Managing Remotely

140 companies answer 6 questions

Managing a remote or distributed team successfully requires good support, planning, and communication. Whether deciding if and how to get the team to meet in person or defining the line between vacation and flexible work, the management of a remote team has differences from managing traditional on-site teams. In our Managing Remotely section we ask top remote companies how they keep their teams running smoothly from thousands of miles away.

Do you have remote communication protocols for your remote workers?

Sanborn

Every team has a quick daily standup meeting and does a status report on Slack, both of which are mandatory. We ask that people let…

Appirio

We don’t have any policies in place around communication norms for our remote team. We just ask our team to be respectful of others and…

Blossom

Not at all. Everybody should balance his needs with that of the company and act accordingly. As we don’t have working hours, people are not…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?

RunRepeat

We meet once a year and vote for the location that most people want to do. So far, we’ve been to Barcelona, Bulgaria, the Philippines,…

TaxJar

We meetup as an entire team at least twice per year. We call them JarFests. We work hard to plan them in a fun city…

AirTreks

TIP 1: think about the most important thing you want to accomplish and let that lead your decisions about who attends, what you talk about,…

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

Big Universe, Inc.

Currently, we meet on an as-needed basis (e.g. once/twice per year), However, similar to Automattic (the WordPress folks), we would like to meet much more…

SitePen

We are proponents of team projects so no one person is out there working on their own.  With onsite Customer engagements, we’re afforded great opportunities…

Five Q

The full team meets together at least twice a year. There are meetups by various teams based on need and geography throughout the year.

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

ICUC Social

We work with project management tools and have set goals and KPIs. We rely on Asana, a project management tool, to keep track of projects…

Sticker Mule

We don’t stress individually productivity too much, but we have metrics for each functional area that we try to improve all the time. RJMetrics makes…

Ciao Bambino! Inc.

We have sales and other deliverables which are measurable. I think it more difficult to measure the productivity for roles that don’t have clear deliverables…

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What elements are key to successful working relationships with remote teams?

Greenback Expat Tax Services

Communication – In the absence of face-to-face conversations, communicating thoroughly, effectively and with respect is the key to working well remotely. Trust – We have…

Mavens

Trust is a key element; you have to ensure that every member of the team trusts each other to do what they have agreed to.…

Wordfence

We do mandatory Monday and Wednesday meetings with all hands. Some of the time is spent just sharing what we did over the weekend or…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

GobySavvy

I think communication is the hardest part. We don’t have the power to walk into someone’s office and ask for an update or motivate. However…

TNTP

Working from home can be isolating, especially for staff who have never worked remotely or for TNTP before. You have to be proactive about building…

1Password

Balancing socializing in a virtual workspace with not working in a silo. When working remotely, it’s so easy to either block out everything and become…

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How do you keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture?

Batchbook

Keeping remote employees engaged is definitely a challenge. You need to make an effort to check in with co-workers and learn about their lives and…

Goodway Group

At Goodway, we don’t treat our remote employees any differently than if they were in an office setting. They can’t be seen as exceptions or…

Parse.ly

Our team communicates regularly on Yammer, FlowDock, GitHub, and via email. We have Google Hangouts daily, and often have company-wide updates or individual “Ask Me…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

Groove

People can use whatever device they’d like, as long as they can use the software and apps our team is already on 🙂

Pagely

This is currently under discussion if we should begin allocating a stipend for laptops and such. Currently it is BYOD and we provide the apps.

LiquidSpace

Our company provides all the necessary equipment for our employees. Plus, everyone at LiquidSpace gets a stipend for booking workspace through LiquidSpace and the LiquidSpace…

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?

Ultimate Software

We have unlimited PTO for all exempt employees.

AnswerFirst

We require 21 days notice for requested time off.

InVisionApp

We have an unlimited time off policy. Everybody’s trusted to take time off as they see fit.

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

StudySoup

My biggest fears were around not being able to manage work output, and not having clarity into someone’s projects. For the first 6 months this…

Crossover

As is the trend with other remote companies, we worry about workplace culture. It’s a bit harder to foster when you only see one another…

Qkids

We were a bit worried about our teachers not feeling a sense of belonging. But it turned out most of our teachers just love us…

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