5 Challenges of Managing Remote Employees (and How to Overcome Them)

by Amy Bridgewater

Having a remote team was not a common thing before. It became a new norm just a few years ago. The companies who have not thought about it are surprised to know that they can get things done with the employees working from home. 

Since the pandemic, remote working has been the only way to keep the company going. After that, now employees prefer to work both in-house and remote. On one hand, it is possible to do the task while not present at the office, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. When you are in charge of a remote workforce, everything becomes a little more challenging.

We will look at the 5 challenges that remote team leaders typically experience when managing a remote team. Aside from that, we’ll look into various solutions to the problems.


1. Communication 

While communication is essential, it is also a difficult aspect of managing remote teams. It is tough for managers to engage all remote employees. Employees don’t always keep you up-to-date on their tasks and progress. As a result, as a manager, you may be clueless for a while. 

It’s impossible to always maintain open communication when a team is working remotely. You can’t see how much actual work has been done, unlike in an office. Employees can provide you with incorrect information about a task, causing it to take longer to complete. Aside from that, improper communication on both ends makes it harder to get the intended objective.

How to overcome it? 

To eliminate such uncertainty, when employees leave you wondering about task updates you can develop a separate communication channel.  You can use a communication tool to allow employees to communicate easily about a certain task.

This two-way communication has been quite beneficial to me. One by one, the personnel provide updates on their tasks. When employees are responsible, it not only makes the entire task easy and less stressful, but it also makes it manageable. Reduce the formality of your conversation by using a fast messaging app instead of email to get to the point.


 2. Company culture

A company’s values are reflected in its culture. The culture was easy to create in the past when the work paradigm was traditional and people came to the office every day for 5 consecutive days. 

In a remote team, however, this is not the case. This is the second challenge that has led you to believe that remote teams are unmanageable. It is simple to manage a remote team if the culture encourages open communication. Apart from that, if there is no response from the employees, it remains a struggle.

How to overcome it?

To create a good work culture for the remote team, a plan is required. I recommend spending as much time as possible interacting with remote personnel. Bring your entire team on board. Every associated person, from the top to the bottom, must communicate with a remote team. 

It will not only make remote employees feel valued, but it will also elevate them to the status of in-house employees.

Include the remote worker in fun activities as well. Schedule weekly and monthly meetings with employees to learn about the problems they are having and how the work should be allocated to attain the best results.


3. Meeting schedule difficulty 

It is a typical difficulty, especially if your workforce is spread globally. Because the time zones differ, it’s difficult to plan a meeting that allows all employees to present at the same time. As a team, you must bring everyone together to keep everyone informed and involved.

How to overcome it?

To solve scheduling challenges. Try finding a time that is suitable for everyone by giving them alternative options. Though you won’t be able to accommodate everyone, it will undoubtedly require greater coordination. 

However, to make sure no one should feel left out, the meetings can be recorded and shared. It will assist staff in better understanding the current scenario. 


4. Track working hours 

We’re used to managers hovering around the office now and then, checking on the team’s and individual’s progress. They can look around and see the employee’s everyday performance with a glance. If you have a remote team, this is not the case. This is the most prevalent and frequent problem. You may be completely uninformed of the task’s progress. It’s also possible that employees inform you that they’re working when, in fact, they aren’t. It will become increasingly difficult to keep track of when your staff is working.

How to overcome it? 

To avoid such occurrences, consider utilizing an hours monitoring tool that allows employees to update their work hours. If you have a hybrid team (5 Ways to Manage a Hybrid Team), make an effort to communicate with everyone about their performance and productivity. Get to know your teammates a little better.


5. Lack of focus and distraction 

Working from home provides convenience and ease. You are not obliged to sit in one position for more than 8 to 9 hours. The distractions at home, though, are a problem for most remote workers. Aside from that, when you operate in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere rather than a formal office after a while, you will undoubtedly lose focus.

How to overcome it?

To overcome the distraction, a manager can determine the hours during which the employee can make the most of it. If distractions are unavoidable, recommend that staff develop better time management skills. Employees will be less stressed and able to finish duties at more flexible hours.















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Amy Bridgewater is a renowned Marketing Consultant, working with businesses to increase their online visibility and expand their customer base. Join Amy’s community to grow as an entrepreneur.

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