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?

WooThemes

No.

Goodway Group

We are generally very flexible with working hours and sensitive to everyone working in different time zones. People need to collaborate on which working hours…

Kin HR

Our focus is employee happiness and productivity. We do have communication norms especially when it comes to communicating with our customers. Assisting customers is and…

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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,…

Seeq

In the earlier days when the team was ~15 people, we would gather the whole company together for week-long (Mon-Fri) retreats in different locations 4…

Fog Creek Software

Yes – see my blog where I wrote the definitive guide to planning an offsite. 

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

Codebusters, Inc.

Yes, whenever we can. Typically 3-5 times a year.

Canonical

At any point across the year there will be teams attending ‘sprints’ in locations across the globe.  Sprints provide an architect for groups to come…

Mokriya

Currently this is on an ad-hoc basis. It is not uncommon for parts of the team to meet in person in all parts of the…

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

iDoneThis

We’re only five people, so we’re not yet in a position where we have to measure everyone’s productivity. We estimate how long projects take. Sometimes…

Tropical Travelers

I am very fortunate to have an incredible team of consultants. They are self-starters who work until the job is done. This type of work…

Speak

We don’t actively measure anything like work output.  Everyone is quite honest about their flow and usually it’s quite clear from the amount of product…

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

Qkids

Effective communication Understanding Accommodation

Edgar

Communication and trust are the two most important things – and if you want them, you need to empower your team and give them the…

Trello

Always assuming your coworkers have good intentions. For example, an emoji can be translated in different ways. Knowing your coworkers have good intentions, means you…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

TeamSnap

Scheduling meetings can be tricky because we cover a lot of timezones and some people may choose to work very early or very late, depending…

Big Universe, Inc.

I’m not sure the challenges are that much different. For example, you can have productive and unproductive employees in both, remote and non-remote, environments. One…

TeamGantt

The hardest thing is just making sure to stay in touch with everyone and make sure everyone knows that they are part of the team…

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

InVisionApp

It’s really all about creating intentional communication to ensure everyone is “in the loop.” We also have a Director of Employee Happiness whose job it…

MustHaveMenus

We talk all the time. A short, daily all-hands meeting allows everyone to understand the what and the why. We make a point of being…

Five Q

Our leaders are continual learners in what good leadership truly is. Ultimately, we keep ourselves moored in our mission, the continual development of a warm…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

Taksa Technology Solutions

As a company we have internal policies that helps us to have key security measures that protects us from any liability concerns that possibly could…

10up Inc.

We offer employees a notable equipment stipend to be used for purchasing company assets when they start ($2,000 for technical production like designers and engineers,…

Doist

Team members can use any hardware that they please. After you’ve worked with Doist for six months, you are granted a generous hardware and software…

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?

Sticker Mule

We don’t track time off but expect people to take roughly 4 weeks vacation. Most of our team doesn’t have set hours so it’s really…

Scrapinghub

We give everybody 20 paid vacation days per year (they generate 1.66 vacation days per month worked) and the local country holidays wherever they happen…

Ciao Bambino! Inc.

We do not have a time off limit. However, for it to be worth my while to manage our resources, they have to contribute a minimum…

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

VIPKID

We’ve always been worried that they wouldn’t commit to teaching online in the long run, because most of our teachers are busy with a full-time…

SimpleTexting

People being dishonest about the amount of time they are spending working on your project and doing things on the side. There are big brother…

Sanborn

We knew that shifting to remote would mean that much of the verbal communication would have to be replaced with documented process. In an ideal…

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