. Simply assuming that the same processes and structures used in traditional working environments can be transferred to home employees is arguably naive.

However, by listening to staff and adapting your processes and structures based on their feedback, your remote working model should not only go from strength to strength but also contribute to the long-term growth and success of your business.

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