A 5-step plan to integrate remote teams

Quick Summary - Remote work is a trend that defines the future. Studies show that more and more companies are moving away from physical offices. However, this decision requires certain onboarding and discipline approaches. In this article, we analyze the main steps to build and integrate a strong remote team.

A 5-step plan to integrate remote teams

9 mins read

April 6, 2023

“It doesn’t seem that good to constrain hiring to people who live around offices,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in one of the interviews. He claimed that by 2030, half of the social network’s employees will work remotely. 

“I don’t really believe that we’re going to end up coming back to the office,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said at an industry conference in 2022, and promised plenty of remote work experiments.

“We want to hire and retain the best people in the world (like you),” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote in an email to employees, noting that limiting the workforce to a radius around offices would put the company at a “significant disadvantage.”

Such statements by tech giants confirm the global trend – physical offices are becoming a thing of the past. 

According to the survey, 85% of tech specialists said they work either completely remotely or in a hybrid model. And 3 in 5 respondents don’t want to return to the office. 

Another report shows that 71% of employees became more productive compared to working in an office before. 3 of 4 senior technology respondents also report increasing productivity of their remote workers, according to Commit.

Despite the many benefits of engaging remote teams – improved productivity, access to global talent, and cost savings, – integration and management remain the main challenges. 

How to integrate remote teams

Based on our experience, cases of well-known tech companies, and numerous pieces of research, we’ve compiled a 5-step plan to help you successfully integrate and effectively manage a remote team.

Step 1. Choosing the right people

Today’s candidates are highly interested in a remote format. According to the report, 97% of respondents in the software sector believe that remote or hybrid models help recruit or retain talent. It gives the employer a wide choice in choosing a remote team. 

In order to find those people who share the values and goals of the company, it is necessary to form a certain approach to the analysis of future team members. There are various methods of behavior assessment, such as questionnaires, psychological interviews, and even games. Unusual tests can also come in handy. 

An example is the experience of the IT company Clevertech, which the CEO Kuty Shalev shares in the article for HBR. He claims he hadn’t met his CTO in person for three years after hiring him. According to him, the company uses unexpected or provocative descriptions and questions and asks to record some short videos about themselves. If a person is not ready to appear in front of the camera, such an employee is not able to leave his comfort zone, Kutiy Shalev believes. 

Your company’s approach does not necessarily have to be similar. So before you test candidates, be aware of your expectations, values, and unique style.

Step 2. Acquaintance and onboarding

Create your own distance learning program for new remote employees. It can include welcome letters, video instructions, and work schedules. If the company has physical offices, a video tour can be useful.

For example, GitLab uses its own product for the remote onboarding of new employees. Also, a remarkable thing is GitLab’s “team handbook“, which consists of several thousand searchable web pages.

An option may be the implementation of mentoring assistance. Usually, the mentor is not a team leader, but an equal colleague whom one can easily ask for help or clarification. 

Step 3. Implementation of precise management, discipline, and corporate culture

  • Make your virtual team feel included

Research shows that remote workers are more likely to feel left out. Therefore, the manager needs to direct efforts to raise team spirit and be available during the working hours of such employees regardless of the time difference.

Frequent and regular communication, the cadence of check-ins, and scheduled meetings are what the most successful managers do. At least, 46% of respondents think so.



Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

  • Try to meet sometimes

Every fourth respondent considers managers who offered meetings with remote employees to be more successful. Live communication allows you to get to know each other and strengthen the team. You can create team events such as learning, and team coaching, gather remote team members together or offer them the opportunity to go to the main office.

  • Establish work discipline

Try to avoid unplanned conferences and calls, schedule meetings, and prepare a list of important issues in advance. It allows the employees to focus on the main points and not distract themselves by chaotic communication. Give up micromanagement. You have assembled the best team – it’s time to let it work.

  • Use convenient online tools

Cloud services and apps for a virtual office are integral attributes of remote collaboration. It is better to choose one or a couple of the most convenient options for your company and refuse to use too many different tools and messengers simultaneously. 

The best tools for remote management



Tools for remote management


Step 4. Creating a system for evaluating performance and celebrating success

The statistics are relentless: 79% of employees cite a lack of gratitude as the main reason for quitting.

Celebrating success is one of the best ways to motivate the team. You can discuss achievements in weekly meetings or implement a system where colleagues can celebrate each other.

It is also useful to constantly inform the team about how things are going. It can be a weekly or monthly newsletter with key indicators and plans for the next period.

Step 5. Having fun

It is difficult for remote team members to compensate for the absence of corporate events, picnics, and classical office chats on breaks. Use your imagination to maintain a virtual informal relationship.

At PerceptionBox, we celebrate birthdays in Slack, make funny quizzes, and organize charity campaigns online. We try to engage employees on social media by showing how they live and work in different locations. In addition, we have a tradition of sharing photos and personal stories in the Annual Digest.

Many companies have separate channels for employees to share memes and talk about this and that. Often, such chats are named with nostalgia for the office. For example, at Groove it is the #water-cooler.

Clevertech raises its team spirit through online video games. They strengthen trust and train members to cope with stress, the CEO believes.

Among the options to support friendly relations in the company can be annual joint vacations, organized discussions of new movies and TV series, etc.

If you need to create a remote team or involve a ready-made offshore one, contact us. PerceptionBox will provide you with a detailed consultation and fulfill your request with high quality.


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