Managing Remote Employees

The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Remote Employees

By Drew Moffitt

In today’s increasingly connected world, managing remote teams has become an essential skill for organizations to thrive. Remote work offers numerous benefits, but it also presents unique challenges of managing remote employees. How do we establish trust, navigate time zone differences, promote work-life balance, maintain company culture, and adapt leadership styles for remote management? In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore these challenges and share valuable insights to help you overcome them and lead your remote teams to success.

Key takeaways

  • Establish trust and collaboration in a remote work environment through effective communication, transparency, and positive intent.
  • Set expectations for employees to foster trust, support productivity & encourage healthy boundaries.
  • Leverage resources such as Kumospace to promote team building activities & develop skillsets for successful remote management.

Establishing trust with remote teams


Trust is the backbone of any successful remote team. However, managing remote employees comes with its own challenges, such as communication barriers and reduced productivity. Overcoming these challenges and building trust requires a focus on three key aspects: communication, setting expectations, and fostering accountability.

Building trust through communication

In a remote work environment, face to face interaction is scarce, making effective communication crucial in building trust. Frequent check-ins help ensure everyone is on the same page, and potential issues can be promptly addressed. Transparency is another key factor, enabling team members to understand the team’s goals and objectives in the broader context.

Furthermore, fostering trust and collaboration without the fear of judgment or criticism necessitates an assumption of positive intent.

Setting expectations for remote employees

Clear expectations are vital when managing remote employees since there are fewer opportunities to check in on progress. Effective expectation setting involves:

  • Establishing expectations early and often
  • Creating well-documented procedures
  • Maintaining realistic expectations around attending meetings and responding to after-hours work emails and texts.

By addressing common misunderstandings and providing clear goals, trust can be reinforced, and employees will feel supported in their remote work environment.

Fostering a culture of accountability

For remote teams to thrive, a culture of accountability is indispensable. This can be achieved by monitoring progress, offering constructive feedback, and recognizing accomplishments.

Utilizing project management tools such as whiteboards during meetings or brainstorming sessions can help track progress, ensuring projects stay on track and remote employees remain focused.

Navigating time zone differences

Time Zone Differences

Time zone differences are among the most common challenges when managing remote teams. Coordinating meetings and effective communication across different time zones can be daunting.

Overcoming these challenges calls for effective management of meetings, deadlines, and workflows to ensure smooth collaboration.

Scheduling meetings across time zones

Arranging meetings across time zones requires finding shared availability and using scheduling tools to accommodate everyone’s needs. Tools like Doodle and Timezone Wizard can handle time zone conversions and determine the most suitable meeting time for all participants.

Recording meetings is another useful practice, allowing team members who cannot attend due to time zone disparities to catch up on what was discussed.

Managing deadlines and workflows

Managing deadlines and workflows in remote teams requires setting realistic timeframes, prioritizing tasks, and leveraging project management tools.

Tools such as, Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Hub Planner, and Microsoft Projects can help teams stay organized and on track.

Collaborative tools for remote teams with Kumospace

Kumospace is the best collaboration tool for remote teams, offering solutions for communication, collaboration, and engagement. 

With features like spatial awareness, screen sharing, document sharing, and availability status tracking, Kumospace provides a comprehensive platform to help remote teams overcome challenges and work together effectively.

Promoting work-life balance for remote employees

Promoting Work-Life Balance

The well-being and productivity of remote employees hinge on a healthy work-life balance. Promoting a healthy balance involves three key aspects: encouraging healthy boundaries, preventing burnout, and promoting engagement.

Encouraging healthy boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries for remote employees involves setting clear expectations, respecting personal time, and modeling work-life balance. Managers should communicate expectations clearly, establish deadlines, and provide constructive feedback to ensure that employees understand their roles and responsibilities.

Respecting personal time and promoting work-life balance help create a supportive and productive remote work environment with flexible work hours, as opposed to a traditional office environment.

Preventing burnout

Preventing burnout is pivotal for the well-being and productivity of remote employees. Regular check-ins, offering support, and encouraging self-care practices are essential in preventing burnout. By addressing employees’ needs and concerns, managers can create a secure environment for open communication and connection, reducing the risk of burnout.

Promoting productivity and engagement

Providing resources, fostering a sense of belonging, and celebrating achievements are key to promoting productivity and engagement in remote teams.

Resources like Kumospace can help employees manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when working in physical office spaces, leading to increased engagement and satisfaction.

Maintaining company culture in remote teams

Maintaining Company Culture

The success of remote teams is significantly influenced by the company culture. Maintaining it requires defining and communicating values, encouraging collaboration, and supporting employee growth.

Defining and communicating company values

Sharing mission statements, setting examples, and integrating values into daily operations are crucial in defining and communicating company values in remote teams. Utilizing multiple communication channels and storytelling can help disseminate mission statements effectively and ensure everyone is aligned with the company’s core values.

Encouraging collaboration and team building

Encouraging collaboration and team building in remote teams necessitates creating opportunities for informal interactions, virtual team-building activities, and fostering a sense of community.

Virtual coffee breaks, team lunches, and online games are just a few examples of activities that can help remote team members bond and work together effectively.

Supporting employee growth and development

Providing equal opportunities, regular check-ins, and investing in skill development are vital to support employee growth and development in remote teams. Managers should:

Adapting leadership styles for remote management

Adapting Leadership Styles

Successfully leading remote teams requires an adaptation of leadership styles for remote team management. Embracing empathy, providing feedback, and developing remote management skills are key aspects of effective remote leadership.

Embracing empathy and flexibility

Embracing empathy and flexibility in remote management involves understanding individual needs, offering support, and adapting to changing circumstances. By actively listening to team members’ needs and concerns, managers can create a safe space for open and honest communication, fostering trust and understanding.

Developing remote management skills

Developing remote management skills requires continuous learning, seeking feedback, and leveraging resources like Kumospace. By honing these skills, remote managers can effectively lead their teams and overcome the unique challenges of managing remote work.


In conclusion, managing remote teams effectively requires building trust, navigating time zone differences, promoting work-life balance, maintaining company culture, and adapting leadership styles. By implementing the strategies and insights shared in this ultimate guide, you can empower your remote teams to overcome challenges and achieve success in today’s increasingly connected world.

Frequently asked questions

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Headshot for Drew Moffitt
Drew Moffitt

Drew leads marketing at Kumospace. Prior to joining Kumospace, he spent his career founding and operating businesses. His work has been featured in over 50 publications. Outside of work, Drew is an avid skier and sailor. A wholehearted extrovert, he organizes VentureSails, a series of networking events for founders and tech investors.

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