The art of managing a remote team: how to lead and motivate from afar

With the right frameworks and guidance, remote work can be every bit as productive and fulfilling as the office. Here are 8 ways to elevate company culture in the new hybrid world.


Copywriter & Strategist

February 16, 2023

Remote work has become a stable fixture for many brands with millions of people around the world logging in from home or other remote locations to get their job done.

Whilst the flexibility and autonomy that comes with this has undeniable benefits, managing a remote team presents unique challenges and requires a new approach to leadership and motivation.

Luckily for you, we’ve got a decade of experience in the remote world and a tonne of lessons to share - so strap in and get ready to foster a high-growth, emotionally supportive and profitable remote working environment.

Here’s our advice.

Schedule regular group communication

An obvious but often neglected first step in building a successful remote team is to schedule regular group communication into your team’s day. Few people work best in a silo, a morning team call, or end-of-day check-in not only works to boost morale but also ensures your team remains on the same page.

Recently, we’ve started to use what we call “power hours”. These bring the team together and utilise different skill sets to brainstorm and problem-solve a variety of creative tasks. For us that could be mind-mapping brand names, walking through a web UX/UI or identifying ways to attract prospective clients.

Establish clear work channels

Where do you chat? Where is your creative work done? Is there a central program where you can log projects, collect assets and feedback to your teammates? Establishing clear channels both for your work and your communication will cut down the back and forth, save you headaches, and maximise your creative return on investment.

Some of our favourite programs to do this include Figjam, Slack and Airtable.

Set clear goals and expectations

Refrain from micromanagement. Creativity flows when it’s given the space and time to do so.

Start your weeks by setting clear goals and expectations, make sure your team know where to find you and when you’re going to check in, and then take your hands off the wheel and trust in your process.

Build efficient workflows

Establishing clear processes and team structure is vital when your not working in close physical proximity. “Sorry, you actually need Sarah for that one” is a bottleneck that’s both incredibly frustrating and easily avoidable.

Your client and employee onboarding process should provide detailed overviews of the tools, systems and team hierarchies to ensure everyone knows where to submit work and who to reach out to for help.

Have a clear mission and vision

Nobody wants to be a cog in a wheel. A clear mission and vision will not only align your team towards a common goal, but they are central to creating a culture and brand narrative that will keep your team inspired and working hard.

Provide opportunities for learning development

It might seem like an unnecessary overhead, but it’s an investment in your long-term business, not a short-term expense. A business that’s full of employees who feel valued and valuable is vital for a successful trajectory.

If you’re a fully remote business, there’s a host of websites like Udemy, Skillshare and Masterclass which offer online courses at a reasonable value. If you’re a hybrid working space, you can look for local educational offerings.

We remain open to our teams’ suggestions, hold a budget for learning opportunities and provide free access to online courses, audiobooks and creative tools.

Offer flexibility to increase satisfaction

A major draw to remote working is the improved work-life balance it offers. Not only do employees feel fresher without the commute, but they can get their life admin sorted, look after their kids and get that morning exercise class in.

Offering a looser schedule and flexibility of hours can help in attracting top talent to your business and accelerating your growth in the market.

Recognise and praise great work

We all like a pat on the back. Recognising and incentivising great work is a surefire way to maintain high levels of productivity and morale. We do this alongside a quarterly review, which is a great way to check our growth models and evaluate what’s working best at the agency.
Of course, if you’d like to talk through your current workflows or have specific questions about managing your remote team, you can reach out to us here.