Remote Work

How to keep a remote team organized

Tips to help you keep a remote team organized.
February 20, 2023
Oyster Team
A messy desk

With the rapid rise of remote work, managers have had to learn new organizational and leadership tactics on the fly. Some long-established management practices still work, but others are no longer applicable when you manage remote workers. You can’t simply walk around the office checking in with employees or calling them into your office for private conversations, so you have to develop new strategies to set your remote team up for success. 

If you’re wondering how to organize remote work teams, here are some tips to help you overcome some of the challenges of managing distributed teams. 

Challenges of organizing remote teams

Managers of remote employees know that there are unique challenges associated with leading a distributed team. Some of these challenges include:

  • Maintaining open lines of clear communication: Despite the variety of available communication tools (including video calls, email, phone, and chat), managers may struggle to communicate effectively with remote team members. 
  • Tracking productivity: Keeping track of how much remote employees accomplish without micromanaging them can be difficult.  
  • Fostering team spirit and strong morale: Developing team spirit and morale without seeing your team in person requires more deliberate effort from a manager.  
  • Ensuring access to information: Your remote employees may wonder who to turn to and where to look if they have questions. 
  • Scheduling issues: If your remote team is distributed across time zones, you may struggle to find meeting times that work for everyone.

6 tips for organizing remote work teams

1.  Establish standards for communication

Communication is key to keeping your remote team organized and on track. If you don’t lay down some guidelines for communication, your team may struggle to communicate and collaborate. Establish standards for how team members should communicate, including which channels they should use for which purposes. 

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For example, you may direct your employees to use instant messages for casual conversations with other team members, but video calls for official meetings. Tweak these guidelines as needed. The idea is to set clear communication standards, so remote workers don’t have to wonder how to reach one another. 

2. Clarify each team member’s roles and responsibilities

Without in-person guidance from their manager, remote employees need complete clarity regarding their roles and responsibilities within the company. Make sure each team member knows exactly what you expect of them, and offer detailed feedback during performance evaluations. When remote employees understand their designated tasks and responsibilities, they can accomplish their goals more effectively. 

3. Set productivity goals

Along the same lines, you should set measurable productivity goals for each of your remote team members. If you expect a teammate to make sales, for example, their goals could be tied to a set number of calls per day. Incorporating concrete figures into the productivity goals you set helps you and your employees easily measure progress. 

Remember to build in some flexibility into these goals, however, and adjust them as needed if circumstances change. You can always include your team in the goal-setting process to make these benchmarks more realistic and effective.    

4. Check in with your remote employees regularly

To keep everyone on track, you should hold regular check-ins with your remote team—both as a group and one-on-one. Don’t just use these meetings to talk to your team members, though. Treat them as opportunities to listen and collect feedback from each remote worker about what’s working well and what isn’t. You can then work toward addressing the complaints or challenges your team members raise. 

5. Adjust your onboarding process

You can’t use the same onboarding process for remote workers as you do for in-person employees. You’ll have to send out technology packages ahead of the remote employee’s first day, for example, and ensure they have all the necessary permissions to access your online tools. Review your current onboarding process and look for other places where you can tweak the procedures to fit remote workers.  

6. Choose the right tools

Software and other helpful tools can make all the difference for remote teams. Choose tools that help your team members be productive and effective at work, such as:

  • Video conferencing software
  • Instant messaging platforms
  • Task or project management software
  • Time trackers
  • Note-taking apps
  • Automation tools
  • Cloud storage

These are just some of the digital solutions you should consider implementing for your remote teams. If you’re not sure which tools would help your remote employees, don’t hesitate to ask. They can offer valuable insights into the areas where software tools would be most impactful. 

On the management side, Oyster is designed to help with the tasks associated with running a distributed team. Use Oyster’s global employment platform to streamline hiring, payroll, and benefits for each of your remote team members. Managing and growing your team has never been easier. Explore the platform for free now. 

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

About the Author

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce.

About the Author

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