reasons why remote teams fail (and how to avoid them)

5 Reasons Remote Teams Fail (And How to Avoid Them)

Although remote work brings many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks that can cause remote teams to fail.

Maintaining good communication and collaboration is not always easy with remote workers. And it is your job to ensure that things go smoothly.

Here are some common mistakes that can cause a remote team to fail, and some ways to avoid them.

1. Inefficient Communication

Communication is crucial for running a successful remote team. 

Remote workers rarely get the opportunity to discuss their ideas face-to-face, and they often work from different time zones.

That’s why they must rely on technology to help them work as a team.

There are lots of great tools available specifically for remote teams – even the free versions can significantly improve the performance of your team.

In fact, studies show that 94% of businesses that utilize video conferencing have seen increased productivity in their remote teams.

That’s why you need to regularly organize Zoom or Skype meetings so that your employees can discuss their ideas and build relationships with their co-workers. 

This way, you can avoid miscommunication or misinterpretation of existing tasks and create a more productive atmosphere.

Remember – always lead by example. Regularly check in with your workers (especially during the onboarding process) and let them know it’s okay to reach out and ask questions.

remote worker engagement

2. Lack of Engagement

Many employers are reluctant to hire remote workers because they fear low engagement.

However, research has actually shown that remote workers can be 20 to 25% more productive than their onsite colleagues.

Still, there are times when even great remote workers might feel disengaged – and it usually has to do with feeling isolated from the rest of the team.

Together with collaboration and communication difficulties, loneliness continues to be one of the major struggles of remote workers in 2020.

Think about it.

Do you encourage your remote workers to share their ideas?

Do they have enough opportunities to connect with the rest of the team?

If you feel that your remote workers are not doing their best despite your efforts, the best solution is to reach out and directly ask them if they are experiencing any issues.

If the problem persists and you’re worried they may not be working their hours, you can consider using time tracking software.

3. You’re Hiring the Wrong People

The hiring process is the first step towards building a successful team.

Many employers make the mistake of hiring candidates based only on their experience and hard skills, without considering whether they are cut out for remote work.

And if your new hire doesn’t know how to organize their workspace or their schedule – then you have a problem.

One of the best things about remote work is that it offers more flexibility – but the workers need to know how to handle it.

Aside from finding someone who is suited for remote work, try to think outside the box and really hire the people who will bring more creativity.

We’ve already talked about the importance of diversity, so consider hiring different workers with different backgrounds. 

They will give you new ideas and perspectives.

For example, you could hire a great remote worker from Eastern Europe right here on JobRack!

Here are some additional tips on hiring & selecting the best remote workers.

4. Poor Remote Company Culture

In order to build a great remote team, you need to maintain an effective remote team culture.

This especially applies to partially remote teams, where remote workers might feel left out and disconnected from their on-site co-workers.

Formal video calls are great for clarifying responsibilities, but you should also consider organizing informal meetings with your team.

A team with personal connections and shared values will function better – your employees will feel like they are actually trying to achieve a shared goal. 

This will improve their loyalty and motivation.

preventing miscommunication in remote teams

5. Micromanagement

Some employers have a hard time letting go and allowing their employees to do the work themselves.

This can even be a bigger problem if you are running a remote team.

Employers feel like they have no control, they panic and start constantly checking in with their employees and correcting every little detail.

This can demotivate your workers and lead the entire team to fail.

After a while, your employees will feel frustrated and start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

So micromanagement reduces motivation, motivation reduces retention and all of this creates a poor remote culture.

What can you do about it?

First, you need to acknowledge the problem.

Be honest with yourself – do you try to find mistakes in everything your employees do?

If you have a problem with micromanagement, you need to step back and understand that you can’t do all the tasks yourself.

The whole point of delegating tasks is to lighten your burden by passing on work to someone else. 

This way, you can focus on expanding your business.

Additionally, you should be aware that two people will never do the same task in the same way. 

Embrace different perspectives and don’t expect your employees to do everything exactly the way you do.

If you give your employees a little space to show their own ideas, you will be pleasantly surprised


These are our 5 tips on running a successful remote team. 

And if you need an addition to your remote team, you can find a new employee right here at JobRack. We have thousands of the best remote workers in the world. Click here to find out more.