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?

X-Team

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…

Intridea/ Mobomo

Not officially, but it’s polite and helpful for us all when we respond quickly – usually 24hrs or less.

Trade Conductor

Everyone responds very fast. But again it depends on your time zone. For three months one of my employees was in HK while I was in…

See all 69 answers

Do you organize remote team retreats?

Chargify

Socializing and team building is important when we all get together. It isn’t all about productivity and getting work done (which we do throughout the…

Pagely

Logistics are a pain, but the outcome is always worth it. Just allow plenty of time for planning and be frank with everyone that it…

Inpsyde GmbH

At our team meetings, we do organize loads of stuff, which are fun and supports team building. Most of the time we are away for…

See all 32 answers

Do your remote team members meet in person?

Aha!

Twice a year, the entire company gathers in a destination travel location for a week. We call these “onsites.” This is our opportunity to look…

Collage.com

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

1Password

We have an annual, weeklong meeting where we all gather to work and play together. We also have occasional mini conferences, during which individual teams…

See all 82 answers

How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

Formstack

Productivity is roughly equivalent to answering two questions: 1) Am I meeting the goals I’ve set out? and 2) Am I gaining progress on key…

Workfrom

It’s really up to the individual to assess their productivity. As a team, we focus on group goals and results. Periodically we revisit those goals,…

Canonical

Quality of work completed Customer satisfaction Ability to meet deadlines Results Feedback from the business/360 Reviews Performance Reviews Objective Setting

See all 94 answers

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

Inspired HR

Frequent communication, appropriate resources, a culture of support, and the use of technology.

Plex

Communication is key. I’ve found in a remote environment people actually work harder at communicating because they have to. Especially if you’re dealing with an…

Melewi

Open communication, honest & constructive feedback and open mindedness + accountability

See all 69 answers

What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

Coalition Technologies

Creating a healthy balance between trusting our team members to manage their work time and monitoring their activity. We have team members use time management…

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…

FMTC

There’s a lot of communication done in an office that you don’t have with a remote team. The unspoken communication is huge, and we just don’t…

See all 67 answers

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…

Mokriya

Encourage transparency and company-wide visibility of information on Slack. Stick to good engagement habits such as regular one-on-ones. Consider also using some type of employee…

AirTreks

One of our company core values is to make meaningful relationships, and another is to own your own experience. This means everyone in the company…

See all 56 answers

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…

VIPKID

Our teachers have to use their own equipment. We have a team of hard-working IT support employees called “Firemen” who are ready 24/7 to jump…

Blossom

We provide devices and tools for everyone but all our work lives in the cloud. This makes it easy to provision new or additional devices.…

See all 52 answers

What is your time off policy for remote workers?

Scribendi

Our editors work according to their own schedules, as much or as little as they want. Our only requirement is that they edit at least…

Toggl

First of all, we have a flexible schedule and the only condition for the remote team members is to have at least some overlapping time…

Articulate, Inc.

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

See all 76 answers

What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

Modern Tribe

Accountability. The fear that people would simply flake, walk off into the distance, play video games instead of work. Sure they came true. And then…

Envato

There is always fear that collaboration is based on face to face contact but it turns out it is not! People can work on things…

Appen

In regards to our independent contract remote workers, making sure they have represented themselves honestly and that their credentials are valid is a common source…

See all 35 answers