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7 Strategies for Managing Remote Employees

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Managing employees in the office and across the country can be stressful for any manager. Setting up a remote team that works when and where they feel most creative and secure can empower you and your employees. If you're struggling to manage remote working, read on for tips on how to build a fantastic team, no matter where they work.

Determine what remote working means to your team

First, you need to determine what a distributed workforce means to your team.

What do you expect from your internal employees? Can they spend most of their time working remotely, or will they have to spend most of their time in the office? Can they move easily? What happens to their current benefits or compensation when they move?

For remote employees, where do you want them to be located? Are you looking to expand and find talent across the country or around the world? Do you want remote employees to stay in your region or time zone?

It is essential to understand what a distributed model looks like for you. You don't want to have so many people spread around the world that having an office becomes a financial drain (unless your ultimate goal is to get rid of your office).

One of the best things you can do is talk to your current employees. What do they think about creating a distributed workforce? Should your company move out of the office and into a remote experience? Answer all of these questions before you decide to add remote employees to the roster.

Ensure that remote workers are just as invested as office-based employees

Creating a distributed workforce opens up a world of possibilities for your business. You'll be able to tap into a pool of untapped talent that is interested in your business and your mission.

However, remote employees do not automatically care about or understand your mission. As an employer, you need to take the initiative to hire employees who are just as invested as your internal staff.

To do this, you need to ask the right questions when selecting new talent. You may not be able to see these employees in person before you hire them, so be sure to use video to get a better sense of potential employees during interviews.

Here are some possible interview questions:
  • What made you apply for this position?
  • Our company values are ____. Which of these values do you resonate with the most? Why or why not?
  • What are you looking to accomplish in your first 90 days in this position
  • Where do you see yourself in one year? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • What do you know about this company? How did you hear about us?

Find a similar schedule

Working across time zones can seem an impossible challenge for some teams.

First of all, you need to establish an important rule: "understand on all sides".

Sometimes your office team will have to wake up early, sometimes distributed workers will have to stay a little later than they had hoped.

If you can, try to find the most similar times to meet. Once you have identified the best times to meet, schedule your most important team meetings at these times. Encourage everyone to consider time zones when planning meetings with distributed workers.

For meetings that need to take place outside the normal office hours of internal or external workers, encourage employees to take turns. Some meetings will be scheduled for internal workers, others for distributed workers.

Use the right technology

Creating the right technology stack can make or break remote and distributed teams. Here are some ideas to help you choose the right software for your distributed team.

Slack: Slack is a messaging tool for businesses of all sizes. Slack is a great way to streamline communication because you can send messages to the company (or different teams) in various Slack channels or send direct messages to people you want to work with one-on-one.
Zoom: Slack is great for texting and easy conversations. If you need to have a difficult conversation or hold a team meeting, using a video conferencing tool like Zoom is the best way to communicate.
Google Drive: Sharing files and information is not easy when working remotely. Using a tool like Google Drive can help you share information, collaborate on important documents and presentations, and more.
Asana/Trello: If you want to have a distributed team, you need a way to keep everyone on the same page. Using a project management tool like Asana or Trello will help you highlight all the progress you're making against your weekly goals.

Maintain consistent benefits across teams

If you have an office space, you may have a few different internal perks that are part of being in the office, such as catered lunches or free coffee. Your distributed workforce will unfortunately not have access to these benefits.

If you allow your internal employees to work remotely, you cannot use remote working as a real benefit. You need to find a way to balance the benefits you offer to office workers and remote workers.

Here are some interesting benefits for remote workers:

Home office allowance: Remote employees need a nice place to work. Offer them a home office allowance that they can use to pay for things like a nice desk, office chair, decorations, etc.
Gym memberships: Exercising and staying healthy is essential. Help your remote employees stay healthy by offering them a gym membership or an online workout subscription.
Meal delivery kits: If you often prepare meals in the office, consider giving your remote employees a gift card to a service like HelloFresh or Freshly.
Allowances for household bills: Remote employees use a lot more electricity, internet, water, etc. Help your employees deal with their larger bills by offering compensation for some of these expenses.
Nectar Peer Recognition and Rewards: Use a system like Nectar to provide excellent recognition and rewards for your distributed and internal team. Peer recognition is key to building good relationships with internal and distributed staff.

Find ways to make your remote team feel part of the team

As a team leader, your goal is to make everyone feel part of the team. If remote or distributed employees feel less important, your remote employees will not feel well looked after. Do you show favouritism to internal employees (even if you don't mean to?) Think about how you treat all members of your team, so that your employees feel valued and appreciated.

Here are some simple ways to make your employees feel valued and included:

  • Regularly check in with your distributed team to make sure they have everything they need
  • Help build great relationships between your internal staff and remote workers.
    Make sure you celebrate your remote employees' work anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Make them really special!
  • Advocate for remote workers when it comes to negotiating things like pay rises, home office allowances, etc.
  • Treat remote workers as employees, not as contractors or freelancers.

Hold regular employee meetings

If possible, your goal should be to get everyone together as often as possible. Many companies with dispersed workforces try to get their employees together at least a few times a year. However, as your business grows, this can be difficult to achieve.

There are two ways of approaching this: bringing the whole company together or bringing individual departments together.

Think about how often you want to bring your employees together and how much it will cost. Retreats don't have to be extravagant. You don't need to meet in Hawaii or some other expensive destination.


Moving from an office-based staff to a fully remote team is difficult for many employers. Developing your staff and seeking out new talent is admirable and will ultimately help you create the team you need to take your product or service to the next level. By following the tips in today's article, you can build a remote team that feels supported and integrated.

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