4 Tips for Leading Remote Teams as a Tech Manager

4 Tips for Leading Remote Teams as a Tech Manager

Managing a team in person is challenging, but leading a remote team presents even more obstacles. Here's how managers can set their employees up for success while working from home. 

By this time, teams have adjusted to working from home and hopefully seen the benefits of it. One major advantage of leading a remote team as a tech manager is that you can rely on your employees to maintain - and in many cases - increase productivity. According to a recent survey of remote employees, knowledge workers, software developers, and IT professionals are all more productive when they work from home. This was true both at small and medium businesses and large companies (over 500 employees). 


By shifting the entire workforce to remote, companies are saving substantially more to accommodate other areas that are taking economic hits. Businesses that offer remote flexibility save money and see an increase employee morale.  Employers offering at least part-time telecommuting can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter each year.  This new flexibility not only saves money, but also increases employee satisfaction and retention. 

As a tech leader, here's how you can maximize your team's productivity and establish effective communication practices.  

Listen to our webcast: How to Mobilize a Remote Workforce for best
practices on implementing a virtual on-boarding experience.

Tips for Leading a Remote Team

1. Establish New Metrics for Success

Because employers can no longer track employee activity in the office, the ability to adapt to the change in environment is important. Outlining new and measurable metrics can help shift the focus to overall accomplishments, rather than level of activity. Remote workers are 20% more likely to say they complete all their daily tasks every or most days. This new shift in employee value could provide powerful insight into how you can improve business functions and processes by innovating the way things are run.

2. Manage Expectations & Provide Clarity

Some employees may feel uncertain about their projects and in need of further clarification from their manager. Daily team updates are a simple way of letting everyone know what they should be focusing on and what is expected of them. Based on the new metrics you've outlined, establish daily KPIs that are both realistic and achievable without manager oversight. 

3. Communicate & Be Responsive

According to recent data from RescueTime, remote workers had a 4% increase in average daily time spent on their core work and an 18% decrease in time spent on communication (compared to office workers).

These studies have found that teams are more productive when they communicate in bursts followed by periods of isolation for focused work.

Set your employees up with the necessary communication tools they need to stay connected online. Establish routine check-ins and schedule virtual happy hours to encourage your team members to keep in touch in a more casual manner. If an employee has children or sick family members they need to care for, be accommodating of their time and situation. Checking in on your employees shows that you care about them and increases retention. 

Read: Virtual Interview Tips You Can Implement Now As an Employer

4. Adapt & Innovate

One thing history has proven is that humans adapt to survive and, likewise, so do most industries. In times of uncertainty and chaos, weaknesses within a company will reveal themselves, often forcing management to step in and make necessary changes. Some of the greatest innovations were created out of the necessity to adapt during crises. Ask yourself, "how can my company improve its current product, systems, or processes?"

Learn More: 2020 Industry Insights on Hiring Trends & Remote Work

Remote Management Resources

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