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8 Tips for Managing Remote Teams Year Round

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Remote work has become a common practice for many organizations. With the advent of advanced technology and the growing demand for work-life balance, managing remote teams has become essential for businesses worldwide.

To this end, Acacia Learning recognizes the significance of effective remote team management and aims to provide valuable insights and strategies to enhance productivity and collaboration.

In this blog post, we will explore eight practical tips for managing remote teams year-round, drawing inspiration from industry experts and best practices.

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels

People Managing People confirm that effective communication is the foundation of successful remote team management. To ensure clarity and transparency, establish clear communication channels for team members. To facilitate real-time communication, it is best to utilize tools like:

  • Email,
  • Instant messaging platforms,
  • Project management software

Additionally, encourage regular check-ins and provide opportunities for virtual face-to-face meetings to maintain strong team connections.

2. Set Clear Goals and Expectations:

As highlighted by Forbes, setting clear goals and expectations is crucial for remote teams. By implementing SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and regularly communicating them, managers can align their remote employees' efforts with the team's objectives. Indeed, providing a clear roadmap empowers remote employees to take ownership of their work and achieve desired outcomes.


For instance, let's consider a scenario where a remote team is responsible for developing a new marketing campaign. Instead of setting a vague goal like "increase brand awareness," a SMART goal would be: "Increase website traffic by 20% within the next quarter through targeted social media campaigns and content marketing efforts."

Here's how the SMART goal benefits both remote employees and managers in this scenario:

  • Clarity and Focus: The specific target of increasing website traffic by 20% provides a focused direction, eliminating any ambiguity about the desired outcome. This clarity enables remote employees to align their efforts and prioritize tasks accordingly.

  • Measurable Progress: By monitoring website traffic regularly, remote employees can make data-driven adjustments if needed. Managers can also provide feedback based on concrete metrics, fostering a performance-driven culture within the remote team.

  • Achievable and Realistic Expectations: A 20% increase in website traffic within a quarter might be challenging but feasible with the right strategies. This prevents remote employees from feeling overwhelmed by unattainable objectives, promoting a sense of motivation and confidence in their abilities.

  • Alignment with Organizational Objectives: Increasing website traffic aligns with the marketing department's overall strategy and the company's growth objectives. Remote employees understand the significance of their contributions and how they contribute to the organization's success.

  • Time-Bound Deadlines: The quarterly timeline creates a sense of urgency and helps remote employees manage their time effectively. Managers can monitor progress throughout the quarter, providing timely support and guidance when needed.

By using SMART goals, managers can effectively communicate expectations and empower remote employees to take ownership of their work. Additionally, the framework offers managers a practical tool for performance evaluation and a basis for providing constructive feedback. As a result, the remote team becomes more focused, motivated, and aligned, leading to increased productivity and successful goal achievement.


3. Foster Trust and Autonomy:

Forbes also emphasizes the importance of trust and autonomy in managing remote teams. Micromanagement can hinder productivity and demotivate remote employees. Therefore, managers should empower their team members to take ownership of their work, focusing on outcomes rather than the process. To do this, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Create an environment of trust within remote teams by demonstrating transparency and clear
  • Empower your team members by giving them autonomy over their work.
  • Avoid micromanagement and focus on outcomes rather than the process.
  • Trust that your remote employees can deliver results independently.
  • Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and mutual respect to build strong professional relationships.


4. Implement Effective Project Management Tools:

To enhance productivity and streamline workflow,

By leveraging project management tools such as Trello, Asana, or, remote teams can experience several benefits:

  • Streamlined Communication
  • Enhanced Task Assignment and Tracking
  • Improved Collaboration
  • Increased Accountability
  • Efficient Resource Management
  • Data-Driven Decision Making

According to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) 2020 Pulse of the Profession® report,  organizations that invest in project management technology have a higher project success rate, with 77% of projects meeting their original goals and business intent. This statistic highlights the positive impact that project management tools can have on project outcomes and overall business success, especially for remote teams.

5. Encourage Virtual Team Building Activities:

Remote work can sometimes feel isolating, so it's essential to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among team members. Encourage virtual team building activities such as:

  • Icebreaker games
  • Virtual coffee breaks
  • Team challenges

These activities promote social interaction, strengthen bonds, and create a positive team culture despite physical distances, as confirmed by We Work Remotely.

6. Prioritize Work-Life Balance:

Managing remote teams means recognizing the importance of work-life balance. Encourage your team members to establish boundaries between work and personal life. Respect their schedules and provide flexibility when possible. Promote self-care and stress the significance of maintaining a healthy work-life integration to prevent burnout and maintain long-term productivity.

Acacia Learning also recognizes the importance of work-life balance, as emphasized by HBS. By encouraging remote team members to establish boundaries between work and personal life and providing flexibility, when possible, managers can support their employees' well-being and prevent burnout.


7.Provide Ongoing Support and Professional Development:

Remote team members, like any other employees, require support and opportunities for professional growth. Offer regular feedback, coaching, and mentoring sessions to help individuals develop their skills and overcome challenges. Provide access to online training programs, webinars, or workshops relevant to their roles. Demonstrating a commitment to their growth fosters engagement, loyalty, and continuous improvement.

For remote team members, receiving regular feedback, coaching, and mentoring sessions, as well as access to online training programs, webinars, or workshops, offers several advantages:

  • Skill Enhancement
  • Increased Engagement and Motivation
  • Improved Job Performance
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Career Advancement Opportunities

From a management perspective, offering support and opportunities for professional growth to remote team members yields the following benefits:

  • Retention of Top Talent
  • Development of Future Leaders
  • Increased Team Productivity
  • Positive Organizational Culture
  • Adaptive and Resilient Teams

Thus, providing support and opportunities for professional growth benefits both remote team members and management. It empowers remote employees to enhance their skills, boost engagement, and achieve career advancement. For managers, it leads to improved team performance, talent retention, and the cultivation of future leaders. Emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and development within remote teams is a winning strategy for creating a thriving and successful virtual workforce.


8. Embrace Cultural Diversity and Inclusion:

Embracing diversity and inclusion within remote teams is a critical aspect of effective team management, as highlighted in Diversity and Inclusion in Talent Management: Creating a Thriving and Representative Workforce. Remote teams often consist of individuals from various cultural backgrounds and time zones. That’s why it’s important for managers to work with HR and their teams to embrace diversity and inclusion by creating an environment that values different perspectives and experiences.

By promoting cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity within the team, remote managers can bridge cultural gaps and encourage open communication. Creating opportunities for team members to learn about each other's cultures and traditions fosters mutual respect and empathy, building a cohesive and harmonious remote team.

Incorporating the principles of diversity and inclusion also involves accommodating different working styles and schedules. Recognizing that team members may have varying preferences for how they work best allows managers to tailor workflows and communication strategies accordingly. This flexibility not only enhances productivity but also supports individual well-being and work-life integration.

By creating an inclusive remote team environment, managers can tap into the diverse perspectives and ideas that each team member brings to the table. This diversity of thought often leads to more innovative solutions and creative problem-solving, driving the team's overall success.

Moreover, a focus on diversity and inclusion enhances employee satisfaction and engagement within remote teams. When team members feel valued and respected for their unique contributions, they are more likely to be motivated and committed to the team's goals.


Managing remote teams requires intentional strategies and a proactive approach. By implementing these eight tips including clear communication, goal alignment, trust, and support, managers can create a thriving remote work environment.

Furthermore, by embracing technology and fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, businesses can harness the full potential of their remote teams and achieve long-term success in today's evolving work landscape. Thus, incorporating these tips can assist managers in effectively managing remote teams year-round.

Download your LIVE online CMI course. now and embark on a transformative journey to becoming a highly proficient manager of remote teams.