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?


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…


We created the 10 Slack agreements of Buffer just for this.


We don’t set specific norms for the sake of creating true flexibility. Once you start putting in rules like this, or even once you start…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?


The biggest thing is to understand what you want to get from the trip. On some trips, we’ve focused more on team-bonding and relaxing together,…


We currently don’t, but I hear they are awesome 🙂

GOhiring GmbH

Yes, we go to a company off-site twice a year. The off-site is a mixture of team sessions, presentations, working together, team activities, and hanging…

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

We meet in person every three or four months, except for during our busy holiday shopping season.


Yes, absolutely.  Face to face communication is vital so we have teams break off and have quarterly offsites.  The Engineering team is going to Punta…

The Cheat Sheet

We don’t require it, but we certainly encourage it. We just initiated a new exciting program to incentivize our employees to get together socially. One…

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?


At Toggl, we have a result oriented culture and everyone’s productivity is measured by their results. We have small teams working together: back end team,…


We don’t- the culture around productivity is the same for both office and remote- get things done.

Summit CPA Group

Results.  No different than a brick and mortar business.

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

Clear tasks, responsibilities, and deliverables.

ICUC Social

Rely on the technology available. From Google Apps to Cloud offerings, explore options that will suit your company best. Set regular meetings (as long as…


It is critical to have open communication and no silos.  Everyone should be able to communicate with anyone and be open to reply quickly.

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

World Wide Web Hosting

Communication – without a doubt. Since the “water cooler” talk isn’t possible, we provide a wide variety of channels and tools for staff to communicate.…

GitHub, Inc.

At GitHub it’s important to us that we look after our employees. We’re not just in this for short-term productivity, we’re in this for the…

Stack Overflow

Building rapport with new coworkers can be difficult when you don’t get the casual social interactions you often get for free when everyone is in…

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


Most managers have a mix of head office and remote workers in their teams, and work hard to ensure people feel included and communicated with.…

Help Scout

We have done three company retreats so far, and plan on doing at least two a year. Every time we do them, Nick, our CEO,…

Coalition Technologies

It’s very important for new team members to feel connected to their coworkers, so a new hire buddy is always assigned to them from the…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?


Computers, monitors, peripherals, desks, chairs are provided by Automattic.

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…


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…

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?


In short, “take some”. We used to not track days off, but it resulted in some people (mostly US employees) not taking enough time off.…

Articulate, Inc.

Take whatever time you need.  We’re a ROWE environment.  

ThirdPath Institute

Employees start with two weeks of paid vacation.  We also accommodate employees with school age children by letting them take extra unpaid time off over…

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?


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…

Sticker Mule

My biggest concern is worrying about the happiness of our team members. It’s easy to tell how someone is feeling in person. Fortunately, we haven’t…

Inspired HR

We did so much research before going remote that we were not too worried about making the change. Once we made the switch, we never…

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