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?


As with an office based role, remote workers are required to be available during the working day.  Generally most managers will establish the norms, as…


We don’t and leave it to the individual employees and project teams to determine if there is any specific cadence they want to build around communication.


Slack handles a lot of this for us; we can see who’s online and who isn’t, and team members can put themselves in DND mode…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?

Modern Tribe

Once a year we converge on a tropical location for our annual company retreat. (You can find a recap of our 2016 team trip here.)…


We will be arranging at least one team retreat this year and will be meeting at several industry events.


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?


Absolutely. We have some very structured events such as week-long annual engineering team meetups. Many of our remote team members also come by headquarters in…

Codebusters, Inc.

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

Eyeo GmbH

Minimum twice a year for summer and Christmas Event

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

Universal Mind, Inc.

We use an agile development methodology that incorporates daily progress checks for the team. Also, if a developer’s velocity falls below a certain threshold, we…


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…

OnTheGo Systems

Productivity is measured by team leaders on each team, and it depends on the nature of the team. For example, support teams are measured by…

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

Goodway Group

Constant communication is a necessary element in maintaining working relationships between all of our employees. Because we work remotely, we’re all in constant communication whether…

Working Solutions

First, hire people who fit the model.  Not everyone is cut out to work remotely.  Next, be very clear with your expectations and provide the…

Project Ricochet

Feedback, coaching and one-on-ones are absolutely critical to a good relationship with employees. Whenever I see something good or bad, I call that team member…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?


Developing cultural sensitivity and acumen that allows one to manage their own style and preferences so they can connect with different people around the world.


This may sound like a humblebrag, but our biggest challenge is enforcing our work-life balance culture. We are growing so fast and there is alway…

Simple [A]

Knowing what to do with all the awesome.

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


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…


Sharing how the company is going and being fully transparent when it comes to growth and financials has allowed our team to be and stay…


All of our staff are shareholders and that was very important to us. On top of that we have a transparent culture where all staff…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?


If employees have a laptop or computer, we will typically ask them to use that. However, if they need a new computer, or do not…

Sutherland Global Services

This varies based on roles.  For our customer consultants, they need to provide their own high speed Internet service, headset, and a personal computer for…


We provide equipment to our remote employees.

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?

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…

Jungle Scout

Unlimited paid vacation. Many team members travel and work on the go, mixing the two. But we wholeheartedly encourage and support all team members to…


We offer 38 days (including public holidays). Since we have employees all around Europe with different public holidays, everyone on the team gets 38 days…

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?


I think my biggest fears are when we lose touch with someone. Every once in a while, someone will just “disappear” – they don’t answer…


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…


Not being able to express when an issue is truly urgent. This is a problem, but it’s gotten easier the more we all work together.…

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