Your Guide to Managing Remote Employees

After COVID-19 struck, everything changed. This change included work-life balance, as many employees started working out of the office. It was a difficult transition because workers found themselves struggling to engage, produce, and focus while working from home.
Nevertheless, this change proved that it was possible to implement working from home full-time. In fact, many companies have started to apply smart working models, which combine both office work and remote work.
This poses a couple of challenges, though, with many employees unable to adapt to the new work model and employers who aren’t used to managing remote employees. Luckily, there are many possible ways to monitor and manage employees remotely.

Tips for Managing Remote Employees

Working remotely can be challenging for managers. As a manager, you may not be able to supervise employees adequately. You may even find high-performing employees declining.
There are multiple strategies that you can use to increase performance and get back on your management track. Here are some of them:

Frequent Check-Ins

As reductive as it sounds, checking in on your employees often is necessary. You can do this by email, texts, phone, and most importantly, by video calls.
You need to be constantly informed of everything your employee accomplished during the workday. However, take care not to come across as micromanaging.
Another thing you must do is to over-communicate. Ensure everyone on the team is constantly aware and up-to-date on all the tasks and goals. This way you can avoid any misunderstandings or confusion later on.

Rules of Engagement

How many times have you had to reschedule an online meeting due to time zone differences? How much time was wasted trying to notify a co-worker that their mic wasn’t working? Setting ground rules for virtual communication helps reduce all the lost time.
Establishing clear communication methods is crucial in remote work. Everyone on the team should know the proper channels of communication, when to use them, and how they function.

Provide Means for Remote Working

What’s the point of remote working if the employee lacks the necessary resources? Team members must have the proper tools to ensure they can reach and communicate with the rest of the team. These essential tools include:
  • Headsets
  • Webcams
  • Proper WiFi connection
  • Laptops
  • Internal VPN

Be Flexible

Working remotely can offer the benefit of flexible hours. If your company doesn’t require set working hours, promote flexible working hours for all remote employees. Team members living in different time zones will definitely appreciate this.
This can be done by building trust. You don’t need to keep track of your team’s working hours if you trust them to get the job done on time.
A common concern for employees working remotely is their inability to advance their careers. They may fear that they’re missing out on opportunities simply because they’re unable to connect with their managers as often.
Have regular conversations with your remote employees about their career goals. Make sure you have one-on-one conversations with all employees. You should also try to include employees who work remotely in all office activities.

Raise Morale Within Your Virtual Team

The biggest barrier when it comes to remote working is keeping the spirits up. There are multiple challenges that remote employees face. These challenges can really take a toll on one’s mental health.
As a manager, your job isn’t just to provide results and numbers; you’re also part of creating a positive work environment for your team. Be a mentor and lead by example by always staying positive.

Knowing What to Expect

Transitioning from office work to remote work is a big change. You shouldn’t expect the quality of work and performance to remain constant.
Set realistic expectations and outcomes. You can do this by requesting regular feedback from employees and setting goals accordingly. Make sure your team is aware of your expectations and that their energy is focused on producing the desired outcomes.

Being Empathetic

While some workers may thrive in remote conditions, many others do not. Your employee of the month may struggle with something as simple as a daily task. So, it’s crucial that you listen and understand.
Try to help as often as possible and be as flexible as possible. Everyone faces different circumstances. That’s why being mindful of these circumstances can help your team perform even better.

Creating Connections Within the Team

The best way to raise group morale is to build relationships between members. This can be tricky in a virtual environment, but it’s beneficial in the long run.
A way to establish connection between employees would be through online team-building activities. You can create virtual happy hours or a virtual water cooler. Basically, create any online social activity that employees can participate in.
Organizing physical events is a great way to connect with your team. It doesn’t have to be a big event. A small get-together every once in a while is sufficient to remind team members that their coworkers aren’t just floating torsos.

Challenges Facing Remote Employees

It’s essential that you understand what challenges your team faces, so you can effectively apply the above-mentioned tips.

Access to Information and Data

Employees adapting to remote work find it surprisingly hard to locate information. It’s simple to ask an office mate a question, but working remotely makes it hard to have direct access to co-workers and pinpoint needed information.

Lack of Managerial Contact

Lack of face-to-face communication is another pressing matter. Managers find themselves unable to assess employees’ quality of work. Employees, on the other hand, feel that their managers are inaccessible and out of touch with their needs.

Apathy Between Virtual Co-Workers

When you work from home, your co-workers may start to feel like strangers. Small problems can get blown out of proportion. A little amiability in the workplace goes a long way, but it’s difficult to achieve in a virtual setting.

Social Isolation

A long-standing issue for most employees working in the office is having an appropriate work-life balance. Some employees don’t even have a social network outside their work.
When combined with working remotely, these employees will have almost no social interactions.

Distractions at Home

Suboptimal workspaces are the most common problem. Most employees who are new to remote work don’t have adequate office space. In fact, a common misconception is that you can manage your home life and your work life when working from home.


Managing remote employees is a challenge. Still, many workplaces are incorporating remote work into their office culture.
There are many proven ways to improve the productivity and engagement of remote employees. It’s crucial to be mindful of the problems your team members face while working remotely, and to always be available as a mentor first and a manager second.