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?

SimpleTexting

We expect people to be online during their scheduled workday. If they’re not going to be around or stepping out for whatever reason we ask…

SoftwareMill

Partially. There is a company scrum at 10am every morning during which people are expected to come, but it’s not a big deal if they…

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.…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?

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…

Kin HR

Here are some tips: 1) Retreats should be easily accessible (closer to the airport) 2) Consider having the whole team living under one roof through…

VIPKID

Yes! The events count as one form, and they love to meet up for potlucks and meet and greets. We’ve also sponsored two successful trips for…

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

Mavens

We have an all company summit every year where the entire organization gets together for 3+ days. Regional team members are encouraged to cowork and…

Appirio

Our remote teams have many opportunities to meet in person. First and foremost, all of our new consultants in the United States visit Indianapolis within…

LoveToKnow

We do not routinely meet in person. Some of our management team has met a couple times and when I am traveling, I’ve made a…

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

World Wide Web Hosting

We measure productivity the same way traditional office workforces measure it – we look at the results. Being a remote workforce truly shouldn’t be a…

10up Inc.

How do businesses measure productivity of co-located workers? By how busy they appear to be when you walk by? By whether they enter the office…

Acceleration Partners

We measure productivity through the results we deliver to our clients.  We also use tools like Harvest for time tracking, and quarterly check-ins to make…

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

Omni Interactions

Communication, community, and transparency. Without those three things, your relationships with remote workers will fail.

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…

Knobs.co

Clear tasks, responsibilities, and deliverables.

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

The Cheat Sheet

It takes extra effort to build a rapport with everyone. There are no incidental conversations that happen on the way to the break room in…

Melewi

Timezones can be tricky. As the team grows, timezones are getting harder to manage.

Mokriya

Developing and maintaining culture as we grow. The larger Mokriya becomes the more important it is to stay true to our values and hold onto…

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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…

Must Have Menus

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…

GOhiring GmbH

We use different tools, such as Slack and Trello, to actively communicate with each other. We also have monthly business update meetings where all employees…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

WooThemes

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

Inpsyde GmbH

They have their own devices and can also decide what they want, a pc, a mac or whatsoever. We take care of the tools or…

DataStax

We provide equipment to our remote employees.

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What is your time off policy for remote workers?

Balsamiq

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.…

Buffer

We have a minimum vacation policy at Buffer where we ask employees to take at least 15 days off every year, in addition to whichever…

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?

RunRepeat

My biggest fear is that I do not always know what employees feel. When I make an update, what do they think? Sure, they give…

InVisionApp

Our biggest fear with regards to having a remote workforce was that individuals would feel left out, not engaged, or like they were missing out…

Blossom

To me, making the work visible was a big fear. Even in traditional companies, there are people working nobody knows what they are actually doing.…

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