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The 5 Biggest Hurdles To Managing Remote Teams (And How To Overcome Them)

By | Published on | 7 min read
<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >The 5 Biggest Hurdles To Managing Remote Teams (And How To Overcome Them)</span>


Remote work comes with a level of flexibility that a lot of people prefer. In fact, nearly 98% of workers surveyed by Buffer say they want to spend the remainder of their career working remotely. But, just as the benefits abound, so do the potential pitfalls of working away from a designated worksite. These challenges may complicate anything from communication and logistics to maintaining team productivity and work-life balance.

Remote work isn’t perfect. And when managing remote teams, you have to be ready to guide team members through the challenges that come with this work model so they can reach their full potential.

You can use Trello Enterprise to help your remote team work more collaboratively, efficiently manage workloads, and overcome other hurdles that come with working remotely.

1. True Work-Life Balance Isn’t Felt By Employees

Burnout is very real, particularly for remote workers. Over a quarter of workers reported the inability to unplug outside of work hours as a challenge of working from home.

You see, in an office setting, employees are able to shut down their computers at the end of the day and use their commute to disconnect. There are clear boundaries between work and home life.

But in a remote structure, the home office might be the living room couch or a kitchen table — with a commute of a few steps down the hall. Unplugging seems impossible when a laptop is sitting a few feet away at all times. And it’s tempting for your remote workers to want to finish “just one more thing.”

As a leader, you have to help employees manage their workload and set work-life boundaries, so their well-being isn’t impacted.

Solution: Use Trello’s Table View To Help Employees Prioritize Workloads

With the Table view in Trello Enterprise, you can gain visibility into team member workloads to make sure they aren’t taking on too much.

Use this Trello view to see how many tasks are assigned to each team member—across project boards—at any given time. No matter what boards employees are working from, you’ll still have insights on their workload all in one place. You can sort and filter your Table view by members, due dates, labels, and lists.

That way, you’ll see which employees are working too much or if too many tasks are due around the same timeframe. You can use the information during check-ins to help your employees prioritize tasks in a realistic manner that won’t overwhelm them. It also helps you set clear expectations and deadlines, so they won’t feel the pressure to stay online longer than they should.

2. There Is Less Visibility Into Team Productivity And Work Progress

It’s hard to know where productivity and work progress stands when managing remote teams. When you’re not working with your team members in person, updates aren’t as simple as a five-minute chat in the office. And meeting after meeting on Zoom isn’t efficient or sustainable.

You’re managing several people (and projects) and don’t have time to be in virtual meetings or responding to messages all day. But with deadlines and numbers to meet, having visibility into team performance and progress can make all the difference.

Solution: Leverage The Trello Dashboard View For Enhanced Team Insights

With Trello Enterprise’s Dashboard view, you have access to detailed reporting, so you know just where things stand at any given time.

The Dashboard view allows you to create customizable charts and graphs with the team insights you need for team and project management. These real-time insights will default to cards per list, cards per member, cards per label, and cards per due date status—but you can build from there.

With a few clicks, you know just how work is progressing and what team members are accomplishing. And these insights will allow you to report back to leadership on pending initiatives with ease.

3. Communication Is Scattered, Misinterpreted, Or Non-Existent

In Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work survey, 16% of respondents indicated experiencing communication and collaboration struggles in a remote setting.

The thing is, remote employees aren’t separated by cubicles. They are distanced by cities, states, and even continents. Communication isn’t as simple as turning to a neighboring team member to ask for their thoughts on a project or attending an in-person brainstorming meeting. It involves scheduled video calls, messaging, and more.

Remote work comes with so many avenues for communication, like email, instant messaging apps, or video conferencing—almost too many. The abundance of platforms and lack of non-verbal cues leaves room for communication to get lost or misinterpreted.

Solution: Improve Team Communication With Trello Power-Ups

Trello Enterprise integrates with top communication tools to keep communication and collaboration connected. No more having to check multiple tools for updates on projects or questions on tasks. These integrations—known at Trello as Power-Ups—have got your team covered.

With the Slack Power-Up, for instance, team members can keep communication across both Slack and Trello together. The integration allows you and your team members to send Trello cards via Slack direct messages or channels to give or request feedback, share key information or updates, and more.

You can also set up notifications that automatically post to designated Slack channels when there is Trello board, list, or card activity. And you can set up reminders for yourself or team members in Slack on important Trello tasks, so they don’t get forgotten.

In addition to Slack, there are also integrations with other popular communication solutions like Microsoft Teams and Gmail. Learn about more of the top Trello integrations that support remote (and hybrid workforces) in this guide.

4. Team Members May Be Working From Different Time Zones

Remote work means your company may be made up of employees scattered across time zones. Approximately 98% of respondents surveyed by Buffer reported their company having employees in multiple zones. This means your team members may be working at different hours of the day, depending on where they live.

Sure, there might be a few hours of overlap, but the fact of the matter is, employees must learn to work asynchronously on projects. So as you’re managing remote teams, you need collaboration tools and systems in place that support employees no matter what time zone they are in.

Solution: Maximize The Potential of Automation To Keep Teamwork Going

Trello Enterprise offers no-code automation capabilities for workflows via Butler. With Butler, everything from task assignments, due dates, and Trello card updates are done automatically for team members to pick back up on whenever or wherever they’re working.

For example, with a Butler due date command, you can trigger cards to move up in a list or be labeled as “urgent.” So when an employee in another time zone logs in early the next day, they’ll know exactly what work to prioritize.

This feature ensures that employees are equipped with the information and updates they need to do their job—without having to wait for you or their coworkers to be online.

5. Company Culture Can Be Difficult To Maintain Without An Office

Company culture thrives on face-to-face interactions. It’s just easier to get employees engaged and invested in the work when they feel connected to your company. With remote team members, cultivating a sense of company culture isn’t as simple as it would be in the office. In fact, 16% of remote employees told Buffer they struggle with loneliness due to remote work.

There isn’t a central office for in-person team building or company-wide celebrations. But there are still ways to engage team members and build up that culture as you’re managing remote teams.

Solution: Build Relationships With Trello Enterprise Features

Trello Enterprise’s Power-Ups and Table view can help your employees feel connected to their coworkers (and the company) in a remote environment.

With a wide range of integrations, Trello can support company culture efforts by keeping teamwork fun and engaging. A couple of standout Trello Power-Ups for company culture efforts include:

  • Voting: This Power-Up adds voting capabilities to team Trello boards. So your team members can vote on things like topics to cover in the next team meeting or what the next virtual team-building activities should be.
  • Giphy: Add some fun into your remote work environment with the Giphy Power-Up. This integration lets team members choose from a library of funny and entertaining GIFs as they communicate with the team on Trello.

Meanwhile, another important component of company culture is employee recognition. Quantum Workplace found that when employees know they’ll be recognized for their work, they are “2.7x more likely to be highly engaged” at work.

The Trello Table view makes it easy to give team members the appreciation they deserve. This view shows you all the work your employees are tackling and completing. Use the Table view, so hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and you can recognize standout team members.

Make Managing Remote Teams Easier With Trello Enterprise

Remote team management can be tough—but it can be easier and more effective with the right tool. Use Trello Enterprise to support your remote team members, so they can thrive. Contact Trello’s Enterprise team today to get started. 

Good or bad, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)!

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