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?

Inspired HR

I receive weekly formal reports from all my consultants and I have a minimum of one conference call per week with each of my staff.…

Authentic Form & Function

We do not. However, we never want to leave a team member hanging during typical business hours, and this is something Slack tends to help…

Parse.ly

All of our teams have their own channels within Flowdock (similar to Slack) and weekly scheduled meetings to get everyone on the same page. Remote…

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Do you organize remote team retreats?

AnswerFirst

No, we did try to do meet-and-greet lunches in various locations. There was little to no interest since those who work remote do this for a…

Wordfence

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

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?

DevriX

We meet some of our team members at events, but we don’t have annual meetups yet.

Edgar

We do! Twice a year, we gather the team for weeklong retreats, so we can both work together and get to spend quality time getting…

Acceleration Partners

As a whole company we have bi-weekly video calls every other week and we get together in-person 2x a year for all company meetings.

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

Trello

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

ICUC Social

We work with project management tools and have set goals and KPIs. We rely on Asana, a project management tool, to keep track of projects…

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…

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

DataStax

Make sure there is not an “us vs. them” culture of HQ vs. remote workers. Treat everyone as remote, regardless of their location.

Incsub

It really isn’t that different than in a traditional office environment. Employees that know expectations and plans, have access to the tools and resources they…

CloudPeeps

We place a strong emphasis on transparency, authenticity and being direct. We do monthly one-on-one feedback sessions, which we call “pair calls” where we run…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

Toptal

If you’re a typical startup, <10 people sitting in an office, then with everything that happens, everyone always knows about it. So how do you…

GobySavvy

I think communication is the hardest part. We don’t have the power to walk into someone’s office and ask for an update or motivate. However…

Remote Year

One of the challenges in managing a remote workforce is employee engagement. To be successful at Remote Year, employees need to be both collaborative and…

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

Go Fish Digital

While we aren’t big on meetings, we do have a regularly scheduled Monday meeting where we go over any admin items and talk about the…

AgileBits

All of our team members are part of at least one mini-team and we have weekly team meetings to share information and ideas. AgileBits is…

Time Doctor

We give our team members flexibility. Just because they were hired for one particular job doesn’t mean that they can’t do other things that interest…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

Beutler Ink

All our team members are welcome to use their own laptops and phones. There are some cases where we provide additional equipment that belongs to…

Doist

Team members can use any hardware that they please. After you’ve worked with Doist for six months, you are granted a generous hardware and software…

Taksa Technology Solutions

As a company we have internal policies that helps us to have key security measures that protects us from any liability concerns that possibly could…

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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.…

DVMelite

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

Intridea/ Mobomo

Unlimited.  Take what you need – we don’t count your sick or vacation days.

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

Jungle Scout

My biggest fear was probably that everyone was just going to goof off and not get any work done with little oversight. This has been…

AirTreks

I used to worry about things not getting done or people not feeling responsible. But so far, our people care and everything gets done.

SimpleTexting

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…

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