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How to Manage a Remote Team

  • Rating — 5 (5 votes)
  • by Ksenija Kolomiiets
  • Updated on April 13, 2020
  • Read —
    6-7 minutes

Changes are a part of the way of our life. For the fundamental changes, there has to pass a long period of time, but this year showed us the opposite. In the past couple of months, we’ve seen remote work ramp up because of the virus outbreak. Most companies are adapted to the new trend – work-from-home mode, some of them are implementing such a trend.

 If your company is concerned about contributing to the containment of coronavirus while showing excellent organizational performance, we have great news. Nowadays, hundreds of web-based and mobile applications for supervising remote teams are available in the market. They can serve you well as you are learning to lead your own team in the digital space. 



Even before this pandemic, remote work was rising in popularity. A survey of 2,500 remote workers found that 99% want to work remotely for the rest of their careers.

Why is monitoring employee workload so valuable for your company?

  • Balance and delegation. It’s a great opportunity to counterbalance workloads of your employees or hand the work off to more appropriate staff. The workload balance gives you awareness of how many tasks you should shift from an overworked specialist to another one who can make them better, eventually getting results in more tasks being accomplished on time.
  • Burnout and moral fiber. You shouldn’t ignore the significance of employee moral fiber. People who work from home tend to be happier and more productive. According to statistics, remote work is a major benefit for employees. As a result, 34% of workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% to work remotely. And those who do work remotely say they’re happy in their jobs 29% more than on-site workers.
    Monitoring employee workloads helps you proactively identify when your employees are taking on an unacceptable amount of work.
  • Weak link management. Certainly, you can hire some weak link, who either isn’t interested in keeping their part of the work or who isn’t disciplined enough. Therefore, you should work with such an individual to help them improve and do more for your company, by motivating employees to enhance productivity.
  • Sources of inefficiency. Workload monitoring is also a good way to find some inefficient or unproductive processes.

A good strategy and the right tools make successful remote teams. They demonstrate excellent communication skills, support each other, and hold each other responsible. The major thing, employees see their numbers and track their performance.

Do you want to enhance the efficiency of your remote team?


Building a productive working from home strategy

Making the decision to arrange remote work for some workers or entire remote teams, the company needs to provide the software tools for easy communication, collaboration, and transparency.

Here are some of the tools we use at GBKSOFT to manage our remote teams:

1. Slack for team collaboration and instant messaging. When in offices, communicating with your colleagues is as simple as turning your chair around and speaking. But in a remote setup, things are much different. The regular team conference is good for setting up and keeping personal links among colleagues. For example, GBKSOFT remote marketing team meets every morning at 10.00 AM to discuss our daily plans and any other company news.

2. Our dedicated team made an AC Rreview app which the main aim is financial accounting of our company. As well, it’s used for budgeting our projects, forecasting the company’s revenues and so on.

Also, this app has such features as monitoring employee workload so the chief of the department can check it and make a working plan for every individual and collect time tracking information from Jira. After shifting to the remote work there was created an AC Review Slack bot with an interactive component such as the button “I’m present” to let the company know that an employee starts their workday.

3. Jira is a project management ticketing system that allows you to track the progress of your project, task team members, and scope out timelines as you go. JIRA is ideal for agile projects as it gives your team a space to track progress of their tasks and make adjustments to project forecast estimates as needed.

When a project manager assigns a task to a team member, that person is then notified via email (also in Slack in our company) and can then make comments and mark their progress. This is fed into a report for managers who can use it to track each component of the project. Let’s overview of the main function:

  • Planning. Create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team.
  • Tracking. Give your team tasks with priority and their work in full context with complete visibility.
  • Release Get with confidence the updated information.
  • Reporting. Improve team performance based on real-time, visual data that your team can put to use.

4. Employee app. This app was designed by GBKSOFT team for establishing links with employees and company administration/among teams, automatization of business processes and like an employee database. The app enables:

  • Employment. There will be created a new account when a new person comes to the company. This new account is synchronized with Slack app that allows adding a new user to the company’s necessary channels. Slack ID is entered into the Employee system.
  • Creating an account in the Employee app the user’s data is transmitted to Acreview as well.
  • Communication. A worker can use the app to create a request for a vacation, a personal day or informing them about their tardiness, sick leave, etc. It helps to organize and plan the working process more effectively.
  • Data storage. The app stores all information about an employee like basic data of a person, absences, a personal experience, financial reports, etc. 
  • Planning a business trip. We have two offices in different cities. So the preparation for the business trip has to be done before it will take place. What does it mean? The chief of department makes a request in the app about an employee trip and the office manager from the second office will prepare a workspace for who arrives.

5. Confluence is a content collaboration tool used to help teams interact and share knowledge better. The content is created and organized using spaces, pages, and blogs. Confluence’s tools enable users to write, edit, comment and get work done together within the Confluence interface. There are permissions and restrictions for all users to control the visibility content at the Space or Page level, so only the right people have access to the right information.
Confluence and Jira were created to complement one another, and have a set of integration points built-in, giving Confluence users the ability to view, interact with, and reference Jira issues from a Confluence page. Confluence would be used for project collaboration, functional specification gathering, project discussion while viewing Jira issues or creating new ones without ever leaving Confluence.

When you are working remotely, you have the freedom and the flexibility to do your best work in the environment that best suits you. But you still need the right tools to overcome the challenges that remote work presents. GBKSOFT team relies on the apps and tools above to stay productive. We didn’t find perfect apps to manage our employees that’s why we decided to make the right digital solutions to supervise staff. What about your company? Are you still looking for proper applications for managing your remote team?

A lot of time can be spent on debating or thinking about which of the existing tools is the best. The best tool is a particular team management app that is tailored to your company specifics.

Are you considering to develop an employee management app?

Ksenija Kolomiiets Expert & Evangelist in business optimization tools like fintech, logistics, on-demand services apps who will help you to understand the core ideas of the outlined themes by my articles. I also have great expertise in social media and education platforms so let me know "in comments" if you want me to describe a theme you're interested in.

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