Managing remote workers, even those who’ve been with us for ages can be a real challenge. It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s also about staying connected in a remote setting. It’s about employee engagement. Video calls, which used to be helpful, now feel like a chore. And staying in the loop with team meetings and messages from bosses? That’s also become a bit of a hassle too.

But you know what? Remote work is here to stay. It started with the pandemic, but now, lots of people are into it. Why? Because it offers flexibility.

So, how do we adjust to a remote work environment? Do we need extra effort?

You don’t have to be an expert in psychology to communicate effectively with remote employees. Just make good use of remote work tools and tips. Here at Hubstaff, we’re all about the remote working environment and finding better ways to manage remote team members.

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Core principles of remote work management

Hey, remember those coffee breaks in the office space with your colleagues? That’s the thing. When we work remotely, it’s easy to lose touch with our remote employees. But you know what? We think the solution is simple: build trust, stay open, and communicate regularly. 

Building trust and transparency

First off, keep the lines of communication wide open. Ensure employees work well, everyone knows what’s going on in the company, and stay current on how their work fits into the big picture.

Secondly, show some love. When someone does good work, give them praise. Even small wins deserve recognition. If you’re working remotely, you can utilize communication channels to stay in touch.

And here’s the kicker: don’t hover. Trust your team to handle their tasks without micromanaging them. It adds stress and can also just end up slowing things down.

Especially when everyone’s working from home, trust is key. So, chill out a bit and watch your team shine.

Communication essentials

Here’s the deal: good communication is key when you’re managing a remote team. Check out a few ideas on how to manage remote employees successfully:

  1. Be supportive when remote team members switch to remote work or join the team. Let them know you’re there to help out whenever they need it.
  2. Start regular meetings (and one-on-one meetings, too) with light-hearted topics, like sharing a funny story or chatting about a favorite TV show. It helps everyone relax before getting down to business.
  3. If remote employees spend a lot of time alone, it can negatively affect employee morale. Keep things lively by encouraging non-work conversations, sharing hobbies, or even pet pictures.
  4. Boost team members spirit by getting employees involved in shared activities, like using habit-tracking apps together. It adds a bit of fun to working together.
What's the biggest benefit of working remotely?

Source: Buffer

Best practices for managing remote teams

Managing remote teams starts with setting up remote work policies. Right now, about half of companies have these policies, and many more are thinking about it. These ground rules also help bring order to the remote work scene and company culture.

Current trends in remote working. Remote working policies.

Source: KPMG International

Establishing clear objectives and expectations

Working well from home means having clear goals and knowing what’s expected of you. But those goals aren’t the same for every company; they’re made to fit each one. Plus, different teams and people have their own goals and tasks. A recruiter might aim to make 15 calls a week, a copywriter might write 3 articles, and a designer might finish 3 tasks.

But here’s the thing: it’s about more than just hitting those goals. It’s also about handling your workload, understanding challenges, and ensuring your employees stay energized and don’t burnout.

Use messengers, email, and free video conferencing apps to get in touch. For a comprehensive solution tailored to remote work, you can also explore Hubstaff’s workforce management software.

Tools and Technologies for Managing Remote Employees

You know how sometimes we run into those little annoyances at work that slow us down? For example, when you need help, send your finished work for review or contact the boss. To smooth things out, check out some tools that can help many managers with different tasks.

First of all, there are daily stand-up collaboration tools that keep those quick team meetings on track. Then, there’s the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – it’s great for building a solid hiring process, especially in this remote working world where finding top talent is key. By the way, you can build an ATS from scratch to meet your needs. 

And don’t forget about workforce analytics. It’s like having a peek behind the curtain to see what’s working and not looking at all the data and metrics about how we’re doing.

Training and Development for Remote Employees

Do you still think managing remote teams is just about tracking their work hours? There’s more to it than that. It’s also about having a knowledgeable and motivated team. One way to achieve that is by providing continuous training for employees.

Continuous Learning Opportunities

Statistics indicate that 70% of team members prefer online learning and self-paced online courses. Consider providing a remote workforce with an in-house training platform featuring learning tools for content creation, section addition, virtual training, and tracking training effectiveness.

Beyond encouraging learning, it’s crucial to also understand employees’ professional goals and interests in advance and to establish timelines and steps for acquiring the right skills.

Survey employees regularly to identify any changes in their interests that may lead to career shifts. Then encourage them to seek internal promotions where possible, as the opportunity to learn and grow within an organization is a key driver of employee retention – 94% of employees say they are willing to stay if such opportunities are available.

Career Growth in a Remote Environment

The remote workforce encounters an unexpected challenge: limited career advancement opportunities.
With less interaction with colleagues and management, employees feel they have fewer chances for recognition and growth. About 42% of remote teams worry about missing out on such opportunities.

To support your employees’ professional growth, address this in team meetings, invite colleagues to other projects, promote collaboration with different teams, and offer increased responsibilities and authority.

Real-World Examples of Successful Remote Management

By 2025, about 32.6 million Americans are expected to be working remotely. In addition, eight out of ten employees are anticipated to shift to hybrid or fully remote work. This ongoing trend, which began in 2020, is driven by the benefits it offers employees

The biggest advantages of hybrid work

Source: GALLUP

However, the transition to remote or hybrid working presents challenges for organizations, challenges that many companies are successfully overcoming. 

The biggest challenges of hybrid work

Source: GALLUP

Let’s explore three real-life examples and understand their strategies for success.

Managing Remote Workers: Case Studies and Success Stories

Wondering how to manage a remote team effectively? Explore three examples of teams working remotely and the key lessons your business can glean from them when considering a transition to remote work.


Zapier has around 300 employees from over 20 countries, providing a diverse working environment. However, dealing with time zone variations poses challenges. To overcome this, the team plans meetings, deadlines, and communication. Weekly meetings cover project tasks and video call times, requiring creative solutions to manage time differences.

Connecting with the team is facilitated through instant messaging on a communication platform. A helpful tip for managing remote employees across different time zones is to clarify the specifics of GMT or UTC.


Dell developed and implemented a remote work program called Connected Workplace to enable the transition to remote work. The company emphasizes that having a flexible work program seamlessly integrates remote and flexible work into the organization’s successful business strategy.

Management also maintains flexible schedules to demonstrate confidence in team members’ self-organization ability. As a result of its achievements in effectively organizing remote work, the Dell team is recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies.


The SaaS startup Close is trying out non-business tools to enhance communication within remote teams, aiming for a more personal touch. Traditional tech solutions for managing remote employees have yet to achieve the desired effect in building personal connections among colleagues. In response, the company has turned to using Snapchat. Even though Snapchat isn’t designed to boost business efficiency, the startup’s representatives highlight that it still does the job well. It allows employees to share enjoyable moments from their workday in a fun way, which then improves team collaboration.

Implementing a Remote Worker Toolkit

The remote worker toolkit is like a digital toolbox for professionals. It includes things like video calls, a versatile project management tool, and cybersecurity measures. These tools help the entire team stay productive and connected while working remotely.

Essential Components of a Remote Toolkit

A remote worker toolkit typically includes the following components:

  • Communication tools: These include video conferencing tools and messaging applications.
  • Project management software: Tools to track tasks and project progress.
  • Cybersecurity tools: Including VPN and endpoint security for online safety.
  • Remote access technology: Solutions for accessing work systems and files.
  • Hardware and accessories: Company-provided laptops and ergonomic accessories.
  • Remote worker training and support resources: Online training and IT support channels.
  • Time management tools: Time tracking and productivity software.
  • Wellness and mental health support: Resources promoting work-life balance and stress management.

Additional essentials for the toolkit may involve Internet connectivity solutions, policy and guidelines documentation, clear guidelines on remote work expectations, virtual team-building activities and meetings (instead of in-person meetings), and feedback and performance evaluation tools.

Utilizing Hubstaff for Remote Team Management

Hubstaff is an all-in-one software used by remote workers, international teams, and freelancers in 15+ industries to get employees on the same page. It helps track time, gauge employee productivity, manage schedules, and automate payroll.

With this software, you can track working hours and productivity of an individual employee, which then contributes to a more profitable business. Key Hubstaff features for efficient remote team management include time tracking, employee timesheets, a daily stand-up tool, project cost management, online invoicing, employee productivity software, and more.

When used correctly, Hubstaff can provide support for remote workers by offering end-to-end solutions and providing greater control over the team, allowing you to work remotely without hassle and keep everyone up to date.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Remote Management

Remote work definitely has its perks, offering flexibility in managing both work and free time. But it’s not all smooth sailing; there are challenges, too. Let’s take a closer look at some of these hurdles and how to tackle them.

Addressing Isolation and Lack of Engagement

Ever miss the hustle and bustle of the office? Turns out, some folks do. Working from home can be pretty quiet – no water cooler chats or impromptu meetings. It’s not exactly thrilling, right? But being alone too much can make you feel pretty lonely. Surveys say going from office to fully remote work has caused a 67% spike in folks feeling lonely. This can then lead to burnout and other mental health stuff. Tough, huh?

Remote work burnout statistics

Source: Zippia

Here’s the deal: to cope with feelings of isolation, why not try virtual hangouts like online parties, meeting cool people, or group training sessions? You can also schedule midweek coffee breaks online to break up the monotony.

And if you’re up for it, why not organize a team building for those who live nearby? You can meet at a cafe, go to the movies, do some volunteering, or even play sports together. It’s a great way to boost morale while also strengthening team bonds.

Navigating Time Zone Differences

Remote work environments let you live by the beach or up in the Arctic while staying connected with your team. Sounds great, right? However, dealing with time zones can be tricky for remote managers. Here’s what you can do: plan ahead for tasks and meetings, agree on one call in advance, and then stick to the schedule. It also helps to make a list of where your team members are based to help coordinate communication more smoothly.

Answering Common Questions on Remote Work Management

Looking for more insights into the management of employees working remotely? We’ve got you covered. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about managing remote teams.

What is remote work management? 

Remote work management is the strategic coordination of tasks and teams (management style, if you want) when employees work from different locations. It also involves using tools (Google Meet, Slack messages, etc.) and policies to maintain productivity and collaboration in a distributed work environment.

How do you manage remote team members successfully?

Here are 9 tips for managing remote employees:

  1. Discuss with your team and top talent how you’ll cooperate remotely, what collaborative applications and technology to use, and your communication plan.
  2. Hold meetings to reinforce the big picture, discuss performance, and provide clear feedback.
  3. Set and communicate mutual expectations and trust your team to deliver without micromanaging.
  4. Ensure the remote worker’s toolkit is in place.
  5. Stay connected with your team daily, maintaining communication without being intrusive.
  6. Foster “heart-to-heart” conversations to build rapport and overcome communication barriers.
  7. Monitor your employees’ well-being in every interaction to prevent burnout or other psychological challenges.
  8. Check for any virtual work-related issues among employees and offer assistance, keeping your door open.
  9. Utilize convenient workforce management resources (as well as those powered by artificial intelligence).

How do you manage remote workers without micromanaging?

Effectively managing remote workers without micromanaging requires building trust, establishing clear expectations, and providing the necessary tools for autonomy. Rather than consistently monitoring the process, the emphasis should be on results. Encourage employees to manage their tasks independently and support self-monitoring. It’s also helpful to avoid excessive and tedious regular meetings and reviews. 


Organizing your team’s remote work is simple. With the right approach and technologies, you can establish a seamless workflow where each team member feels valued and contributes significantly to the common goal.

It’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for managing leading remote employees. However, here’s what you can do:

  • Build trust and transparency
  • Set clear goals and expectations
  • Provide the right tools for communicating with the team by determining communication preferences in advance
  • Manage time zone differences effectively
  • Avoid micromanagement and excessive control (you are not in a traditional office)
  • Communicate regularly with your team
  • Address common remote work challenges many employees face
  • Provide ongoing learning opportunities for employees
  • Gain insights from others’ experiences

Understanding the nuances of remote work, recognizing its business potential, and then implementing effective strategies can bring significant benefits to your organization and company culture.

Looking for reliable software to manage your remote workforce? Try Hubstaff with a free 14-day trial. Join the 95,000 businesses that have boosted productivity and profits using Hubstaff. It’s your turn now.

Category: Management, Remote