Remote Leadership: How to Manage Remote Employees

The world is a different place now. Ever since our lives were turned upside down by the global pandemic, virtually every aspect of our lives was impacted and continues to be as we adapt and cope the best we can. This includes our work and professional lives, which is looking quite different with many of us working remotely. 

Working from home and telework have many benefits, especially for introverts. The most significant benefits include increased work flexibility and work-life balance, and possibly greater productivity. However, working from home also has its challenges in that the manager may experience difficulties with remote leadership and managing teleworkers. 

Thankfully, as you’ll read further, there are a number of simple steps that can be taken to improve remote leadership. A successful remote leader can manage remote employees while keeping them engaged and productive. 

What is remote leadership and remote management? 

First, we need to ask: What is remote leadership and remote management? Are they the same thing? No, while often used in similar ways, remote leadership and remote management are two separate areas. However, they are areas that complement the other and are integral to each other’s success. 

Remote leadership, for the most part, is leading people working remotely towards a common goal or task. But it is more than that, as good remote leadership also inspires team members, drawing out the passion that results in quality work. A solid leader stays calm under pressure, surrounding themselves with good people, even if it’s remotely 

According to an article on, remote leadership can be successful if you follow the five steps to support team members: 

  1. “Exercise strong time management muscles.”
  2. “Stay connected.”
  3. “Be OK with letting go.”
  4. “Spend time in nature.”
  5. “Overcommunicate.”

On the other hand, remote management is a little more technical, relying more on planning, technology, as well as structured interactions with team members. To effectively manage a remote team, leaders have a growing number of remote management platforms (like Splashtop) as well as reliable instant and video messaging tools such as Microsoft Teams. (Solutions such as MS Teams, usually also include features such as document storage, project management and online calendars.)

How is remote leadership different from traditional leadership? 

Virtual or remote leadership is much more challenging than traditional leadership in that it does not have the luxury of popping its head over the cubicle wall for a quick work chat or calling a team huddle in a physical office. Instead, virtual and remote leadership requires managers and employers to be creative in how they connect with and lead their team of employees who are all in different locations.

remote leadership in the workplace


What are the main benefits of remote leadership? 

While there are some challenges to remote leadership, there are definitely some benefits as well.  

First of all, you are able to lead team members potentially working remotely all over the world. This allows you to have more global and different skillsets within the team, resulting in quality work. Second of all, with the many technologies mentioned above, you can communicate quicker and arguably more efficiently from your laptop or smartphone. And thirdly, micro-managing amongst remote leaders will decrease because remote work is based more on results than the amount of time spent a desk. 

Unsurprisingly, employees are happier and perform better when they are not being micromanaged by leaders and managers. A major concern of remote leadership is that employees will procrastinate at home. However, some employees are even more productive working remotely and they have found that procrastination has more to with emotions than laziness. 

Want to learn how to conduct virtual meetings? Take our course on Business Meetings and Communication! 

What are the main challenges of managing remote teams? 

As alluded to earlier, management remote teams can be very challenging because of the lack of physical interaction and connection. Even with advances in communication technology, details can get lost during virtual communication. This can cause all kinds of issues from frustration with employees to mistakes in work itself.

When looking for a suitable communications platform, first look at what your communications needs are and go from there. It can be overwhelming with so many options, but there is also something for every unique need and budget. Some things to consider are: 

  • How many people will use it? 
  • How often will they use it? 
  • What are the primary reasons for this platform? 
  • What problems will this platform help solve? 
  • What devices can it be used on? 

Tips for effective remote management 

In order to effectively manage your remote team, there are several steps you can take – some that overlap with remote leadership strategies: 

  • Find a remote management platform that meets your unique needs. 
  • Hold those regular meetings and opportunities to touch base and connect. 
  • Make any deadlines early and clear – and have them available on an online calendar. 
  • Monitor progress but do not micromanage and be flexible. 
  • Regularly ask team members for feedback in group or one-on-one settings. 

Overall, make any expectations clear and trust in your team’s abilities and skills to perform good work without you looking over their shoulder. Effective remote management may be more flexible than traditional management, but it is more detailed and planned. 

Remote leadership by example 

So now you see how remote management complements remote leadership and helps address its novel challenges. Effective remote leadership is effective remote management and vice versa. Because we are no longer in the same physical spaces, online, managers must lead by example whenever they can, initiating the strategies mentioned earlier. 

By focusing on remote leadership, managers can not only promote great work, but they can also create a work culture where people are happy. Work cultures like this are positive, professional environments where skilled employees want to stay.


Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful: 

Remote Management: A Detailed Guide and 8 Best Practices

Recommended Resources:

Uncover your strengths and weaknesses with our complimentary assessment. Boost your effectiveness at work and with your team.

Free Resource Library: Access our extensive collection of valuable resources for instant support in your personal and professional growth.

Explore Our Course Library:

Enhance your leadership skills with our diverse selection of courses. Take your abilities to the next level and become a more effective leader and team player.


Our Clients Love the Professional Leadership Institute

Your team will, too! Check out some reviews from our students.
The PLI program was invaluable to our network.
The range of topics delivered, the open dialogue, experience, and examples that PLI brought to each session were outstanding and provided a path for our Franchisees and Managers to look at leadership, coaching, and connecting with their teams in a new light. Many have implemented these strategies in their bakeries and have seen immediate results.
Michelle C.
COBS Bread
Highly recommend to help your team move forward
We have locations around BC and Alberta, so getting people on the same page can be very difficult... Until now. Our entire management team and location managers take the same great courses and then meet monthly online with our coach to apply it to our situation. People are engaged, the courses are excellent, we love our coach, and we are all learning together!
Jason Fawcett
President, Kelson Group
The result has been a transformation of our culture. 
We decided to implement PLI's strategies across the country in over 150 locations and over 3500 employees.  The result has been a transformation of our culture.  People's lives have been positively impacted - professionally and personally.  Morale is high and sales and profits are up as a result.
Daryl Verbeek
Daryl Verbeek
We’ve learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all
The roadmap laid out set our business up to quintuple in sales.  We've learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all, attract top talent, and spend our time focused on results, not internal staffing problems.  I highly recommend PLI to you - it's worked for us!
John DeJong
Satisfied Client
I had no idea that running a business could be this fun!
In less than 18 months of working with Trevor, he has transformed my business from being average to exceptional, where mediocrity is not acceptable, where being great is standard.  Working with PLI has allowed me to realize my dream of not simply owning a job, but owning a business.
Justin Bontkes
Principal, Caliber Projects
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year with Trevor’s help.  He is funny, relatable, and his tools are very very practical and have helped us focus and upgrade our teams throughout our retail network. Trevor recently spoke to an employee group, and one person remarked, “I could listen to Trevor all day.”   We would highly recommend Trevor.
Stan Pridham
Founder, KMS Tools
The results have been remarkable
At first, we resisted, “This just won’t work with a law firm.” But we persisted and the results have been remarkable: our client base and profits have steadily improved, and staff engagement and morale is the healthiest its ever been.
Doug Lester
Partner, RDM Lawyers
Helped our fast-growing business become what it is today
I've experienced PLI's approach first hand and it's been crucial to sustaining our growth.  I can't imagine a business that wouldn't benefit greatly from his help.
Brian Antenbring
Founder, TEEMA
Provided practical ways to make positive changes
Trevor was incredibly well-received by the entire organization. He was able to articulate people issues that many of our franchisees were experiencing and provided them with practical ways to make positive changes. We have implemented the Star Chart tool across the organization and see it as vital to building happy, effective teams.
Aaron Gillespie
President, COBS Bread
Scroll to Top

Start Learning Today

For Individuals

Unlock your potential and accelerate your career with sought-after management and leadership skills.


Transform Your Organization

For Teams

Book a consultation to discuss your challenges and discover how we can help you build a winning team.


Sign Up For Weekly Tips!

Get Weekly Coaching Tips Straight To Your Inbox Every Monday.