The Elements of a Successful Remote Team’s Workflow

The Elements of a Successful Remote Team’s Workflow

In today’s remote work culture, the workflow can either facilitate the success or failure of a project. Your team will fall behind if the workflow is too lax, or if you are too strict, you will be seen like a slave driver who never removes your business pants. You have to develop the ideal balance of freedom and responsibility so that the team can meet their deadlines effectively and efficiently. 

Another factor that might cause the remote work workflow to not always run smoothly is the lack of communication. Without face-to-face communication, remote workers can easily feel disconnected, left out, and isolated, which can lead to process breakdowns. Thus, defining asynchronous and synchronous communications in remote work based on the time zones of your remote coworkers is important to ensure that the workflow does not delay the project completion. 

It is a good time to start planning now because things will only get more difficult as your team grows. Creating a workflow process will save you a lot of challenges in the future.  

Strategies in developing the workflow, even among teams that have never met

1. Setup an Assignment Protocol 

To ensure every task is smoothly done, remote work necessitates a regimented approach to work requests and assignments. Even in the closest office environment, verbal requests can be an issue. In remote teams, however, the problem can quickly escalate, and the team members may have no idea as to who is working on what. 

Set up a channel for handling incoming work requests and assigning of tasks. It could be as simple as requiring all work requests to be sent to a specific email alias, such as or you can create a Teams Group to disseminate any inquiry.  

Make request templates or create brief templates to help clarify expectations and ensure team members have all the information they need to get started when the assignment arrives. 

2. Apply Document/Asset Storage 

Managing digital assets and making sure required documents are readily available is an absolute must for remote teams. Expecting workers to email back and forth to request the information and assets they need is cumbersome and time-consuming, and it introduces the risk of version errors. 

Instead, use digital asset management (DAM) software or something as simple as Google Drive, Sharepoint, or Dropbox to create a central repository of documents and resource materials that can be easily accessed. This eliminates the need for anyone to wait for materials and allows work to continue. 

3. Utilize Collaboration Tools 

Remote employees may feel isolated unless proactive measures to ensure inclusion are taken. In fact, nearly two-thirds of remote workers are concerned about coworkers changing project plans without informing them. Use real-time collaboration tools that capture the entire discussion around projects, plans, and progress—and display it in full view of the entire team—to prevent feelings of exclusion and to help keep every team member in the loop. 

For project-related communication, tools like Teams are far more transparent and this ensures that valuable input and feedback do not get lost in the email. 

4. Define Tasks for Each Team Member 

Despite the fact that remote workers are more productive, it can be difficult to track accomplished tasks. It’s easier to stay on top of project status for in-house teams, and it just feels more secure when you see each other every day. 

However, delegating tasks to remote workers is riskier. Are they carrying out their responsibilities? Or are they ignoring it? 

Using a system that tracks each task that allows you to divide larger tasks into smaller subtasks can provide you with a more granular and realistic picture of project status, timelines, and expected completion times. It can also assist you in identifying bottlenecks along the way and resolving issues before the team is caught off guard by a major snag as the project nears completion. 

5. Arrange Live Check-ins 

The most successful teams are those in which the leaders communicate regularly with remote teams. Maintaining engagement, rapport, and a positive team atmosphere requires concerted and intentional effort. Digital conferencing tools such as Skype, Zoom, Teams, and Google Hangouts, among others, can assist in keeping the team in touch and connected. 

Arrange a reasonable occurrence—perhaps bi-weekly or monthly—and use this as an opportunity to introduce new team members and discuss project status, answer questions, or concerns. You could also include some fun activities, such as games or team-building exercises, to help forge connections and increase engagement. 

6. Give Feedback and Recognition a Priority 

Remote teams miss out on office celebrations for milestones and achievements, and it can be more difficult to give and receive feedback when you can’t walk up to someone and congratulate them on a job well done. 

Employees are motivated to do their best work when they receive peer recognition. Remote teams can use collaboration tools like Teams or purpose-built recognition and gamification platforms to provide positive feedback, encouragement, and recognition to one another in the absence of an in-person pat on the back. 

Key Takeaways 

Managing an effective workflow across remote teams can be challenging without the ideal digital communication platform and strategies in place to keep team members engaged, informed, and productive. If you already have a workflow in place that is working well for your remote team, you can continue to adhere to it to ensure everyone appears to be engaged and productive.  

A more organized workflow, on the other hand, will allow everyone to keep track of their progress and focus on achieving the desired results. 

A workflow is simply the sequence of steps taken to achieve a specific goal that allows your team to run smoothly and provides your organization with an exceptional experience. 

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