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?

Go Fish Digital

We are starting to implement this a little more as we grow. We have a lot of de-facto standards just from having done this for…

Envato

We don’t have any overarching rules or norms, other than to ensure that mandatory meetings are remote-friendly. Each team sets their own norms as necessary.…

Knack

We have an overlap policy where we expect everyone to be generally available for conversations and video chats. Remote does not by definition mean time…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?

Time Doctor

Yes, we do. This is critical for us. First of all, you need to have a clear agenda with what you want to achieve during the…

Hanno

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,…

Wordfence

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

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

Dell

Yes, we aim for once a year meetings in person.

Boldly

We meet with our core team in person twice a year. It is somewhat of a retreat in that we work, and strategize but we…

Melewi

We try to set a regular team meet up once or twice a year. So far, in 2016, the entire team has met up four…

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

Beutler Ink

Strictly speaking, we measure it in their output. What’s most important to us is that the work needed is getting done, and that our team…

Trello

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

Hubstaff

The Hubstaff software has useful features like activity levels and randomized screenshots, so we can see how productive our team members are being while tracking…

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

Help Scout

An empathetic understanding of one another’s roles, expertise, and workflow. Over-communication in Slack or on video chat. Honesty, vulnerability, coaching, and feedback.

Attentiv

Communication is key. We are all completely available to one another during our work hours, meaning we can connect via video conferencing or chat on…

Aha!

The principles of a successful working relationship with remote teammates do not differ that much from any other relationship. You have to be responsive, goal-oriented,…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

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…

CloudPeeps

For me, it’s to do with setting the pace. When you’re in an office, the fastest person often sets the pace and lifts the energy…

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…

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

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…

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…

Collage.com

We are in constant communication with members of our team using online communication tools, and it’s very easy to work together and collaborate toward a…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

PeopleG2

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…

Packlane

We’re mostly a BYOD type of company, but we provide devices for those who need it.

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?

Automattic

We have an open time off policy, which translates to take the time off that you need. We ask each person to discuss time off…

DVMelite

You can take off whatever days/weeks needed and as long as you have someone covering for your clients, we are fine.  

Authentic Form & Function

At this time we allow three weeks of paid time off, as well as many of the major holidays where we typically see families gathering…

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

Origin Eight

Not many fears that I can think of. Really just accountability and showing up, but I don’t feel that’s any more of an issue than…

Working Solutions

I would say more fear a lack of productivity, lack of communication or engagement, even how to manage potential issues like workers comp claims.  In…

TaxJar

I never had any fears. We’ve been told countless times that at some point we need to get an office and have a headquarters so…

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