Typical problems I have found that there is:

  • a delay in communication, even after using project planning tools.
  • More delays. Remote worker not having the self discipline to work structured hours and subsequently lesser visibility from my side of knowing how they are spending their time.
  • less reliability, situations have arised where the remote worker disappears for a while.

I have seen otherwise good workers that I have managed, go from being very efficient onsite then to making a lot of mistakes once they work remotely. This eats up a lot of time and energy, since I am finding that I am having to chase them up a lot more.

  • Possible duplicate of How to manage remote developers?
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 13:11
  • 1
    Question does not look look genuine question, author kind of gives answer by himself and just wants to get confirmation. Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 17:46

4 Answers 4


Yes that's normal. You need very open, disciplined and well motivated workers to have a remote setup work. Also, time difference and cultural differences add up if they are actually remote.

It also takes a while for the manager to get the same "feel" for the team. On premise you can walk into a room and feel if the team is happy and on track or frustrated and late. Taking these subtle hints from a chat-room or mail instead of a real room takes practice too.

There is a good question already: How to manage remote developers?

I'd like to stress the need of real-time communication. Have a chatroom or messenger where you can keep in touch. It's better for you to keep in touch with them and "feel" how it's going and it's better for them to have a direct contact to you without getting lost in some mailbox for days.


Working with a remote team can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some things I've done that helps with dealing with contractors working remote.

1) You're a project manager, assign them measurable projects, it's far less stressful for both of you to have a clear and concise deliverable that they are expected to give you by the end of the day, 2 days or a week (not sure which projects you're dealing with, but it shouldn't matter). Make sure they are not too long (under a week) to make sure they are actually working and not procrastinating. Also ask them how long does each task takes them, or will take them, and expect to quote this back to them if they are asking for extra time (but be reasonable).

2) Trust them, this will give you peace of mind, and it will make them more responsible (just like children, or a new girlfriend). If you can't trust your staff to perform a certain job in a certain time, I'm sure next time you can hire new people that you can trust, making integrity your number one priority when recruiting.

3) Talk to them, you need to have communication with them, it doesn't have to be a f2f chat every week/month, if you have a chat tool, google chat, or skype, ask them to be present, some of these tools can tell if the other person is not at their desk, so make sure you don't punish them for not being at the computer 24/7 (or 8 hours a day), but establish that if they are on working hours, you're expecting them to answer any of your questions regarding the project within reasonable time (since people do go to the bathroom/drop their kids off school/etc).

4) Auditing works wonders for remote work. If the project is on time, on budget, and on scope, everything should be OK, if not, make sure they know it, and to add extra effort to bring the project up to speed. Auditing a project can be as simple as making sure project deliverables are present (which should be your job), are submitted on time, scope is met, clients are happy. If they are not, than you should take corrective actions in letting know your staff they need to put more effort on X & Y, because of X & Y reason that resulted from your audit.

Hope this helped!


Yes, of course. Even more so if it comes to first work experiences together. Time helps a lot to know each other and to assess urgencies or misunderstandings. Time to task estimated and reviewed together are the best way to generate a common level of conversation.

  • I'm not sure that I understand the term ?assim?
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 15:38

You need to have some SLAs bound to payments which will keep the remote team bound and punished if not disciplined.

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