The extent to which our lives have changed since the onset of the pandemic is beyond measure. This unexpected situation demanded that businesses, managers, and human resource departments of organizations be flexible, inclusive, considerate, and supportive of their employees. Here came the rise of the remote working model. To accommodate this, Companies had to think outside the box to manage their newly constituted remote teams.

Creating policies for remote work, managing resources required for remote teams, and ensuring employees are able to adapt to the new work regime was an overwhelming task. However, today several companies have learned the trick and are surviving this transition exceptionally well, rather than mastering it well.  

We at GoodFirms had no new privilege during the Pandemic. All our meetings had to be shifted digitally, remote working went in full swing, hiring went online, project discussions happened via applications using multiple devices, and we left no stone unturned to run the business. Although the situation has returned to normalcy today, GoodFirms is continuing with this model.

At GoodFirms, half of our employees are split across multiple geographies and time zones working for us. Though not a ‘remote first’ company, we have managed to create a flawless system to run our operations entirely on a remote basis if required. Thanks to the foresight of our management team, we have been proactive in sensing the future of work quite before the coronavirus disruption compelled even the most rigid organizations to go the remote way. 

Much of our excellence and ease in managing remote workers come from our strategic decisions that envisioned hybrid workforces as indispensable for our organization. 

Below are some of our time-tested tips from GoodFirms for managing remote teams: 

Tip 1: Focus on Work Collaboration and Keep Communication Asynchronous

No matter how hard you try, keeping communication synchronized is not realistic when it comes to remote work. With multiple time zones and disruptions caused due to location-based elements, it is not possible to embrace synchronous communication. 

Also, when people work from home, the permutations and combinations change drastically from an office environment. There are kids around, your grandparent may need you to go to get medicine, your neighbour can come home for something urgent, and you may have visits from plumbers, an AC repair mechanic, etc. 

Even going for surveillance exercises by taking screenshots and monitoring screen activity have a limited scope. Though time-tracking tools can keep productivity levels up, complete reliance on these can be a fallacy. 

We came up with a rational solution. 

While we still installed surveillance tools, we gave our employees the flexibility to utilize their time as they deemed fit. For unproductive sessions and idle time outs, employees can always mention the reason in their time tracking tool. 

The disruptions and time-outs have no consequence, and we only count the total working hours in the end. If employees are not able to complete their minimum hours for the day, they have the flexibility to complete them anytime in the month. 

Also, we focused on collaboration tools more than time trackers. With project management tools, we can actually monitor actual work progress (output) rather than time-worked (input). 

Tip 2: Plan Activities for Remote Workers

The psychological effects of working from home vary from person to person. People who choose to work remotely to avoid daily commute/traffic issues, fulfil their family responsibilities, and reduce workplace distractions remain happier when working remotely. While those who are forced to work remotely due to shutdowns offices, lockdowns, and other issues generally crave office environments. 

Effects and sense of satisfaction with remote work may vary, but ultimately there comes a time when remote workers feel the need for company, interaction, and fun. 

GoodFirms understands that whether you are sitting in a cubicle all day or at home, you are bound to feel bored and your energy levels can hit low due to a monotonous routine. Blurred boundaries of personal and professional life at home, along with demanding work schedules and counter demands from family, can cause much stress to the employees. 

GoodFirms has mastered the art of rescuing the team from unwanted work-related stress. 

Dedication and innovation, when combined, always bring a win-win situation. The same happened with our HR team. Even while working from home, GoodFirms’ HR team worked creatively to offer exceptional employee experiences. From planning fun activities, games, interactive sessions, and even an online ramp show to encouraging our remote workers to participate in all festivities (yes, our secret Santa gifts to remote workers are a big hit ) and company events, we ensure all remote employees get a chance to forget their stress and enjoy these moments. 

For uninterrupted participation, we ensured all remote employees get the best headsets, proper home office setup, high-speed internet, and free time outs. 

Tip 3: Don’t Micromanage Rather Assist your Employees:

Heard the popular dictum: People Don’t Leave Their Jobs, They Leave Toxic Managers. True, dictums are created for a  reason. Most organizations live under the constant fear that their remote workers may be moonlighting, working on other things, or in the worst situation –may not be working at all. This notion leads them to push their managers for micromanagement. When this happens, your employees feel they are not valued or trusted. 

GoodFirms believe in trusting the employees 

Our managers indulge only when assistance is sought, or guidance is inevitable, and yet our employees are the ones in control over their assigned projects, and their work rhythm is seldom disturbed by unwarranted interruptions from the managers. As a forward-thinking organization, we never compromise our employees’ autonomy. 

Our managers prefer asking employees about their well-being, their issues, and any assistance they require from the company. Work productivity is a byproduct of such care and trust. 

Tip 4: Mitigate the Silos and Eliminate the Iron Curtain

Remote employees may feel the silo effect where they may feel information reaches them late or doesn’t even reach them at all. GoodFirms’ remote work management is exceptional. We make sure any changes in deadlines, office policy, resources, meeting time, client preferences, products, service changes, etc., are communicated to remote employees and office staff simultaneously, and the remote teams also have access to real-time happenings in the organization. 

Not only do we take care of the timely dissemination of information, but we also ensure ‘accessibility.’ Our employees don’t feel isolated, as their supervisors, project managers, and senior management are just messages or calls away. 

Our transparent and feel-free communication system encourages employees to contact their coworkers and managers anytime they need. 

Tip 5: Invest in Communication, Collaboration, and AI-based Tools 

Miscommunication is the primary reason for misunderstanding.  While most managers may assume their instructions imply what workers need to do, it may be an erroneous folly on the part of the manager. Implicit communication doesn’t work when you manage a remote team. Explicit communication and updates are critical for remote setups. 

At GoodFirms, we have invested in remote working software such as video conferencing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Document sharing software, Task management software, end-point security solutions, and messaging tools. 

Even employees who work from the office can slack off if the organization and its hierarchy fail to communicate expectations and deadlines properly. The tools mentioned above help keep our employees in the loop of all necessary communication and updates. 

Tip 6: Objective Performance Evaluation and Feedback 

An outcome-based evaluation is preferable over a time-based evaluation. One should also consider exceptional parameters and critical incidents and remove any prejudicial instances while evaluating remote work performances. 

GoodFirms has clearly defined metrics for evaluating remote workers and office workers. No differentiation is made for performance evaluation between the office and remote workers. Both types of workers are evaluated on metrics such as schedule adherence for deadlines, specification and guidelines following adherence, client satisfaction achieved, peer ratings, personal and team development demonstration, quality and quantity of output, willingness to learn, team membership, and overall role in organizational growth. 

Tip 7: Training Remote Employees is Critical 

Training remote employees ensure that all workers have the right knowledge, tools, and skills to perform their job competently. Training increases employee retention, ensures clarity of job expectations and processes, increases productivity and deliverables and refreshes employees’ skills. At GoodFirms, we have two models for efficient employee training

  • Synchronous learning: All employees participate simultaneously via video sessions 
  • Asynchronous learning: Sending learning materials to individual remote workers for self-paced learning. 

We provide training for specific work profiles, cybersecurity, company culture, soft skills, and onboarding (for new recruits). We also provide extensive training for handling technical issues that may come up while working with remote devices, networks, and software apps. 

Tip 8: Unanswered Notifications: Not a Big Deal

If your remote employees are constantly under pressure to prove their desk presence by immediately answering message notifications, or feel anxious if they missed a chat and it went unanswered for more than a few minutes, then you may have failed to create a healthy remote work culture. 

Situations like these evolve when the work culture favours in-office workers, and remote workers are looked down upon. In such cultures, remote workers are always worried about their worth and often undertake futile attempts to show that they are working. 

At GoodFirms, we are committed to providing employees with personal space. Our employees are not questioned for any minor delay in answering message notifications or inability to pick up calls. Rather, most of our communication is pre-planned; therefore, employees are available for scheduled calls. 

Tip 9: Handling Burnouts

Even in remote setups, employees may end up doing extensive work, extending beyond their work hours, and the overwhelming work can cause employee burnout. Burnout may hamper employees’ ability to concentrate, cause sickness, lower motivation, and increase frustration. 

GoodFirms’ remote teams are encouraged to take breaks and refreshment time outs on a regular basis. We have also automated most of the daily operations to reduce employee workloads.  Our managers don’t mail or message on weekends. This is a message to all remote employees that weekends are no work days.  

We also promote employees’ personal creative activities, hobbies, and other interests that make them happy. We also closely monitor our remote teams to detect job fatigue and burnout symptoms.

Tip 10: Create an Inclusive Work Environment

Culturally inclusive organizations consider every employee’s diverse cultural background to reduce communication barriers. Inclusive work environments are conducive to organizational growth and employee well-being. An inclusive workplace creates a sense of belonging and value for employees. 

As we work with multiple locations encompassing multiple geographies, we are very sensitive to cultural aspects in the workplace. GoodFirms’ managers never use slang, colloquial language, or sarcasm that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted by any remote team member. We also try to follow etiquette norms respective to each country. We embrace, value, and respect all cultures and the diversity they bring to our organization. 


Managing remote work is still challenging for many businesses, supervisors, and HRs. Even for employees, the autonomy that comes with remote work can be overwhelming. With a lack of nonverbal cues in remote work environments, feelings of isolation, and blurred boundaries between home and office, remote employees can apparently inhibit an entirely different behaviour from what is expected in a physical office environment. At times, managers may tend to lose patience, and unwanted situations may arise. Communicating, and practising a healthy work culture whether remote or at the office is the right approach. 

Therefore, the tips discussed in this article that are widely practised by GoodFirms will help you manage your teams efficiently and effectively. While remote work can bring multiple advantages to businesses, its success depends on how organizations structure the processes to make the transition smooth for employees. Engaged, motivated, and happy employees will be more productive in remote work setups, and businesses that want to ensure output and performance need to learn how to manage remote workers in a better way.