8 Ways to Support Remote Tech Teams

https://www.frankli.io/post/support-remote-tech-teams-tips-for-managing-remote-workers#quickversion

When people work remotely, they have a unique set of needs, which risk being overlooked as teams shift their focus from the pre-pandemic norm of office-based work. Building professional bonds, staying connected to managers and teammates, and collaborating across departments can all be more challenging for remote tech teams. Research also shows that remote employees struggle more with social isolation, and guilt that can lead to overcompensating through longer working hours (1). 

At Frankli, we love remote work and all the benefits it offers our people, including increased job satisfaction (1) and a greater level of fairness (2). But we’re also realistic about the challenges that can go along with it. 

If we embrace the positives of remote work, we have to be prepared to provide solutions for the negatives. 

Whether you’re a remote-first or hybrid company, your people need remote-friendly tools and rituals to thrive. This includes managers and senior leadership too! So let’s talk about some of the best ways to make remote work work for your teams.

8 Ways Tech Leaders can Support Remote Employees

1. Gather Insights from your People 

We can provide tips on managing remote employees, but they’ll never be as useful as the insights that come straight from your people. Find out about their remote working challenges through surveys, 1:1 Meetings or a series of group discussions and ask how they would improve things. Really take time to understand the complexities of these issues, and bear in mind that they might be quite different from person to person, and from team to team. 

2. Prioritise 1:1 Meetings

1:1s are important for all employees, but remote teams have to be even more intentional about their weekly, fortnightly or monthly check-ins. Regular, structured, hyper efficient 1:1 meetings with set talking points and space to record notes and action points, like the ones you can run through Frankli, are essential for remote tech teams, who are less likely to have short catch ups throughout the week. 

3. Track Goals Digitally 

Building trust can be more challenging for remote teams, and one way to do it is to give people ownership of their own goals. Tracking goals digitally with a platform like Frankli gives everyone a clear idea of what they want to achieve and a roadmap for getting there. In short, you agree your objectives and key results with your manager, and then it’s over to you. Your manager is there to offer support, guidance and encouragement, not derail your progress with incessant check-ins. This level of autonomy is so valuable to remote workers, who often report feelings of guilt (1) and stress about proving their worth. High-trust cultures are more productive cultures (3), so this one’s a no-brainer for all teams.

4. Give People Channels for Ideas and Feedback

When you’re physically in the same room with someone, you tend to have lots of micro conversations with them throughout the day. In a remote setting, it makes more sense to either use a messaging app like Slack and risk your ideas getting lost, or to save these thoughts and then communicate them in batches during designated catch ups. The latter option is all well and good if you’ve got a foolproof system for logging your ideas, but even then, you’re potentially waiting days, weeks or months to bring them to light. A channel for sharing ideas and feedback with your team, like the ones in Frankli, allows you to strike while the iron is hot, but offers the recipient flexibility on when they view your comments. Your feedback and/or ideas are delivered immediately, but don’t interrupt their workflow.

5. Review your Meeting Processes Regularly

For some tech teams, one weekly meeting is plenty. Others will need to chat multiple times per day. There are no rules about how you and your people should digitally meet, so it’s important that you can identify what works best for your team. Review and reevaluate how you conduct meetings across your teams regularly, and ask whether you could benefit from more or less time together. Think about timing, meeting length and attendees, and be sure to ask your team for their thoughts, too. The highest-performing tech teams don’t let old habits drag on unchecked - they’re forever chasing their meeting sweet spot. 

6. Support Career Development

Remote employees are understandably concerned about proximity bias, which makes them less likely to be considered for opportunities when compared with in-office and hybrid workers (4). Leaders can help target this by running coaching and mentoring programs (easily managed through Frankli), and forging clear career paths for their people. 

7. Build a People-First Culture

When you’re physically disconnected from your teams, it’s easy to feel emotionally disconnected too. This is why culture is so important for remote teams. You want your people to care about the success of the company, and their teammates, even if they’ve never met in real life. This one deserves an article of its own, but listening with intent, providing regular praise and living the company values are a good place to start. 

8. Make time for Socialising

It would be easy to assume that remote workers don’t want to socialise with their teammates, but research suggests that this is the one thing they miss most about office-based work (5). On dispersed teams, you need to be really organised about creating socialising opportunities - if your people are on different continents, they'e unlikely to go for a spontaneous drink after work! Virtual coffee breaks are great, as are digital tools like the Socialising feature in Frankli, which invites you to bond with colleagues over shared interests. Just be sure to ask for your people’s input in making these plans.

Frankli supports remote tech teams through goal-setting, 1:1 meetings, feedback, surveys and career development tools. Learn more.

Frankli's performance and engagement tools were designed to support dispersed teams.

60-Second Version: 8 Ways to Support Remote Tech Teams

1. Gather Insights from your People. Find out about the remote working challenges your people are facing through surveys, 1:1 Meetings or a series of group discussions.

2. Prioritise 1:1 Meetings. Regular, structured 1:1 meetings with set talking points, like the ones you can run through Frankli, are essential for remote teams, who are less likely to have short catch-ups throughout the week. 

3. Track Goals Digitally. Tracking goals digitally with a platform like Frankli gives everyone a clear idea of what they want to achieve and a roadmap for getting there. This level of autonomy is particularly valuable for remote workers, who often report feelings of guilt and stress about their performance (1).

4. Give your People Channels for Ideas and Feedback. A channel for sharing ideas and feedback, like the ones in Frankli, allows remote employees to strike while the iron is hot, without relying on messaging apps or interrupting their manager’s workflow.

5. Review your Meeting Processes Regularly. It’s a good idea to review and reevaluate how you conduct meetings across your teams regularly, and ask whether you could benefit from more or less time together. 

6. Support Career Development. Leaders can help target proximity bias by running coaching and mentoring programs (easily managed through Frankli), and forging clear career paths for their people. 

7. Build a People-First Culture. This one deserves an article of its own, but listening with intent, providing regular praise and living the company values are a good place to start. 

8. Make time for Socialising. Virtual coffee breaks are great, as are digital tools like the Socialising feature in Frankli, which invites you to bond with colleagues over shared interests.

Frankli supports remote tech teams through goal-setting, 1:1 meetings, feedback, surveys and career development tools. Learn more.

1. Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2022. 2. Axios, Women, people of color happier working from home. 3. Edelman, Trust Barometer 2020. 4. Inc, Bosses Beware: Research Shows You're Less Likely to Promote Remote Workers. 5. Auxilion, Survey reveals remote work gifts workers back hour per day.

Continue reading

Image of a women writing in her journal at a desk that is used to frame signing-up to the frankli newsletter
Our content to your inbox

Get great curated content

Get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research direct to your inbox
No spam!