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  • Kurochka Olha

5 Tips for Managing Remote Teams: Scaling Partner Perspective


Successfully managing a remote team sounds both difficult and easy at the same time. Often overlooked in this battle is the fact that the desired remote environment doesn't appear out of nowhere. Building trust and cohesion among team members scattered across the globe can be as hard as sailing the sea on an eggshell.

Mastering the art of remote team management is necessary for team leaders and HR professionals. Over the years, SD Solutions has developed some tips for managing a remote team to make it victorious in team relations. Whether you're overseeing a couple of remote workers or want to build a global branch, remote employee management is a top skill to obtain. 

Cultivating Involvement in Remote Developers

In the remote work setting, encouraging a sense of loyalty and involvement can greatly impact a developer's performance. Any developer around the world takes their work to the next level when they are personally invested in the product. To put it simply, when they believe in what they are doing, they go above and beyond to make the project successful. 

Start building involvement right at the interview stage by showing your interest as an example. This is a two-way street: demonstrate a candidate's real engagement with their skills and career achievements, and you will have an employee who will be invested in the company’s success. Here are the best practices that can be applied at the interview stage:

  • Personalize your response to candidates' emails. Study their resumes, and take notes during the prescreening — show your interest in the person’s work achievements. 

  • Tell them about the possible career growth and opportunities. It is important to ask candidates what their career aspirations are. The thing may be that the person doesn’t want to become a team lead in the future at all. 

  • Make sure that your remote team sees personal prospects in the project. It can be the development of individual skill sets, learning something new, or, for example, switching to another programming language at some point 

  • Be clear about your expectations for their work responsibilities. Hiding the fact that you expect commitment and work on massive data sets can backfire. 

  • Present a welcome book with the company's core values. Just tell us about your company as it is—that you appreciate openness and flexibility, for example. And specify what you mean by that, as it can mean flexibility in working hours or in decision-making.

how tot check candidates interest

After onboarding a remote worker, make sure that you:

  • Engage with your team through video calls; they can’t see you face to face, but talking to you online — may be a way to go. 

  • Offer continuous feedback, ensuring each member knows their work is critical to the company's success;

  • Provide opportunities for professional growth and recognize achievements.

  • Create your own company culture together. Team building, business trips, and events will become its foundation.

  • Correlate your management style to align with the team.

  • Take all the document processes off the employee's shoulders.

By focusing on these strategies, you can effectively manage your remote team members and promote a more dedicated workforce.

Building Trust Within Remote Teams

According to the research by Google, a team’s productivity correlates directly to the level of psychological comfort and trust level among teammates. Therefore, it’s vital to pay attention to internal relations in a team, especially if it’s remote. 

Unlike in the office, where everyone goes to a kitchen to talk rather than to eat, people who work remotely tend to avoid online discussions whenever it’s possible. The fewer people communicate the less they believe in each other’s experiences and skills. It may stop them from discussing important decisions or asking for advice. Moreover, newbies may doubt if asking questions is a good idea, as other developers might think about their incompetence.

A graphic representation of a man holding a laptop as a remote worker

Managing remote teams effectively means encouraging a culture of openness. This is what you can do to promote such an atmosphere:

  • For all newbies, assign a mentor or “buddy” who will help them to adapt and feel welcomed.

  • Be sure managers answer the team’s questions timely.

  • Establish communication channels in advance and set rules for them. For instance, use a corporate massager with “in office/out of office” statuses. The “It was not discussed if it’s not emailed” law - may be useful for email/written communication.  Choose what is best for your team, but it must be clear to everyone.

  • Openly share company updates and changes in one place, HRM system or regular emailing.

  • Establish a reporting structure beforehand. It might be weekly performance checks or daily meetings. Whatever is best for you, regularity is key.

  • Organize offline team-building events or invite the team to your office. If your team is international, try to arrange business trips to reinforce the ties of team spirit.

  • Encourage social interactions among remote colleagues. All non-work discussions can be transferred to the personal settings. 

  • Don’t overcommunicate, as it may cause the feeling of constant monitoring.

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful remote team. Without trust, even the most talented teams can struggle to achieve their objectives. 

Coordinating Time Zones Effectively

Equally important to understanding how to effectively manage remote employees is to consider the region in which your team member operates. 

When leading a remote team, remember that effective time zone management is crucial for supporting productivity and ensuring the well-being of your team. With proper time planning, you will be able to work together for the maximum number of hours without overtime.

To use time-zone differences wisely:

  1. Encourage the use of shared calendars to keep everyone in the loop about deadlines and updates.

  2. Pick the time suitable for all developers and make a timetable of the working hours.

  3. Respect the teammate’s rest time - lunch means lunch, therefore no working decisions can be made unless the person is behind the screen.

  4. Schedule meetings during overlapping work hours. No one wants to work outside business hours, so calls are fine as long as they don't interfere with your team's lives.

  5. Try asynchronous communication methods - emails, voice and video messages, etc. Сonsider that not everyone may be immediately available to check your messages.

With strategic planning and a focus on collaboration, managing remote teams across different time zones can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Strategic Task Delegation as One of the Tips for Managing Remote Teams

Among the practices for managing remote employees is task delegation. Regarding remote teams, managers can’t just let things slide. Sometimes, initiative people take on more tasks than they can complete creating much more issues at a time. Delegating tasks strategically goes beyond just splitting up the workload; It's about matching the right tasks with the right people. 

  • When you assign tasks, be crystal clear about your expectations. Accurate and well-defined task description saves you and your colleagues from hundreds of corrections

  • Don’t let one developer get overwhelmed by millions of tasks. The distribution should be even, otherwise, some will be exhausted, and some will be upset that they are not entrusted with assignments.

  • Share the main goals and plans for the project with all team members. Let the developers understand the amount of work the team does and their personal input.

  • Use straightforward project management software to keep everyone on the same page and make tracking progress a breeze. 

  • Track work and productivity using weekly or monthly statistics. Discussing repeatable issues and questions will reduce misunderstandings and prevent your team from wasting their time.

tip how to ask candidate questions

Celebrating small wins and providing constructive feedback will keep your team motivated and eager to push forward.

Promoting Team Cohesion and Work Life Harmony

Last but not least, one of the key remote team management tips is to ensure you don't leave your team isolated after hiring and onboarding. Work is about more than just tasks:

  • Human Connections Matter: The truth is that developers who feel left on their own often start looking elsewhere. Building human relationships is crucial for keeping your team together. It guarantees that your ideal hires stay with you for the long haul.

  • Create Supportive Team Culture: It’s vital to create an atmosphere that values both unity and individual well-being. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Make sure that your employer brand does not sleep in social networks and constantly reminds employees that their company is thriving.

  • Regular Team Events: Have the human resources department organize regular events to get everyone involved and interacting. These can be simple and do not always need to be elaborate to be effective.

  • The Impact of Small Acts: Never underestimate the power of small, consistent actions. These efforts can significantly strengthen the bonds within the team and boost overall commitment. Even ordinary short greetings on their national holidays are already a human touch in the reality of the corporate world.

Implementing these approaches will help build a harmonious work environment in which everyone feels part of a supportive community.

So, can the remote mode bring success?

Knowing how to manage your team remotely is a crucial component of business success. After building your own working ecosystem and setting up communication, business has to maintain everything in one place. Managing a remote team may be difficult, but modern problems require modern solutions. 

The strength of any remote working team lies not just in the skills of its members, but in how connected and supported they feel. So, managers should take the time to build those human connections that make a remote work environment thrive.

These efforts help create a space where employees can thrive both professionally and personally, embodying the essence of best practices for managing remote teams.

Remember, although a remote team is slightly different from your usual office one, it is still the same: people doing their job, connecting together, and providing exceptional results


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