Engaging with and motivating remote employees as well as creating a true team atmosphere is no easy feat. Team members don’t have the opportunity to learn from each other’s in-person behaviors nor can they witness office protocol first-hand when there is no regular in-person team interaction. Without the water cooler effect of office life, individuals end up operating in their own silos with the result being increased loneliness (by 67%), a lack of connection (94% agree), and feeling like they don’t truly belong (40%).

Conversely, when an employee feels connected and like they belong there is a whopping 56% increase in job performance. With no end in sight to remote working, creating cohesion should be top priority for anyone in management. To create a high-performance remote team, a manager should work to overcome these three issues: communication, isolation, a lack of supervision. 

The Issue of Communication

First, let’s look at the art of communication. It’s important that managers set a standard for communication during the hiring process and then stay consistent thereafter. For quick interactions, text chats are fine, video calls are usually best for real-time collaboration. Communicating remotely through a medium like Zoom is better than just email because it allows employees to see a manager’s expression and hear voice intonation. However, just telling someone what to do isn’t enough. To be truly effective at creating a high-performance there needs to be more nuance in management style.  

Most importantly managers should get to know each of the employees well enough that they can communicate with each in a way that resonates with them. For example, verbal instructions only really work for auditory learners, so they should always be followed up with written communication. Preferably through email, where employees can return as needed to that documentation.  

Communication is also important as a means of making remote workers feel connected to their team members. Since they are not in the office on a regular basis, they can miss out on important conversations and updates that happen in the moment.  Keep your teams organized with project management tools and access to a secure cloud. And make sure to regularly check-in and hold team meetings and one-on-one sessions to keep everyone informed, address concerns, and foster collaboration. 

The Issue of Isolation

Now, let’s talk about isolation. Remote employees like the work-life balance that comes from working remotely. However, they often feel isolated because they miss out on the social interaction and sense of community that comes with working in an office environment. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and eventually burnout. Helping remote workers feel connected to their team and the organization at large is crucial to keeping them happy, engaged, and productive.  

As we’ve said before, team members who get to know each other well and find commonality have the best opportunity to become a high-performing team. To help them do this, managers should encourage social time for the team. If they are part-time remote and come into the office occasionally, organize outings or in-office meals where team members can come together socially for some downtime.  

If they are completely remote, encourage social hours over Zoom. You could also host a once-a-week hour for people to trade stories around a particular theme like where they grew up and what they liked to do as a kid or what their first job was and what they learned from it. The more teammates get to know each other, the more they will understand why teammates show up at work the way they do.  

A Lack of Supervision

Last, let’s look at a lack of supervision. Remote work requires a higher level of autonomy, so it’s important to provide your team with a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and the expected outcomes. And yet, some remote workers may feel less supervised and accountable for their work, leading to decreased productivity and quality of work.  

A manager must consider the strengths and struggles of each teammate and provide the correct amount of supervision without micromanaging. Breaking down larger projects into smaller milestones and setting realistic deadlines will be really helpful. Regularly reviewing progress, providing feedback, and offering support when needed are important for the entire team. But it is imperative for those that need a little more structure.   


In summary, managers have three important issues to overcome as they manage remote teams: communication, isolation, and a lack of supervision. And as stated, there are ways to accomplish this. It’s also important to remember that each remote team will have a certain dynamic and specific needs, so a manager must learn to adapt their management style accordingly. Regularly seek feedback from team members to ensure that the strategies and approaches implemented are effective and actually address their unique circumstances. Doing so will help to ensure everyone is aligned and working toward becoming a high-performance team. 

If you’d like your managers to build high-performance teams, contact us today! We offer a fantastic management training program based on DiSC theory.

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