How to Effectively Manage A Remote Workforce?

Drake Editorial

Person working remotely


Enabling your business to operate remotely provides access to talented individuals outside of your local area and reduces operating expenses by eliminating the need for physical office space. Several studies over the past few months show productivity while working remotely from home is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home are 47% more productive


The key question for most of us who are now leading teams remotely, is how do you do it well? You must select the right team, utilise essential tools, set goals and have some robust systems in place.

When recruiting, look at culture fit and soft skills

Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, encompass skills like creativity, adaptability and decision-making. These skills are crucial to any workplace, but when paired with remote work, they become invaluable. It’s also important when looking for staff to explore the alignment of company values with the individual’s own values.  This typically results in new team members becoming part of your team quicker, being happier in their new role, staying longer and becoming brand ambassadors.

Invest in a project management tool

Real-time project management is critical to the success of a remote workforce. Cloud-based software, such as ASANA, Trello, and Monday.com are just some of the tools which allow you to manage and organise projects, create tasks and calendars, and monitor productivity. These tools ensure that employees stay on track with reminders of upcoming tasks, projects, and deadlines.

Regular face-to-face virtual meetings 

93% of communication is non-verbal and can easily be misinterpreted if sent via email or a chat. Face-to-face interaction is important, and with tools like Skype and Microsoft Teams, it is easy to connect with remote employees. While email and text messaging are convenient, they lack the nonverbal communication that is essential for effective communication.  Regular virtual meetings with cameras on are key! 

Set goals that focus on the end result 

Trust is fundamental in any workplace, and it can be challenging to establish and maintain with remote employees. Instead of focusing on time-tracking where teams are logging hours, which can signal mistrust, adopt a management by objectives (MBO) approach. This approach emphasizes goals and results and provides motivation for employees to achieve them.  By having clear targets and expectations, the team understands what the goals for performance are. 

Build culture

Company culture should not be neglected in a remote environment. Building a remote office culture starts before your new team member ever logs in with a strong and robust onboarding program. Team members also need to feel valued.  Include individuals in decision-making, recognise achievements and provide a path to career growth opportunities all help build a positive culture, as well as some team-building activities online.  

A remote workforce is as or more effective than an office-based team. Trust, communication, robust recruitment, project management, and camaraderie are keys to success. Embracing a remote workforce can provide a competitive advantage and access to a wider pool of talented individuals. Today with most candidates wanting remote or hybrid work, with more control over their day, no commute and a desire for a greater work-life balance, employers will need to continue to finetune their remote management skills to further improve on productivity and cohesive teams. 

If you are looking to recruit and need our expert recruitment team to assist, contact Drake International today. 



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