Leading from Afar: 5 Tips for Remote Management

Workday Life
3 min readApr 2, 2023


The transition to remote work has been one of the most significant shifts in modern work culture, and remote management is no exception. Managers who used to manage their teams face-to-face are now managing remote teams. After holding various leadership roles over the last eight years, I recently transitioned into a remote management role leading three engineering teams at Workday. My Workmates are between Vancouver & Victoria, Canada and I’m at Headquarters in Pleasanton, California. While the distance can seem daunting, remote management doesn’t have to be. Here are my 5 tips for leading efficient and productive teams from afar.

Communicate effectively

One of the most critical aspects of remote management is communication. It is essential to understand how your teammates prefer to communicate, what motivates them, what problems they are looking forward to solving, and the best mode of communication (e.g. direct Slack messaging, email, or Zoom). The reality is that people prefer to learn and be managed differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Build a culture of trust and responsibility

Most employees want the team to be successful. Listening to feedback and acting upon it can increase trust and set a good culture amongst your teams. Empathy and understanding are equally important. While listening to feedback, understand their point of view. Sometimes it could be just a perception on both sides, but a common understanding can only be developed when both parties are open to feedback and trust each other. Being a remote manager means building a support system for your team, while at the same time maintaining a balance to hold them accountable when things are not going well.

Be approachable

Being remote could create a sense of being isolated. But when someone feels like reaching out, be approachable. Connection building is essential, and it gets easier if there is trust. A trustworthy leader of remote teams consistently provides feedback to enable team members to feel included, valued, empowered, and respected.


One of my favorite philosophies is “hire the best people who can do the job well. After the onboarding phase, it’s critical to trust them to execute that job.” If your employees feel a sense of responsibility, empowerment, and trust, they will be more than willing to put their best foot forward. Workday is driven by our core values. One of which is “Employees”.

We’re good people, kicking ass, growing to last. In other words, a community of high performers who bring their best selves to work, speak up respectfully, and strive to do better every day

Ensure productivity

Managing remotely is a delicate balance. Leaders are accused of micromanagement when they are watching the work too closely. On the other hand, insufficient mentoring, lack of regular check-ins may lead to a laissez-faire leader. To mitigate this, a leader needs to clearly define goals and expectations, measure progress, provide feedback, promote continuous learning, and recognize and reward good performance. As a manager, it’s my responsibility to regularly monitor roadmap prioritizations, keep an eye on distractions and keep the teams focused on delivering on the highest priority projects. If everyone understands the “why” behind an initiative, everyone may share the same perspective of prioritization.

Leading a remote team requires a unique set of skills and strategies to ensure success. It requires trust, communication, and collaboration to build a strong team culture that transcends physical distance. Workday does an incredible job preparing and enabling our people-leader Workmate population. We regularly receive tools, training and communication to support our journey as people leaders.

Workday is shaping the future of business while helping make people’s work days brighter. We’re looking for people who are inspired by our mission. Our Engineering teams are growing, visit our careers page or send me a message to learn more.

A brighter work day is just around the corner☀️. Explore career opportunities here. For more #WDAYLife content, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



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