Tips to Manage Remote Workers Globally: #6 trick is unmissable!

With every passing day, the popularity of remote work is continuing to elevate. In fact, for businesses having physical offices, letting employees work remotely is not an alien practice. This clearly establishes the fact that remote work culture is here to stay. Needless to say, global employers are, therefore, faced with the question  as to how they can manage remote workers overseas in the most efficient way possible. After all, you can’t measure employee productivity on the basis of desk time and visible activity levels anymore. This blog is going to prove to be an important resource for you, as we have in store some really cool tricks to manage your distributed workforce with smartness and tact.

As laid out by Forbes, 98% of workers prefer to work remotely for at least a certain period of time. In fact, in a startling statistical revelation, it came to light that two-thirds of employees would hop on to an instant job-hunting spree, if the perk of remote working is removed by their current companies.

Building a robust remote workforce empowers organizations to hire employees from a rich talent pool. After all, getting access to highly skilled professionals won’t be a hindrance with the increasing fluidity of geographical borders. Your business might be operating out of USA but you can seamlessly hire top talent from popular countries such as India, Australia, and so on. After you are done with the shortlisting and hiring of new remote employees, the arduous task of ensuring compliances, eliminating risks of penalties, and efficient management of remote workforce emerges.

Read on to find out how you can manage remote workers effortlessly with cutting-edge technologies and easy-to-implement strategies brought at your fingertips. Let’s delve deep into the guide now!

 Table of Contents

1. Maintain Clarity About Work Expectations to Manage Remote Workers Seamlessly

The first step to promoting a healthy, effective work culture is by setting absolutely clear work expectations. Shedding light on what things are needed to be done, by which means, and by when- are crucial. This helps in keeping confusion at bay. Starting from work hours, meetings, response time frame to work performance, clarity needs to be established in all these aspects. In that way, employees would know how they must operate, thereby leading to the creation of a successful, thriving work culture.

Let’s understand, on what fronts, you need to set proper expectations about work.

Defining Conditions Pertaining to Availability

When should your remote team members log in and start working? Are they supposed to work in their respective time zones or the Company Headquarter’s time zone? Is the work schedule flexible for remote employees?

Well, these are the questions that may confuse you when you will move ahead to manage remote workers globally. As one of the best practices for managing a remote team, ascertaining the exact hours when meetings are likely to be scheduled or collaborative work is going to be performed- will help your employees to know when they ought to be online. This would help your employees working virtually to have a proper knowledge of the times when they need to join meetings or interact with other team members working in a different time zone. The constant pressure to give prompt replies will, therefore, be removed. In that way, they can focus on completing their work better and be mindful of the time when they need to embark on any synchronous work.

If your company culture doesn’t promote the usual, classic 9-to-5 schedule, you may as well adopt non-linear working days. This would aid remote workers to complete all the tasks in their convenient hours, that is, they will have the liberty to work in hours they prefer.

Clearing the Ambiguity Concerning Response Times of Remote Employees

Unless you lift the shroud of confusion from what defines an ideal response time, some of your employees will assume that immediate replying is the norm while not replying for three days will be an usual thing for others. So, what is going to be the ideal time frame within which employees need to check Slack notifications (for instance) and messages? That’s what we are doing to discuss about here.

The best way out is to take inputs from your team members and establish certain guidelines regarding the same. In that way, everyone will be aware of the time within which they need to take action with respect to any work emails or messages. Managing work from home employees would become way too simple if you all decide upon this unanimously. Say, upon discussions and deliberations, it is decided that every employee needs to respond to every messages and alerts by the end of the business day.

It is very important that everyone in the team respects the established guidelines. If you reply to messages at odd hours or post mid-night, new recruits will pick up this habit too. For them, this will appear to be a normal thing to do. You can draft additional rules asking employees not to nudge their coworkers with messages post-work hours and weekends. They can always schedule the messages beforehand, in case anything is important. Having clear expectations of response time is one of the best ways to manage remote employees and other work matters.

Suggested Read: What is Hybrid Work and How to Build a Successful Work Model?

Building a Consensus on Meetings to Manage Overseas Team

With the ever-evolving nature of work preferences among employees, 79% of them feel more satisfied with remote jobs. While flexibility forms a core part of remote working, you need to ensure that no hiccups emerge in the smooth functioning of work operations. Therefore, it is important to set certain things straight pertaining to work meetings.

To manage remote workers efficiently, setting crystal-clear expectations about team meetings is vital. When and how frequently are you going to have cross-departmental meetings? Will there be any 1:1 meetings? When should remote workers expect meetings to happen? Having a definite answer to these questions will help you manage distributed workforce easily.

Here are some guidelines that you can keep in mind while framing meeting specifications:

  • Scheduling meetings strategically in a way that the timing is neither too late nor too early in the day will aid remote employees in navigating their work life smoothly;
  • Instead of planning one-hour long meetings, try shortening it to 30 to 45-minutes sessions to ensure employees get time to focus on their work rather than attending back-to-back team calls;
  • As one of the best practices for managing remote teams, it is crucial that everyone specifies the meeting agenda clearly;
  • Defining the meeting purpose in advance is recommended to give employees an idea of the context on which the discussions are going to be held;
  • Sharing basic rules as to whether employees need to keep their cameras on during the meeting and so on

Monitoring Work Performance of Remote Employees is Super-critical

Assigning goals and KPIs to each employee will help them understand what they need to aim at and achieve. Further, this will help them to channelize their energy towards the right direction instead of navigating through darkness. You may resort to 30-60-90 plan for new remote hires and later make amends to the plan, as needed. Resorting to project management tools such as Gantt and RACI Matrix will help you obtain better clarity of individual roles of remote employees or contractors and track their progress.

In case, you are wondering what do Gantt and RACI Matrix imply, here’s your answer. Gantt offers a visual representation of the work completed over a certain tenure in relation to the actual time planned for that very work. This will help you in gaining visibility of your employees’ work updates. Coming to RACI Matrix, its acronym stands for- Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. RACI charts will aid you in getting a bird’s eye view of specific individuals and team members working on a particular project. This is simply one of the best practices for managing remote teams because you stay informed of every remote workers’ progress.

Make sure to schedule daily check-ins to stay on track with what your employees are engaged. To make things more transparent and easier, you may use an end-to-end HRMS tool like Asanify that comes integrated with Slack, a business communication platform. You can also use project management tools like Trello. Using these tools will benefit you in staying aware of what your employees are up to. And, as they say, better communication makes for a successful, thriving work culture!

Suggested Read: Performance Review Process- Unlocking the Steps to Success 

2. Manage Remote Workers With a Globally Available Collaborative Software to Streamline Communication

Moving ahead to manage remote staff without deciding on a universally available collaborative tool is a big no-no. A McKinsey & Co. study has revealed that the use of online collaboration tools in the workplace saw a shocking spurt, as it increased from 65% in 2019 to 79% in 2021. This points towards the spike in the increase of tools like Zoom, Slack, Teams, G Suite, etc. After all, these are globally available tools and all your remote employees can easily access these, irrespective of the region from where they are functioning.

Peter Yobo, Partner at Credera, says: “Communication is key for employers, millennials, and others who want to transform and shape work flexibility. We need to empower our leaders to have those conversations, and our leaders empower the managers to provide those opportunities for their people within the teams.” So, it is important to take note of the fact that meaningful communication is what serves as one of the hall-marks of a healthy work culture and makes for the best way to manage remote workers.

While digital collaborative platforms are a must for managing remote employees, overemphasizing on using these may invite interruptions in the workflow. As per a survey carried out by Superhuman, 30% of remote workers consider the constant buzz of notifications and messages from platforms like Trello, Slack, Teams, etc. to be distracting. So, it is advisable to draft policies regarding the use of these business communication platforms. This is because prioritizing employee productivity is a prudent thing to do.  Deciding on the strategies for effective communication is vital rather than just loading employee inboxes with messages and notifications. Maybe, you can frame the rules that employees can drop a message to their team members for important causes, and not for trivial matters.

3. Give Importance to the Creation of a Virtual Room to Better Understand and Manage Remote Employees

To manage teams remotely with efficacy and tact is no rocket science, rather it is about following certain implementable strategies. Apart from conducting regular work-related meetings, creating virtual rooms with a relaxed setting is advisable. This is because, it is essential for employees to interact with their co-workers and know each other. And, all these light banters can find a space in virtual rooms. You never know how unplanned and impromptu conversations among employees may help awesome ideas to blossom at workplace. Usage of video conferencing tools with a digital whiteboard is a smart way to encourage employees to speak up and share their life experiences in general. Creating a culture where work-based talks are solely entertained might cast a stifling environment for employees, and it is not at all recommended.

Suggested Read: How to Create the Perfect Work from Home Policy?

4. Lend an Ear to Remote Workers & Make Them Feel Heard

Including employees in the decision-making process rather than letting your own voice reign supreme is super-critical in defining a positive work ecosystem. Managing remote employees is not only about overseeing their work but also about forging meaningful connections. As a global employer, listening ought to be one of your core skills.

Instead of heaping your decisions on the remote workforce, ask for their opinions. For instance, you can ask them what do they think about regular check-ins or if they think there can be a better alternative to these regular meets. Being empathetic while hearing their opinions will make them feel valued. To manage remote workers smartly is also about including compassion and kindness while investing your time in understanding their concerns.

Suggested Read: How to Reduce Employee Burnout at Workplace: 6 Easy Solutions 

5. Trust Your Remote Employees to Complete Tasks and Manage Themselves

As per Larry English, Co-founder and President of Centric Consulting: “To start building your remote culture, establish and share some basic rules. The first and most important rule is mutual trust between the company and its workers. The rules after that? As few as possible.”

Without an element of trust, fostering a healthy remote work culture is almost impossible. Instead of commanding your employees as to how they should do their tasks, give them the liberty to carry out the task in the way they find best. As the best practice for remote working, offering them the ownership of their work is crucial. Steer away micro-management and contribute towards boosting employee morale by providing them with the much-needed autonomy concerning work matters.

You can easily manage remote workers by adopting trust and micro-understanding in the work spectrum. Confused as to what is the difference between micro-management and micro-understanding? Here’s the demarcation for the same. Dr. Raghu Krishnamoorthy says“Micro-understanding is about drilling down, sniffing out, and constructing perspectives on a task in its entirety. The leader can detect vulnerabilities and hazards and build a radar for where things could go wrong.”  It is all about trusting your employees but ensuring that they don’t stumble on any flaw and guiding them about any upcoming problem that might occur.

Placing trust in your remote workforce and offering them the right guidance and support are essential to manage remote workers remarkably. Involve them in the problem-resolution process actively. That is, schedule a meet and discuss every possible solution that they can come up with, at times of issues. This will make for a positive remote work system.

Suggested Read: 15 Awesome Ways to Boost Remote Employees Motivation 

6. Emotional Support is a Must to Manage Remote Workers & Maintain a Healthy Relationship

Working in a remote setting invites loneliness and monotony. It is natural for remote workers to feel low at times owing to the isolation and disconnectedness by staying at home. Therefore, it is crucial that you support them emotionally and arrange non-work meets to promote communication and employee well-being. A simple question from your end, asking your employees how they are, at the end of a work call, can work wonders for their mental health. Further, being empathetic will make your employees feel that they are truly taken care of, and that they matter.

On the basis of individual interests, you may also encourage the creation of separate channels in Slack and adding employees to these so that they can express sharing things on what they love. For instance, creating groups pertaining to nature club, pet-enthusiasts, book club, etc., is an amazing idea to breathe life into remote work culture. You may also block some time in a day where employees can interact with you on anything that’s possibly concerning them.

Creating an all-inclusive, supportive work culture will not only boost employee morale but give them the chance to speak up any personal issue that they are facing in their individual lives. It is not that you definitely have to come up with an advice. At times, simply listening to what your employees have to say, does the magic!

7. Make Room for Hybrid Work Culture As Per the Needs of Your Remote Team

As you are moving ahead to manage remote teams, it is possible that the worry of handling on-site team is grappling you at the same time. Say, a certain percentage of remote employees or contractors are working from home while others are operating out of the company HQ. In such a case, you need to come up with hybrid work policies and ensure carrying out of day-to-day operations smoothly.

You may consider options such as part-time remote work, flexible scheduling, rotational schedules, or location-based arrangements. Evaluate your organization’s goals, values, and operational requirements to determine how hybrid work arrangements can support business objectives. It is advisable to take into account factors such as productivity, collaboration, innovation, employee engagement, and customer service. Identify the specific roles, departments, and functions that are suitable for hybrid work arrangements based on their nature and requirements.

Encourage frequent communication through video conferencing, instant messaging, and virtual meetings to maintain connectivity and foster team cohesion. Do note that establishing protocols for sharing information, coordinating projects, and resolving issues across distributed teams is also crucial. The idea is to motivate your workforce to stay engaged and productive in their respective work environments.

Benefits of Allowing Teams to Function Remotely 

Working remotely offers several benefits for both employees and employers. These advantages have become more apparent, especially with the increasing adoption of remote work arrangements. Here are some detailed benefits, supported by relevant statistics:

Increased Productivity

According to a study by Prodoscore, remote workers showed a 47% increase in productivity in 2020 compared to the previous year. FlexJobs reported that 65% of respondents believe they would be more productive working from home. This clearly points towards the fact that employees find the relaxed environment of their homes to be conducive enough to give their all to completing their assigned tasks.

Cost Savings

A Global Workplace Analytics survey found that employers could save an average of $11,000 per year for every employee who works remotely half the time. Remote work reduces costs related to office space, utilities, and other facilities. Further, employees can also save on commuting costs, office attire, and so on. With the availability of top-notch online communication platforms, managing remote employees globally is no longer a hurdle. No wonder why remote work has emerged as the most popular choice among a majority of the workforce!

Talent Pool Expansion

Buffer’s “State of Remote Work” report indicated that 32% of respondents listed the ability to hire from a global talent pool as a top benefit of remote work. Remote work enables companies to tap into diverse skill sets and expertise from different geographical locations. Imagine getting access to a diverse range of talent! By allowing employees to work remotely, you get the lucrative chance to engage highly-skilled professionals in your organisation because geographical boundaries won’t matter anymore. Working with top-notch talent globally is sure to fetch remarkable results for any company!

Improved Work-Life Balance

FlexJobs reported that 97% of respondents believe a flexible job would have a positive impact on their quality of life. Remote work allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives, reducing stress and burnout. Having a proper work-life balance will aid employees to work with greater efficacy and be productive while completing a project or task.

Employee Retention

A survey by Owl Labs found that remote workers are 13% more likely to stay in their current job for the next five years than their in-office counterparts. Offering remote work options can be a significant factor in retaining top talent. No business would ever want its employee attrition rate to flare up. Therefore, letting employees work remotely can work wonders in creating a happy and content workforce.

Enhanced Diversity and Inclusion

Remote work can help bridge the gap for individuals with disabilities or those living in remote areas, promoting a more inclusive workforce. A study by McKinsey & Company found that diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform their peers. This is yet another major reason that makes remote work a much-needed option in the current scenario.

Features of a Successful Remote & Distributed Workforce

A successful distributed, remote workforce relies on several key features and practices to effectively operate and deliver results. Here’s a detailed breakdown of these features:

1. Clear Communication Channels: Effective communication is paramount in a distributed workforce. Teams should have access to various communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, email, and project management software. Make sure to establish clear guidelines on when and how to use each channel.

2. Remote Collaboration Tools: Utilizing collaboration tools like Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Asana, Trello, or Basecamp facilitates teamwork and project management. These platforms enable team members to share documents, collaborate on tasks, and track progress in real-time regardless of their location.

3. Virtual Meetings and Video Conferencing: Regular virtual meetings via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet foster team cohesion and provide opportunities for face-to-face interaction. Video conferencing helps replicate the dynamics of in-person meetings, allowing for more meaningful discussions and relationship-building.

4. Flexible Work Schedules: Offering flexibility in work hours accommodates employees across different time zones allows them to balance work with personal commitments.

5. Performance Tracking and Accountability: Implementing systems to track progress, set goals, and measure performance is essential for accountability in a remote setting. Using an efficient Performance Management System such as Asanify will help you gain clarity of your employees’ progress on a particular project, thanks to its clear portrayal of KPIs and OKRs with apt percentage of completion.

6. Remote Onboarding and Training: Developing comprehensive onboarding processes and providing ongoing training opportunities are crucial for integrating new hires into a distributed workforce successfully. Utilizing virtual orientations, online training modules, and mentorship programs ensures that employees have the resources and support they need to thrive remotely.

Role of an EOR To Manage Remote Workers Easily 

An Employer of Record (EOR) plays a pivotal role in simplifying the process of hiring and managing remote employees for organizations. Let’s find out, how:

1. Navigating Legal Compliance: EORs are well-versed in local labor laws and regulations, both domestically and internationally. They handle the complexities of compliance, including tax regulations, employment contracts, benefits administration, and payroll processing. By partnering with an EOR, companies can ensure that they adhere to all legal requirements when hiring remote workers, regardless of their location.

2. Managing Payroll and Benefits: An ideal EOR service provider like Asanify takes care of payroll administration and benefits management for remote employees. They handle tasks such as calculating wages, processing payments, and administering employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. This alleviates the administrative burden on employers and ensures that remote workers receive timely and accurate compensation and benefits.

3. Providing HR Support: EORs offer comprehensive HR support to remote employees, including assistance with onboarding, performance management, and employee relations. They serve as a point of contact for HR inquiries and provide guidance on company policies, procedures, and compliance matters. This enables organizations to maintain consistent HR practices and support remote workers effectively.

4. Minimizing Administrative Overhead: By outsourcing HR, payroll, and compliance functions to an EOR, companies can streamline their operations and reduce administrative overhead. EORs leverage technology and expertise to automate processes, minimize paperwork, and ensure efficiency in managing remote workforce administration. This allows employers to focus on core business activities while the EOR handles the administrative tasks associated with hiring and managing remote employees.

Also Read: Employer of Record Cost- All That You Need to Know 

How Can a Global Contractor Management System Aid You in  Managing Your Remote Contractors Smoothly?

Does your workforce consist of a mix of employees and contractors or freelances? In such a case, A Global Contractor Management System can significantly aid in managing remote contractors smoothly by providing a centralized platform for streamlining various aspects of contractor engagement, onboarding, compliance, and performance tracking. Let’s find out how an efficient Contractor Management System can help you manage remote workers easily:

1. Centralized Contractor Database: Global Contractor Management platforms such as Asanify serves as a centralized repository for storing contractor profiles, contact information, contracts, and other relevant documents. This allows employers to easily access and manage contractor data from anywhere, facilitating efficient communication and collaboration with remote contractors.

2. Automated Onboarding Processes: With a smart and gamified contractor management platform, employers can automate the onboarding process for remote contractors, including electronic document signing, tax form submissions, and compliance checks. This reduces administrative overhead and ensures that contractors can quickly onboard and start working without delays.

3. Compliance Management: Ensuring compliance with local labor laws, tax regulations, and employment standards across different countries and jurisdictions forms a part of managing remote staff. The system can automatically generate and manage contractor agreements, track contract renewals, and flag compliance issues to mitigate legal risks associated with contractor engagement.

4. Time and Expense Tracking: Ideal Contractor Management platforms like Asanify offers features for tracking contractor time worked and expenses incurred on projects. Contractors can submit timesheets and expense reports electronically, and employers can review and approve them in real-time, facilitating accurate billing and reimbursement processes for remote work.

Final Words- Manage Remote Workers Globally

Effectively managing remote workers overseas requires a thoughtful approach that acknowledges the unique challenges and opportunities presented by global remote work arrangements. By prioritizing clear communication, cultural sensitivity, compliance with local regulations, and support for employee well-being, organizations can foster a collaborative and productive remote workforce that transcends geographical boundaries. With the right strategies and tools in place, managing remote workers overseas can not only drive business success but also create a truly inclusive and resilient global workforce for the future.

Asanify is here to sort out the complex compliance issues involved in running a full-fledged remote or hybrid work culture. Its Employer of Record services and Global Contractor Management system will aid you in hiring, paying, and managing both employees and contractors in the easiest way possible. Further, its diverse array of features, ranging from payroll outsourcing, end-to-end HRMS tools to concierge services and so on, are sure to make your work life stress-free miraculously.

Frequently Asked Questions- Manage Remote Workers Overseas Easily

1. What are the key challenges of managing remote employees globally?

Managing remote employees globally presents challenges such as coordinating across different time zones, ensuring effective communication, maintaining team cohesion, addressing cultural differences, and navigating legal and compliance issues in various jurisdictions.

2. How can I ensure effective communication with remote employees across different time zones?

To ensure effective communication with remote employees across different time zones, utilize tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software. Establish clear communication protocols, schedule regular check-ins, and be mindful of time zone differences when scheduling meetings or deadlines.

3. What strategies can I use to foster team collaboration among remote employees?

Strategies to foster team collaboration among remote employees include setting clear goals and expectations, encouraging open communication and feedback, organizing virtual team-building activities, leveraging collaboration tools, and promoting a culture of trust and accountability.

4. How do I address cultural differences when managing a globally distributed team?

Addressing cultural differences when managing a globally distributed team requires cultural awareness, sensitivity, and inclusivity. Take the time to understand and respect cultural norms, preferences, and communication styles. Encourage cross-cultural learning and collaboration, and provide opportunities for team members to share their perspectives and experiences.

5. What legal considerations should I keep in mind to manage remote workers easily?

When managing remote employees globally, it’s essential to consider legal aspects such as employment laws, tax regulations, data privacy requirements, and intellectual property rights in different countries. Consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with local laws and mitigate legal risks associated with remote work arrangements.

6. How can I promote employee engagement and morale among remote workers?

Promoting employee engagement and morale among remote workers involves creating a positive work environment, recognizing and appreciating their contributions, providing opportunities for professional development and career growth, fostering a sense of belonging through virtual social events, and promoting work-life balance and well-being initiatives.

7. What are the best practices for managing performance and productivity of remote employees?

Best practices for managing the performance and productivity of remote employees include setting clear goals and expectations, providing regular feedback and coaching, offering opportunities for skills development and training, leveraging performance metrics and analytics, and promoting autonomy, trust, and accountability.

8. How do I ensure data security and confidentiality when managing remote employees globally?

Ensuring data security and confidentiality when managing remote employees globally involves implementing robust cybersecurity measures, enforcing access controls and encryption protocols, providing secure remote access to company systems, educating employees about data protection best practices, and complying with relevant data privacy regulations.

9. What role does technology play to manage remote workers globally?

Technology plays a critical role in managing remote employees globally by facilitating communication, collaboration, project management, performance tracking, and access to resources and tools. Leveraging technology enables organizations to overcome geographical barriers and effectively manage remote teams across different locations.

10. How can I support the well-being and mental health of remote employees globally?

Supporting the well-being and mental health of remote employees globally involves promoting work-life balance, providing resources and support for stress management and mental health issues, fostering a culture of empathy and understanding, encouraging social connections and community engagement, and offering flexible scheduling and time-off policies.

11. How can I be an effective remote manager?

To be an effective remote manager, prioritize clear communication and regular check-ins with your team, while fostering trust, autonomy, and accountability to ensure productivity and cohesion in a remote work environment.

12. How do you hold remote employees accountable?

Hold remote employees accountable by setting clear goals and expectations, regularly tracking progress through performance metrics and feedback mechanisms. Further, fostering a culture of responsibility and ownership in their work is also essential.







Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.