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18 Ideas to Change How Your Remote Team Works

18 Ideas to Change How Your Remote Team Works

Table of Content

Ever wondered how you could make your remote team work more effectively? You're not alone. With the rising trend of remote work, the need for effective strategies to manage distributed teams is more pressing than ever.

Through this discussion, you'll discover 18 transformative ideas to enhance your team's productivity, communication, and overall performance. From mastering the art of candor to leveraging the latest tools, we're going to unravel the secrets of successful remote team management.

So, ready to shake things up and take your remote team to new heights of efficiency? Let's get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Candor and open communication are essential for effective remote team collaboration.
  • Hiring and onboarding processes should focus on finding the right talent and fostering a sense of belonging from the start.
  • Gratitude and generosity can help create a positive and supportive remote team culture.
  • Utilizing the right tools and strategies can enhance remote team performance and productivity.

18 Ideas That Will Change The Way Your Remote Team Works

If you're ready to transform the way your remote team operates, start by emphasizing the importance of candor in all forms of communication. Candor is the key that unlocks effective communication and strengthens bonds within your team. It's essential to bridge the psychological distance that can creep in when working remotely. This isn't a small feat, it requires extra effort and commitment.

Hiring and onboarding are also crucial elements that can significantly change the way your remote team works. It's not just about finding the right talent, but also ensuring they align with the team culture. The transition into a remote team should be smooth and thoughtful, setting the stage for success from the start.

Also, don't underestimate the power of gratitude and generosity within your remote team. Encourage peer-to-peer thank you notes and engage your team in virtual charity events. This not only fosters a culture of generosity but also boosts morale.


When navigating the virtual landscape of remote work, it's vital to recognize that communication is the lifeblood of your team's success. Effective communication is the backbone of how your remote team works, enabling you to overcome barriers like psychological distance. It's not just about sharing information; it's about fostering shared understanding, promoting transparency, and building trust.

Candor is crucial. Don't let the fear of ruffling feathers prevent you from expressing your thoughts. Honest, open conversations will help everyone align their efforts and work towards a common goal.

Ensure the information flow is consistent and uninhibited. This can be achieved through regular team meetings, updates, and check-ins. It's about creating a platform where everyone feels heard and valued.

Feedback is another essential element. Establish a culture where giving and receiving feedback isn't only encouraged but also understood. This will help everyone to grow, learn, and improve.

The Lost Art of Candor In The Workplace

Building on the importance of communication, let's explore the often overlooked aspect of candor in the workplace and its significance in a remote team setting.

Candor, the quality of being open and honest, is a crucial element for effective communication, particularly in a remote team where information flow should be uninhibited and consistent.

You might've noticed that psychological distance can be a challenge for your remote team. Given the lack of physical proximity, misunderstandings can easily sprout and thrive. That's why it's vital to foster a shared understanding of giving and receiving feedback. When your team masters the art of candor, it bridges this psychological distance.

However, candor is a two-way street. It's not just about being open with your feedback but also about being open to receiving it. It's about understanding that it's all geared towards the collective success of the team.

3 Hidden Keys to Successful Communication As a Remote Team

Navigating the landscape of remote communication may seem daunting, but understanding the hidden keys can significantly enhance your team's interaction and productivity. One of these keys is fostering open and candid communication. Encourage your remote team to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns freely. This not only builds trust but also leads to successful communication.

Another crucial aspect is developing a shared understanding of feedback. Work on minimizing psychological barriers which could hinder open dialogue. Remember, effective communication isn't about being critical but constructive.

Writing also plays a pivotal role in remote communication. It's essential to ensure clarity and convey the intended tone in emails and messages. Misinterpretations can lead to confusion, so it's advisable to invest time in crafting clear messages.

Effective meeting management is another key to successful communication. By implementing strategies that promote collaboration, you'll make the best use of your team's time.

Lastly, don't overlook the power of kindness and informal interactions. Virtual team bonding can build a supportive remote team culture, further promoting successful communication.

Buffer's Virtual Water Cooler: How We Connect, Celebrate and Have Fun as a Remote Team

Let's dive into how Buffer's Virtual Water Cooler boosts remote team engagement and camaraderie through activities like shared reading and light-hearted HipChat discussions. This virtual space provides a platform for Buffer's employees to connect on a more personal level, replicating the spontaneous interactions that would usually occur in a physical office.

As a member of a remote team, imagine starting your day with a friendly chat or a funny anecdote, shared in the Virtual Water Cooler. This not only acts as a mood booster but also fosters a sense of belonging.

The shared reading initiative, on the other hand, promotes continuous learning and intellectual stimulation. It's much more than just exchanging book recommendations; it's about collectively expanding knowledge and inviting diverse perspectives.

Moreover, the HipChat discussions keep the communication lines open, allowing team members to share ideas, ask questions, or just engage in casual banter. It's these little things that make a big difference in building a vibrant remote team culture.

6 Tips for Communicating Effectively with Remote Teams

After exploring the engaging aspects of Buffer's Virtual Water Cooler, it's equally important to examine how you can communicate effectively within your remote team. To do so, consider these tips for communicating effectively with remote teams.

Firstly, promote a culture of honesty and openness. This means encouraging team members to share thoughts, ideas, and concerns freely.

Secondly, balance the use of synchronous and asynchronous communication channels. This ensures everyone stays connected, informed, and doesn't feel overwhelmed by constant communication.

It's also crucial to check in regularly with your team. This not only helps you address any issues promptly but also shows your team that you care about their well-being.

Additionally, set clear communication norms and expectations. This could include guidelines on response times, preferred communication channels, and the appropriate use of each. This prevents misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page.

Lastly, foster an environment where team members actively listen and show empathy during virtual meetings. This can significantly enhance understanding and collaboration within your remote team.

These tips can help you manage your remote teams more effectively and foster a productive, engaging, and inclusive work environment.

Seven Tips for Communicating with Remote Workers

Building effective communication with remote workers can be a game-changer in managing remote teams; let's delve into seven crucial tips to achieve this.

First, use candor. Be open in your dealings to foster trust and respect. This straightforwardness helps your remote team work effectively, regardless of location.

Second, ensure uninhibited and consistent information flow. Regular check-ins and updates are vital in keeping everyone on the same page. Misunderstandings can be minimized with clear, concise communication.

Third, ensure a shared understanding of feedback. Constructive criticism is key to growth. Ensure your feedback is understood and valued by your team.

Fourth, address the psychological distance. Show empathy and understanding towards your team's unique challenges. This encourages a sense of belonging and commitment.

Fifth, reduce barriers. Utilize technology to facilitate communication. From instant messaging to video conferencing, choose what best suits your team's needs.

Sixth, focus on hiring and onboarding. Ensure new hires understand their roles and expectations, this sets them up for success from the get-go.

Make Your Writing More Meaningful

Having established the importance of open and consistent communication, it's also vital to understand that making your writing more meaningful can significantly boost the effectiveness of your remote team. When your remote team works, they rely heavily on written communication. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure your messages are clear, concise, and impactful.

Firstly, clarity is key. Avoid jargon and complex language that may lead to misunderstandings. Use simple, straightforward language that everyone can understand. This not only ensures your message is understood, but also saves time for everyone involved.

Secondly, make sure your writing has a purpose. Every piece of communication should serve a function, whether it's to provide information, ask a question, or give feedback. Aim to be specific and actionable in your writing.

Lastly, show empathy. Remember, you're communicating with humans, not machines. Incorporate a personal touch and show understanding and respect for your team's emotions and perspectives. This can greatly improve team relationships and morale.

In essence, making your writing more meaningful isn't just about choosing the right words. It's about creating a genuine connection and shared understanding within your team, promoting a more effective remote work environment.

The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World

In the digital landscape of remote work, understanding the five levels of communication can significantly enhance your team's collaboration and productivity. These levels of communication are crucial for your remote team's success and should be tailored to different contexts within your work.

The first level, basic communication, involves everyday exchanges and simple tasks. It's the least personal, but it keeps the team connected.

Second comes informational communication, where you share updates, reports, or data. It's factual and usually one-way.

The third level is personal communication. Here, you share thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It fosters trust and understanding among team members.

Fourth is the empathetic level. Here, you're not just listening, but understanding and empathizing with your colleagues' perspectives.

The final level is intuitive communication. It's the most profound, where you understand your team so well that words are often unnecessary.

Tools and Strategy

To take your remote team's performance up a notch, you'll need to nail down a solid strategy and choose the right tools. Start with establishing clear communication channels. This might involve video conferencing for face-to-face interactions or chat platforms for instant messaging and quick collaboration.

But it's not just about the tools you use, it's also about how you use them. Encourage regular check-ins and updates to keep your team connected. This should be a part of your strategy. Regular interaction not only ensures everyone is on the same page, but it also helps in building team cohesion.

Training your team on effective virtual communication is another crucial part of your strategy. It's not enough for your team to just have the tools, they need to know how to use them effectively. This will enhance team interactions and boost productivity.

Why Remote Teams Are the Future (and How to Make Them Work)

After mastering the tools and strategies needed for remote work, let's explore why remote teams are the future and how you can make them work effectively.

Remote teams are the future because they offer flexibility, reduce office costs, and can tap into global talent. But to make them work, proper hiring, onboarding, and alignment with the team culture are crucial.

Eliminating geographical limitations means you can hire the best, regardless of where they live. However, this also introduces the challenge of psychological distance, which must be bridged to maintain team cohesion. Your communication strategy should be designed to reduce this distance. Clear, emotionally considerate writing is essential for conveying tone and ideas in a remote setting.

You should also take note of different communication styles. Some team members might prefer video calls, while others might thrive through written communication. Understanding and accommodating these preferences will boost your team's productivity.

In a nutshell, the future belongs to remote teams, and with the right strategies, you can make them work efficiently and effectively.

21 Months In: How to Manage a Remote Team

Managing a remote team several months in requires you to focus on mastering effective communication, refining your hiring and onboarding processes, and promoting productivity while prioritizing health and well-being.

To manage a remote team successfully, you need to ensure a seamless flow of information and foster a shared understanding of feedback.

When working remotely, careful hiring and insightful onboarding are critical. They help align new talent with your team culture and minimize the psychological barriers often associated with remote work.

Productivity is a massive part of remote work. It's about managing distractions, optimizing workspaces, and making mental health a priority. Remember, a rested team is a productive team.

Effective meetings are another key aspect. Plan meticulously, set clear objectives, and create a welcoming atmosphere to encourage participation and constructive dialogue.

10 Academic Insights on Building, Motivating, and Managing an Exceptional Team

Building on the discussion of managing remote teams, let's now explore academic insights on how to create, inspire, and effectively manage an exceptional team.

First, let's understand how remote teams work. A successful team is built on trust and open communication. Overcoming psychological distance is crucial, requiring extra effort to bridge the gap. You should ensure clear communication through emails and messages to avoid misinterpretations and convey the intended tone.

Managing meetings effectively is another vital aspect. Meticulous planning, clear objectives, and active participation are key. Remember, academic insights on building an exceptional team emphasize strategic planning and active engagement.

Motivating your team is equally imperative. Encourage acts of kindness, utilize employee resource groups, and celebrate special occasions creatively. These actions will boost team morale and cohesion, driving them to perform better.


In the realm of remote work, boosting productivity isn't just about doing more; it's about fostering a work environment that reduces psychological barriers, encourages effective communication, and prioritizes well-being.

As you navigate the way your remote team works, keep in mind that clear, precise writing is key. It's not only about conveying ideas but also emotions, bridging the physical distance with empathy and understanding.

Your team's productivity can skyrocket when bonds are strengthened through proper communication. By adapting to different contexts and understanding that various communication styles are suitable for a range of situations, your team can overcome obstacles and work more efficiently together.

But don't forget about the importance of balance. Encourage your team members to prioritize their sleep and overall health. Teach them the value of disconnecting from work to prevent burnout, ensuring they understand that productivity isn't about being 'on' all the time. It's about knowing when to step back and recharge, so they can return stronger and more focused.

In this digital age, it's critical to redefine how a productive remote team works. It's not just about output; it's about fostering a healthy, communicative, and balanced work environment.

Six Ways Remote Teams Can Crush Their To-Do Lists

After fostering a healthy and balanced remote work environment, let's explore six strategies that can help your team effectively tackle their to-do lists.

  1. Establish clear communication norms: The first step to ensuring your remote team works efficiently is to set clear communication expectations. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Utilize synchronous and asynchronous communication: These methods allow your team to collaborate effectively, regardless of their location or time zone.
  3. Foster transparency and accountability: Make sure your team members feel comfortable sharing their progress and challenges. This will help them stay accountable and motivated.
  4. Encourage regular check-ins: Regular updates can help your team stay focused and on track.
  5. Use visual aids: Infographics or visual aids can enhance clarity and understanding in your remote team.
  6. Prioritize tasks: Help your team crush their to-do lists by prioritizing tasks. This will ensure that the most important tasks get done first.

The Science of Productivity

Delving into the science of productivity, you'll discover how optimizing work habits and understanding psychological factors can dramatically boost your remote team's performance. The key is to comprehend the cognitive factors impacting productivity. When you grasp these, you can tailor strategies to enhance focus, improve time management, and maximize overall efficiency.

The science of productivity isn't just about working hard; it's about working smart. It's about creating a workflow that reduces distractions and improves work-life balance for your team. As you implement these evidence-based productivity principles, you'll see how your remote team works transform.

Applying these scientific insights into productivity will lead to a more effective and efficient remote team. It's about understanding how to optimize processes and habits for maximum results. By doing so, your team will be able to accomplish their goals more effectively.

10 Online Tools for Better Attention and Focus

Building on the insights gained from understanding the science of productivity, let's now explore some online tools that can help your remote team maintain better attention and focus.

In this digital age, there's no shortage of online tools for better attention and focus that can elevate how your remote team works. One such tool is Noisli, a platform that offers a range of ambient sounds to enhance focus and productivity. It allows your team to customize their soundscape, blocking out distracting noises and creating an environment that propels concentration.

Distraction management is another critical area where online tools can help. Various apps let you schedule focus sessions, during which social media and other distractions are blocked, helping your team concentrate on their tasks uninterrupted.

The physical workspace, too, plays a significant role in attention and focus. Encourage your team to organize their workspace to foster creativity and performance. Additionally, stress the importance of rest and disconnection from work to prevent burnout.

How Music Affects Your Productivity

Exploring the power of melodies, you'll find that music significantly impacts your productivity, especially in a remote work environment. It's not just about drowning out background noise or filling the silence. The right choice of music can boost your focus, spark creativity, and elevate your mood.

Different music types have varying effects on your productivity. For instance, classical music and ambient sounds are often conducive to work. They allow your mind to focus without being distracted by lyrics. The tempo and volume of music also play crucial roles. Instrumental music, generally played at a moderate volume, tends to be less distracting and more beneficial.

However, the key to maximizing the productivity-enhancing power of music lies in personal preferences. What works for one mightn't work for another. You may need to experiment to discover what works best for you.

Music also has the potential to create a more enjoyable work environment for your remote team. It can positively affect mood and reduce stress, contributing to a happier, more motivated team. Therefore, harnessing the power of music could be a game-changer for your team's productivity.

The Perfect Workspace (According to Science)

When setting up your remote workspace, keep in mind that science suggests natural light, greenery, an organized environment, ergonomic furniture, and personalized touches can significantly boost your productivity and overall well-being. These elements combined create the perfect workspace, which can transform your home into a haven of efficiency for your remote team.

Natural light has been proven to enhance mood and energy levels. Accompanied by a touch of greenery, it can also improve creativity and cognitive function. An organized environment, on the other hand, can reduce stress and help you focus better.

Ergonomic furniture is another key aspect. A chair with proper lumbar support and a desk at the right height can prevent physical discomfort and long-term health issues. Plus, having adjustable elements in your workspace allows for flexibility and personal comfort.

Lastly, add a few personalized touches. These could be family photos, your favorite artwork, or anything that makes the space uniquely yours. These items don't just make your workspace feel more like home; they can also boost motivation and satisfaction.

How to Succeed? Get More Sleep

In order to excel in your remote work, it's crucial that you prioritize getting enough sleep. Just as your body needs rest to function optimally, your mind also requires rest to ensure peak productivity and efficiency. Getting more sleep isn't just about combating fatigue, it's about giving your brain the time it needs to recharge and process information.

As a part of a remote team, your work often involves making important decisions, solving complex problems, and coming up with creative solutions. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased focus and performance, which can negatively affect these tasks. Lack of sleep can hinder your cognitive function, hampering your ability to think clearly and creatively.

Moreover, quality sleep can enhance your overall job satisfaction and engagement. When you're well-rested, you're more likely to feel positive and motivated, making your remote work more enjoyable and fulfilling. It's therefore essential for your physical and mental well-being that you get more sleep.

Single-Task Your Way Through the Day: How Focusing Unlocks Extreme Productivity

Harnessing the power of single-tasking can dramatically boost your productivity and efficiency in remote work. Instead of being a jack of all trades, you'll become a master of one. This approach won't only allow your remote team to achieve extreme productivity, but it also paves the way for high-quality output.

Multitasking might seem like a good idea, but it often leads to reduced productivity and increased errors. It's like trying to catch two rabbits at once; you'll end up catching none. On the other hand, focusing on a single task helps manage distractions and maintain mental clarity.


Let's dive into the importance of meetings in a remote work setting. A platform that's key for fostering effective communication, collaboration, and significantly boosting productivity when done right. Well-planned meetings are critical to how your remote team works. They offer an opportunity for everyone to align on objectives, preventing wasted time and fostering a shared understanding of tasks at hand.

A successful team meeting isn't just a matter of logging in and talking. It requires meticulous planning, clear objectives, and skilled facilitation. You need to encourage active participation. Everyone's voice matters in making decisions and pushing projects forward.

Effective time management is another aspect you can't overlook. Setting and adhering to a time limit ensures that meetings are productive and don't turn into time-draining activities. Remember, the goal is to foster a collaborative environment, not to create a platform for endless discussions.

Lastly, make use of the right tools. They can help streamline the meeting process, making it easier to share updates, track progress, and maintain communication. By doing so, you'll create a remote work culture where meetings truly contribute to productivity and team success.

How Can Changing the Way My Remote Team Works Benefit Work-From-Home Relationships?

Changing the way a remote team works can greatly benefit work-from-home relationships. By encouraging open communication, mutual respect, and standing up for remote colleagues when needed, it creates a more inclusive and supportive environment. This helps strengthen teamwork and trust among team members, ultimately improving work-from-home relationships.


Harness these 18 innovative ideas to revolutionize your remote team's operations.

Embrace candid communication, discover the hidden keys to success, and bring fun into your virtual workspace.

Create the perfect workspace, prioritize sleep, and focus on single-tasking to boost productivity.

These strategies can transform your remote team's efficiency, no matter where in the world you're located.

Start implementing these ideas today and prepare to be amazed by the impressive results.