How to Build Trust with Your Team When Working Remotely

Trust is crucial in any workplace, and it’s vital in a remote setting where team members are out of sight. Trust allows workers to perform at their best, which ultimately helps the company carry out their mission and reach their goals.


It’s not easy to build trust with remote teams, but it’s worth the effort to foster reliable and trustful relationships.


The Importance of Trust with Remote Teams

For managers and team leaders, building trust can be challenging. Research shows that managers have a hard time trusting that remote employees are doing their jobs.


All of that doubt can lead to unrealistic expectations of team members being available at all times. Those expectations contribute to work stress and interrupt the fine balance of work and home life.


Part of the problem is that team leaders don’t have confidence in managing remote teams.


A study from Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that 40% of the 215 leaders who participated in their research weren’t confident in their ability to manage remote workers. A similar number of participants didn’t feel confident that they could motivate their remote teams to do their jobs well.


An alarming number of managers in this survey (38%) felt that remote workers did not perform as well as those who work in offices. And 41% were skeptical about remote workers staying motivated over the long-term.


That lack of confidence doesn’t go unnoticed by remote teams. In HBR’s study, 34% of workers said their supervisors actually expressed their lack of confidence in their work ability.


Remote working is expected to be the “new normal,” so it’s essential for managers and team leaders to focus on building trust. After all, when organizations value trust, remote workers have:

  • More energy and better focus

  • Less stress

  • Greater overall satisfaction

  • Less of a risk of burnout


How to Build Trust With Remote Teams

There’s no quick and easy way to build trust with remote teams. What works for one team may not work for another. Therefore, it’s important to understand the dynamics of your team and each member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Build trust when working remotely

Give Clear Direction and Goals

When everyone understands what’s expected of them, it’s much easier for team members to reach their goals and perform at their best.


Set clear team goals, purposes and priorities so that everyone is on the same page. Doing so will also promote transparency, which is another important factor in the success of a remote team.


Encourage Self-Direction

Allow your team to take control over how they work. Try not to micromanage your team. Most importantly, don’t make your team members feel like they have to be on call 24/7.

Sometimes, managers have to take that leap and trust that their team will do their job.


Communicate Regularly

Regular communication is the key to keeping your team motivated and on-point. Daily check-ins and online meetings can help ensure that everyone is on track without making your team feel smothered.


Boardit Helps You Build Trust with Your Remote Team

Clear direction and regular communication are two important ways to build trust with remote teams, and Boardit can help with both of these by letting you leverage the power of the time-approved method – whiteboarding, when needed.