5 Ways To Supercharge Your Success With Your Remote Team

Since 2009, the number of people who work from home has risen by 159%. It’s also estimated that 73% of all teams will include remote employees by 2028. Greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and less time and money spent commuting…

Since 2009, the number of people who work from home has risen by 159%. It’s also estimated that 73% of all teams will include remote employees by 2028. Greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and less time and money spent commuting are among the most widely agreed-upon benefits of remote or hybrid working–not to mention the environmental impact of fewer people commuting to and from work every day. So with all this in mind, it’s safe to say that remote working isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Ever since the days of the very first businesses, leading a team has never been without its challenges. The ability to engage and motivate people in person every day is something, but when your employees work remotely? That’s a whole other thing entirely.

As we all know, working from home is not the same as working from the office. What worked for your previous team may not work for your current team. However, there are adjustments you can make and habits you can build to help improve the experience for everyone involved. These tips can help ensure your business thrives, even when your team isn’t physically in your space.

Always Be Communicating

One of the biggest challenges remote workers face is difficulties with collaboration and communication. The most effective, yet often overlooked, solution is to simply make sure that everyone has everything they need to do their jobs. All important information (schedules, project progress, task status, and so on) should be readily available at all times to keep people working efficiently and to avoid delays and disruptions. 

And just because they’re out of sight, your team should never feel like they’re out of mind. Another major challenge affecting remote workers is feeling isolated or lonely without colleagues or teammates. It’s easy for employees who don’t have as many opportunities to interact with others to become disengaged or burnt out. This can have a much greater impact on your business than you might expect.

“If 80% of an organization’s employees are not engaged at work, the organization’s resilience during a crisis will be at high risk, and leaders won’t be able to consistently reach their goals.” 

Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace” 2021 report

So just like with a regular office environment, maintaining open channels of communication is an absolute must. 

Hold regular video chats with your entire team to help foster a sense of connection. This can be a great opportunity to recognize achievements and milestones. But no matter you choose to base these video meetings around, aim to speak about non-work-related things, too. 

Need some inspiration? Take it in turns to answer a “question of the week”, or play a game. This way, your less talkative or extroverted employees will have the chance to feel equally involved. “Connection and teammate engagement in a remote environment requires twice the effort of in-person workplaces,” says Buffer’s Director of People, Nicole Miller. “Individuals and companies need to orchestrate opportunities for meetings, discussions, and fun. While this happens more naturally around a physical water cooler, the digital space requires coordination and sometimes a little bit of strong encouragement to overcome the social barrier of talking to teammates you otherwise don’t have much overlap with in timezone or work responsibilities.”

A remote employee on a video call with colleagues

Clear Expectations

From company policies to individual KPIs, a clear understanding of the “whats”, “whens”, “whys”, and “hows” helps your team stay focused and aligned to your purpose.

One way to ensure everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are and what is expected of them is to create project briefs. These briefs usually include key details of the project, such as:

  • Deliverables
  • Deadlines
  • Needed resources and assets
  • Who is in charge of each area of the project
  • Information about similar past projects
  • What does the project need to achieve to be successful

Another area where clear expectations are important is in communications. Is your team asynchronous? (Pro tip: If it isn’t yet, it should be!) This means that everyone is working at different times throughout the day or week. If so, consider establishing set timeframes for responses. For example, same-day replies to internal emails or call-backs within an hour. 

Tools you’ll use to communicate, share documents, and keep track of project progress should be clearly established to avoid confusion. For instance, your team share files only on Asana instead of email or Slack to help keep everything organized in one place.

Regular Feedback and Support

Another way to amp up your remote team’s success is by checking in with your employees often. Regardless of profession or position, everyone likes to know where they stand. Regular one-to-one meetings with your employees can help you prevent issues before they arise. They provide valuable opportunities to ensure that everyone is on the same page, offer advice and support if needed, or even just give a quick pep talk.

However, checking in on work progress can easily turn into micromanaging if it’s done too frequently. But how often is too often? That may depend on your activities, project schedules, or performance cycles. For instance, a marketing team might just need a check-in once or twice a month, while software developers will likely need them more frequently. In any case, it’s worth discussing with your employees to come up with a frequency that suits you both.

Remote worker on a video call


Without the right tools, not even the perfect team will struggle to do their best work. So, actively listen to what your team members need to do their job to the best standard.

If you’re still on the look-out for the best solutions for your team, consider these: 

Project management 

How do you keep track of your project’s progress, team member schedules and workloads, documents, and more? Luckily, there is no shortage of project management solutions out there, each one with different functionalities. 

  • Trello. Trello is a Kanban-style project management app. It’s great for remote teams because members can see what everyone is working on at a glance, leave comments on tasks, assign tasks to members, and keep track of progress.
  • Asana. Asana is another project management tool that remote teams use to stay organized and on track. It features a calendar view, assigned tasks, deadlines, and progress tracking.
  • Monday has most of the same features Asana offers, but presents them differently. For example, it offers more visualization features to make project management easier. Plus, it has more layouts and templates to choose from.
  • Clickup. This project management app claims to be “the app to replace them all”. It offers a broad range of features for task and project management, from Gantt charts to custom workflows. While it has a steeper learning curve, it does live up to its promise to replace many apps, centralizing your task and project management efforts.


Collaboration tools allow your distributed team to work on projects together in real-time, no matter where they are. These tools are essential for remote work because they allow team members to work collaboratively, reduce file sharing and syncing, and keep communications about tasks and projects in one place, accessible to everyone.

Many teams rely on tools such as:

  • Milanote. This visual board app makes collaboration for creative teams a breeze. It lets you combine text, files, and multimedia in one place, and clip content from the web directly into your board.
  • Notion. This note-taking app is quickly becoming a documentation central and even a project management dashboard for many teams. Its flexibility makes it perfect for growing companies that might not need all the bells and whistles of a full project management app yet.
  • Whimsical. These remote collaboration tools offer five different views for teams to collaborate seamlessly on documents, wireframes, mind maps, flowcharts, and projects.
  • Airtable. Airtable is an easy-to-use spreadsheet-database hybrid. It’s perfect for managing anything from content calendars to customer lists.


Automation has become a crucial element in many companies’ workflows. With automation, you can create automatic actions within one app to save you time, or you can connect different apps to reduce the back and forth needed to transfer files and other data. For instance, you can set up an automation to have a file uploaded to an Airtable database be posted on a Slack channel automatically.

You can use native integrations or third-party apps that connect to other services, such as ZapierIntegromat, and If This Then That.

Outcomes Over Hours

The traditional office environment relied on the idea that people needed to be at the office a certain number of hours every day, regardless of the work that was completed. In fact, in 2020, a World Economic Forum survey found that 78% of business leaders believed remote work would have a negative effect on productivity. While the lack of experience in remote work was among the leading causes for this lack of confidence, it appeared they believed the remote work model was doomed from the start.

But the numbers speak for themselves. Working from home is no less productive than working in an office, and it’s perhaps more so. According to a study by Great Place to Work of over 800,000 workers at Fortune 500 firms, most participants reported maintaining or even increasing their productivity after they started working from home.

Making the switch to remote work means that managers and business owners need to measure success and productivity differently. But this isn’t necessarily a negative change. For managers, it means an opportunity to link productivity to an employee’s ability to complete quality work and move projects forward. And for workers, it means shifting the focus from just showing up to the office to the work they do and how it ties to the company’s mission.

However, concerns about how workers spend their time can lead many managers to distrust and micromanage their team. An employee working under a micromanager often feels mistrusted, controlled, and stifled by their manager’s lack of flexibility, and excessive feedback about unimportant details. This in turn can undermine the satisfaction workers can get from the flexibility remote work provides.

Here are some ideas to avoid falling into that trap and create an environment of trust in your remote team.

Don’t track your employees’ time — track their progress

While it’s true that time tracking may be necessary to create budgets and schedules, using invasive tools to monitor every second of your workers’ time can create an atmosphere of mistrust. 

Distributed teams working on their own terms are often more independent and self-motivated. They don’t need someone looking over their shoulder to make sure they’re working — they just need clear expectations about what needs to be done.

Let go of control

Many managers have reported feeling a lack of control over their teams when they began working from home. Without the ability to gather people together at the office, managers tried to compensate for this loss of control by failing to delegate tasks and taking more work for themselves, setting up too many meetings, or setting up check-ins with more frequency than was necessary.

These attempts at clawing back control mean extra work for managers and for their teams.

Trust has to start from above. When you show your team members you trust them enough to do their work on time, they’ll feel more appreciated and more motivated to step up.

So, don’t be afraid to delegate your tasks. Give your team enough time and room to do their best work. It’s tough to be creative when there’s always someone looking over your shoulder, physically or digitally.

Final Thoughts

There are many things you can do as a remote business leader to set up your team for success.

From regular communication and setting expectations, to encouraging creativity and showing trust, creating an open, safe environment for your team will not only increase retention levels — it will allow your employees to feel part of your company’s mission, making their work more fulfilling and meaningful.

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