The Challenges and Solutions of Managing Remote Employees

The Ultimate Manager's Guide To Managing Remote Teams

A women smiling and working on her lap top

As the workplace continues to evolve, so do the challenges that managers face. One of the biggest challenges facing managers today is managing remote workers.

Understanding the potential challenges you might face when managing remote teams help prepare you to face these challenges effectively. It must also help keep employees in good spirits with a work-life balance no matter the location. Many things should be addressed from the beginning. With the proper tips and tricks on how to manage remote employees, you will be well prepared to create a booming business with your workers from afar. You can do wonders for your business by remote working if you are ready to put in those little extra efforts and drive your team towards success. Not only will it define your management style, but establish your company values and organizational culture.

With the continuous evolution of technology, businesses today are leaning more towards remote work rather than in-person. And with information and resources accessible to everyone from anywhere in the world, it's no wonder that this working style is becoming increasingly popular. Hiring top talent from different countries to work virtually is a responsibility of a manager, but can be quite challenging. As the manager of remote team members, you must nurture them and guide them through any challenges they may face while still being effective yourself.

Failing To Differentiate Between Remote Work And Traditional Work

Remote jobs differ from typical working structures due to several factors. Remote work requires different abilities from typical work arrangements. Remote work requiring time management, communication with information technologies, and a writing process also require different forms. Both workers and managers may not be accustomed to remote employment and assume that a specific rule is taken out and transferred to a remote environment.

Where virtual teams work

Team members who work from home or work at a coworking space are also available in public spaces. Virtual teams can easily be worked from any location and have reliable connections to the Internet. Remote teams that deal with confidential documents or have access to confidential information often have stricter policies. This group typically requires a secure connection to a private space or monitoring software for employees. Those positions involving less privileged information have fewer restrictions in the work environment.

Difficulty building trust

One of the key challenges in remote team management is building trust between employees who may never meet face-to-face. In a traditional office setting, it is easier to develop trust through informal interactions like water cooler conversations or after-work socializing. However, when team members are geographically dispersed, these opportunities for bonding are less frequent. 

Doing regular team meetings is a good call for managing remote employees, but it's not enough. Your remote team members need to interact with each other spontaneously and independently and to get to know each other as people, not just co-workers.

Lack of accountability

When team members are not physically present in the same office, it can be difficult to hold them accountable for their work. This is often compounded by the fact that virtual employees may have more flexibility in terms of their work hours and location. As a result, managers need to establish clear expectations and objectives for their teams.

Another way to increase accountability is to make use of tools like time-tracking software or project management platforms. These tools can help managers see which employees are meeting deadlines and working on assigned tasks. Additionally, regular check-ins with team members can help ensure that everyone is on track and held accountable for their work.

Isolation and loneliness

Employees who work remotely can often feel isolated from their coworkers and lonely. This is because they lack the opportunities for social interaction that are present in a traditional office setting. Additionally, virtual employees may not have access to the same workplace amenities, like coffee shops or gym facilities.

A women looking stressed

Working remotely can be isolating, especially if you're not used to it. You can feel cut off from your coworkers and miss the social interaction that comes with working in an office.

To combat isolation and loneliness, managers should encourage remote team members to interact with one another outside of work. This can be done through online chat forums, social media groups, or even virtual happy hours. Additionally, managers should make an effort to connect with their employees on a personal level to improve the connection between manager and employee.

Although some people may think that virtual events are inauthentic, many managers and employees who have worked remotely before know that they help reduce feelings of loneliness and create a sense of community. If you're considering implementing virtual events or your company has recently made the shift to remote work, managers need to provide encouragement and emotional support. This includes validating stress, discussing anxieties and concerns with team members, and understanding their issues.

These are just a few of the challenges that can come with managing a remote team. However, by being aware of these challenges and taking steps to address them, you can set your team up for success.

Lack of face-to-face interaction

One of the challenges of virtual teams is the inability to have in-person interactions. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication, as remote team members are not able to pick up on nonverbal cues. Additionally, it can be difficult to build trust and relationships without in-person interactions. There are a few ways to overcome this challenge, such as holding regular video conferences, using collaboration tools to stay in constant communication, and making an effort to get to know your team members.

Another challenge of virtual teams is managing different time zones. This can be difficult because team members are not all working at the same time. As a result, it is important to have clear expectations and deadlines and to use communication tools that allow for asynchronous communication. Additionally, it is important to be flexible and accommodating of different time zones when scheduling meetings and events.


A meeting taking place with everyone actively listening to the person speaking

Remote teams can face challenges with miscommunication, as team members are not able to pick up on nonverbal cues.

Virtual teams can often be prone to miscommunication. This is because remote team members are not physically together in the same space, and may have different cultural backgrounds or speak different languages. Effective remote team management involves creating a clear and concise communication plan that outlines how team members will communicate with each other, setting up regular check-ins, hold weekly team meetings or video conferences to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Virtual teams often rely heavily on technology for communication, so it's important to have a backup plan in place in case of technical issues.

Solutions to these challenges include

Creating a clear and concise communication plan

Creating a clear and concise communication plan is critical to the success of virtual teams. By having a plan in place, team members can easily stay up-to-date on project goals, deadlines, and any changes that occur. Additionally, virtual teams should utilize various communication tools to help them stay connected, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software.

Ensuring that everyone is on the same page

One of the challenges of virtual teams is ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This can be difficult to achieve when team members are in different time zones or working remotely. To help overcome this challenge, virtual teams should have regular check-ins and meetings to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the project status. Additionally, utilizing project management software can help virtual teams stay organized and on track. project management tool's advantage is that it provides a central place where all team members can determine the stage at which a project is.

Don't neglect one-on-ones

People must learn to talk to each other. This lets team members talk to each other on any topics that are difficult or fearful to discuss in group meetings in person. This is an excellent way to ask questions to colleagues who might not want to discuss it at a later date and is also a good way to see if their role aligns with their professional objectives. It helps employees retain a job.

Defining expectations and roles early on

Defining expectations and roles early on is critical to the success of virtual teams. By doing so, team members can more easily understand their responsibilities and how they contribute to the overall goal. Additionally, setting clear expectations can help prevent conflict and build trust among team members.

These expectations range from virtual working hours to project plans, changes in production timelines, and more. Tell the group of people that are planning on managing it from the other side of the globe. In some cases, the video call might be quite jarring to employees that are not expecting it. Setting expectations is usually better accomplished with a mass call, bolstered by personal conversation or small group outreach. 

Some tips for defining expectations and roles in remote workers include:

  • Having a clear and concise team charter that outlines the team's purpose, goals, and objectives.
  • Assigning specific roles to team members based on their skillsets and experience.
  • Defining what each team member is responsible for in terms of task completion and output.
  • Creating regular opportunities for team members to check in with one another to ensure everyone is on track.

Make precise standards for remote work productivity

Remote workers may choose to work at home at different hours of day and times. As each individual is different, it's important to set a standard for tracking product effectiveness. Fix the time frame. The days and times could vary. It should never be irrelevant what time a team is going to do something, even when delivering a service to the customers. The time zones should be irrelevant. Define KPI. You can have an article writer give your content writers the ability to give an accurate daily word count. Establish milestones in tasks or projects.

Determine Outputs, Don't worry about activities

In the typical workplace, a person can usually consider themselves to be completing a full day of work. The workplace is not always separate from home. It is therefore crucial that one concentrates only on the delivered message and not on time wasted in the office. It will help determine the results in detail. To make tasks less complicated, set milestones with specific dates and arrange meetings for tracking progress.

Give Team Members The Chance To Input Ideas

The remote staff has the responsibility of setting the procedures for remote employees. But the circumstances vary and the ones who understand how things are done make them more efficient. It is therefore reasonable for a person to ask him how to make this work. This is the reason Amazon CEO Andy Jassey has given himself the option to choose a team's work style. In some areas, you may wish to engage the employees in communication methods they would like, or a basic timeframe for working together.

Gather feedback regularly

Using remote models is an important step when moving based on a remote system or an ongoing system. Feedback is useful in detecting the areas in which something is not going right or the areas that need adjustment. It has many possible ways: One for one. Using your virtual meetings, you might ask the worker if the current process works. Surveys. Anonymous questions are useful for collecting information about different aspects of your working model. Workshop sessions. You may be able to conduct physical sessions to solve the problems you are facing with your model.

Communicating through different channels

A photo of hands on keyboards with check boxes. Remote teams often rely on a variety of software programs to communicate with one another.

Virtual teams require more communication than traditional, co-located teams. This is because members of virtual teams are not able to rely on face-to-face interactions and body language to communicate effectively. Instead, they need to find other ways to overcommunicate with each other. There are a few different channels that virtual team members can use to overcommunicate with each other. Each of these channels has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for the situation.

1. Email

  • Email is a great way to send long, detailed messages. It's also a good way to keep a record of your conversations so that you can refer back to them later. However, email is not so good for quick back-and-forth conversations.

2. Instant messaging

  • Instant messaging is great for quick conversations but it's not so good for sending long, detailed messages.

3. Virtual meetings

  • Virtual meetings are great for getting everyone on the same page but they can be time-consuming and expensive.

4. Collaborative tools

  • Collaborative tools are great for working on projects together but they can be confusing to use if you're not familiar with them.

Instill independence

Remote work is an exchange of work and external worlds. Developing an independent working environment is essential for learning the remote management skills of employees. It is important to understand that your team has its agency that balances your job load with your interests. Encourage employees to find work and life balance and develop their confidence to achieve it. Follow the example by setting a time limit on your calendar.

Practice patience and empathy

Learning how to work remotely has an inevitably difficult learning curve. The plans for upcoming projects could change. A group meeting feels different. It is difficult to celebrate winning. The most effective way to manage the challenges that are associated with managing is to be patient, understanding, and compassionate in your actions and communication. Many people can easily adapt to remote working. Some people need social interaction when working in a work environment. Please do a good job focusing on the people who can be accessed remotely.

Tips for helping your team work together efficiently

Grasping the challenge is essential.

It is important to remember that just because someone is working remotely, it doesn't mean remote employees are disconnected from the team. As a manager, you still need to find ways to help them feel included and a part of the team. This can be done by ensuring that everyone has a chance to contribute to conversations and decision-making, providing opportunities for social interaction, and being available to answer any questions or concerns they may have.

Helping your team feel connected and included is essential to keeping them engaged and motivated. When people feel like they belong to a team and are contributing to its success, they're more likely to be productive and happy in their work. So take the time to create a remote team culture that everyone can buy into! Although we now have many options for communicating virtually, when it comes to building relationships and fostering trust, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. If you can't do it, it's not the end of the world (focus on doing some virtual team building). But if you can get the team together, use the time to help team members get to know each other better, personally and professionally, as well to create a shared vision and a set of guiding principles for how the team will work.

Be sensitive to overworking and overloading

It's all about managing. As managers, they have no obligation or need to set unrealistic deadlines. Have discussions openly with remote teams. They feel pressure and should adjust their jobs in a way that they can make their jobs more efficient. It is important for remote workers that the company proactively blocks time and keeps it accountable. Some people want to go and move the blocks. We use people as the starting point.

Be Creative

Remote teams need to be able to communicate effectively to work together efficiently.

Slack and Microsoft Teams are two great tools that can help with this. They allow team members to interact throughout the day at whatever times are convenient, which can make projects flow quicker and improve team communication overall. 

As a leader, it’s important to learn about the platform you choose and model appropriate behaviors for your team.

Develop protocols for working together in the same location or as a remote worker.

If your team has members in different locations, it's essential to have methods so that everyone is included in discussions. For example, you can make sure the video camera is on during web conferences for remote persons to see who is speaking. Also, chat sessions should be paused every five minutes or less so that employees working from home can contribute their thoughts or ask questions. Meetings drag on, and sometimes it feels like they're a huge waste of time. Make sure everyone who needs to be there is present, and have short conversations before and after the meeting to ensure that important decisions are made. 

By following these guidelines, you can help make sure that your remote workers feel like they are a part of the conversation, even when they’re not in the room.

Everyone craves social interaction, so make it a priority!

Social gathering at workplace Individual team members often feel left out of the social loop because they're not in the office to participate in impromptu conversations.

Remote work can be a great way to promote productivity and creativity, but it can also be isolating. To combat this, consider scheduling regular virtual coffee dates or happy hours with your team. They encourage teammates to be present and acknowledge one another's achievements. This will give everyone a chance to socialize and build team culture, even when you can't be together in person. Plus, it's a great way to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries!

Set and reach goals together

Too many businesses still equate productivity with attendance, rather than working towards set goals. If that resonates with how your organization operates, then it's time to switch things up and focus on outcome-based performance metrics. Communicate these expectations to every member of your team so everyone is aware of what is expected from them from the start of the project through to its completion. It is essential to have weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member, and video is the best format because it allows you to pick up on nonverbal cues. As you communicate with team members, be aware of signs of burnout. Some employers mistakenly believe their remote employees are unproductive when they aren't in the office. Surprisingly, the issue is more likely to be that people can't stop thinking about work even when they're in their homes.

By ensuring that you have regular check-ins, you can help prevent burnout and keep your remote team on track. You can also use video conferencing to schedule team-building activities or fun social events. These events can help improve morale and keep everyone connected even when they’re not in the same physical space.

When you’re managing a remote team, it’s important to be aware of the challenges that come with this type of work arrangement. By taking steps to prevent burnout and staying connected with your team, you can set your team up for success.


Managing remote teams can be a challenge, but with the right tools and solutions in place, it can be a successful endeavor. By understanding the challenges that come with managing remote employees, you can take steps to mitigate them and create an environment where everyone can work productively and have a work-life balance. We hope the tips in this article have been helpful and given you some ideas on how to manage your virtual team more effectively. How do you manage your remote teams? Let us know and write your comments below.