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?

Canonical

As with an office based role, remote workers are required to be available during the working day.  Generally most managers will establish the norms, as…

Sticker Mule

No, we don’t have any rules or communication norms. Certain teams like to do regular calls while others do not. Personally, I dislike scheduled meetings…

Working Solutions

We do not.  There has not been a need in our environment.

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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…

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…

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,…

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Do your remote team members meet in person?

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…

NodeSource

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…

Project Ricochet

We fly our entire team out for a conference once each year. This is our opportunity to spend time together, get to know new team…

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How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?

Origin Eight

Through project management and time tracking tools.

The Geller Law Group

As attorneys, we measure productivity through billable hours generated by the employee.

PeopleG2

Productivity is easily measured by the output each day.  Our platform provides metrics which will show the productivity of individuals and the company.  We also…

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

iDoneThis

If you can, by all means spend a week with new colleagues onsite. That immensely helps in building trust. Ongoing, having regular video calls helps.…

Equivity

Constant communication. This requires the use of text, email, voice, and video communication platforms and shared expectations regarding availability.

Goodway Group

Constant communication is a necessary element in maintaining working relationships between all of our employees. Because we work remotely, we’re all in constant communication whether…

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What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

TNTP

Working from home can be isolating, especially for staff who have never worked remotely or for TNTP before. You have to be proactive about building…

Intridea/ Mobomo

Communication and understanding people’s personalities via text and email.

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.…

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

GitLab

We make our communication better by having daily calls and hangouts between team members. We get the entire team together at the GitLab summit once…

SoftwareMill

Each team that is working for a client takes responsibility for all the issues: financial stuff, agreements, customer relations, etc. Thanks to our policy, people…

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…

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What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

Sococo

Our employees get a laptop for administration work, as well as a display, keyboard, and mouse. The software developers and QA team may have different…

WooThemes

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

Crossover

We have all of our team members use their own computers, but we provide all the apps necessary.

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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.…

Scrapinghub

We give everybody 20 paid vacation days per year (they generate 1.66 vacation days per month worked) and the local country holidays wherever they happen…

The Cheat Sheet

We have a flexible time off policy which provides employees with a generous amount of vacation, allowing them to take off whichever holidays they want.

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What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?

GobySavvy

Quality. We feared that because we couldn’t see, in person, what someone was working on, that quality would drop. We have to trust that our…

Collage.com

We didn’t have any major fears, and fortunately, we haven’t had any major problems!

VIPKID

We’ve always been worried that they wouldn’t commit to teaching online in the long run, because most of our teachers are busy with a full-time…

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