Why Remote Teams Fail and How to Avoid It

Avoid these common problems that cause remote teams to fail.


Full and partial remote work arrangements are becoming more common. Many companies are shifting to remote operations and hiring from the global talent pool. Companies are experiencing some growing pains with this transition. In this article, we talk about why remote teams fail. We will also discuss some ways to avoid this problem.

Adapting to the Remote Setup

Problem: Working remotely is new for everyone

Having remote working arrangements is also new for many workers. Unfortunately, some find it difficult to transition to a remote setup. The ability to work alone or in a non-office environment is also a skill and not everyone has is.

The performance of employees who are unable to adapt will suffer. A team is only as strong as its weakest member. If one or more of your employees are having problems, it will affect everyone else in the team.

Solution: Find ways to help remote employees adapt

Identify Issues and Offer Support. If your employee is not working effectively, check in with them to find out how you can help. Identify the reasons why your employee is having difficulties with the setup. When you figure out the cause of the issues, you can give adequate support.

For example, your employee may be experiencing issues with their internet connection. You can provide financial assistance so they can work in a co-working space. Similarly, they could be having problems with their equipment. You can send new equipment to them or send funds so they can make the purchase themselves.

Provide Local HR Support. A simple solution is to hire remote employees through an employer of record. An employer of record will serve as local HR support for your remote employees.

With Emerhub as your employer of record, we can provide desks for your employees in our office. This will ensure that they have a reliable connection during working hours. We can also assist in providing your employees with the tools they need for the job. We will purchase equipment, software, and other devices on your behalf.

This is an all-in-one solution. Emerhub will also take care of drafting employment contracts. In addition to that, we will also manage payroll for you.

Hire remote employees in Asia.

Employer of record services by Emerhub.

Communication in Remote Teams

Problem: Remote teams fail when members don’t communicate

Frequent communication is the only way workers can connect with each other. It’s the only way to form relationships within the company. Given that, poor communication among employees may cause them to feel unmotivated.

Being a part of a community will positively impact the way employees work. Employees who feel like they are a part of a community are more likely to exceed expectations. They will strive to make improvements to themselves and their community.

Solution: Make sure communication is easy for everyone

Provide your remote team with tools for communication. Make sure your employees have the tools necessary for effective communication. The most basic of these is an app for messaging. 

Make sure it has all the features your team will need. For example, get an app that is available on multiple platforms. That way, it’s easier for everyone to jump into a conversation even when they’re away from their desks.

Start discussions yourself. You can also be the one to initiate conversations within the team. You can do this by raising a question in a group chat to get everyone to share their thoughts. In addition to that, you can share your own experiences. This will encourage others to share insights or discuss similar experiences.

Collaboration is a Key Aspect of Remote Teams

Problem: Employees do not collaborate

Remote teams fail when its members don’t collaborate and work with each other. This is particularly common in teams spread across different timezones. It’s difficult to collaborate with people who are not online when you are.

Solution: Set schedules to encourage collaboration

Set common hours for remote employees. A remote setup limits spontaneous collaboration. Unlike traditional working arrangements, you can’t walk up to a colleague to start a discussion.

The remote work version of this is sending a message or asking a co-worker to jump into a call. To encourage this, you can set specific hours where everyone in the team must be online.

Have regular meetings. Having scheduled meetings will allow your team members to update each other. In doing this, your employees can discuss problems with the team. Other members can also talk about suggestions and insights.

Procedures for Remote Working

Problem: Not following procedures will cause remote teams 

Without the office environment, employees may quickly forget that they’re at work. This will lead to some employees failing to follow processes and rules. Remote teams fail when its members are not doing things correctly.

This is especially troubling if your processes affect other employees. For example, your team has a ticketing system for claiming tasks. If one person does not follow this procedure correctly, you could wind up with duplicate work. This will hurt your team’s productivity.

Solution: Improve Your Onboarding Process

A proper onboarding process will help you avoid this. When welcoming a new employee, you must clearly explain all procedures. You must also note the importance of each step.

Keeping an eye on new employees will also help you gauge how well the onboarding process is working. Having a document that employees can use as a reference will also help them keep procedures in mind.

Personal Boundaries When Working Remotely

Problem: Remote teams fail when employees experience burn out

It is important for employees working from home to set boundaries. Living and working in the same space can lead to overlaps in working and personal hours. It is very common among remote workers to experience burnout.

Getting burned out will lead to lower productivity and lower quality of work. In some cases, it may also have negative effects on your employees’ health.

Solution: Promote Work-life Balance

Make sure employees aren’t working too much. Always remind your remote team to take time for themselves. Find out if employees are working way more than the required hours. You can also have one-on-one discussions with your remote employees to see how they’re going.

Have a chat with employees who are overworking themselves. Encourage them to disconnect every now and then.

Hold activities not related to work. You can have fun events and team building activities even if you’re far away from each other. For example, you can have coffee or drinks with your team over video chat. You can also hold video game tournaments online.

Managing Remote Employees Effectively

Problem: Supervisors micromanage remote employees

The reason why remote teams fail may also come from management. Micromanaging has no place in a company, remote or otherwise.

Micromanaging will negatively affect your employees. Remote workers may find it very annoying to have their boss constantly hovering. For others, it could lead to working non-stop and getting burned out.

Solution: Trust your remote employees

Just trust that your employees will do their jobs and complete tasks as necessary. If they fail to meet deadlines or turn in low quality work, that’s when you can step in and discuss how they can do better.

Emerhub can help you build a remote team in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and India. As your employer of record, we can also provide local HR support for your employees. We will also take care of employment contracts and payroll management on your behalf. Fill out the form below and one of our consultants will get in touch with you.

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