How to have 1-on-1s with remote team members

Don’t forget your remote workers! Having regular 1-on-1s, especially after a 360-degree review, is particularly important to building and maintaining a virtual work environment. Follow these tips to help you run them effectively, despite the distance.


1. Use video


You may use various forms of communication to speak with your remote employees, but when it comes to follow ups, video is a must. Even if typing via slack or chatting over the phone is easier, especially when it comes to discussing constructive feedback, speaking face to face will give you deeper insights into their feelings towards the review.


While the tone of your voice may say one thing, facial expressions provide signals that you may not be aware of. If you ask, “how did the review go?” Your employee may reply, “fine” but their face may tell a different story. During your follow up it’s essential to be open and understanding, but without physical signs you may not be able to pick up on their underlying feelings towards the review.


2. Turn off notifications


Just like when speaking in person, your remote 1-on-1s should be held in an environment free of distractions: both physical and virtual. Before your discussion make sure to turn off any notifications. If you see an alert for a new message from a client, you may be tempted to have a glance during your conversation. Even a quick glance will signal to the other person that you’re not fully invested in the discussion.


3. Schedule your next 1-on-1

Take advantage of already being in front of your computer and immediately schedule your next meeting. In person 1-on-1s can already be challenging to keep up with. Looming deadlines, important calls, etc. make it tempting to put them off. The fact that you don’t physically see your remote employees everyday in person makes it even easier to forget. Immediately agreeing on a date and putting it in your calendar will help keep things consistent and get you both into the habit. For more advice on how to manage remote teams see here.




This article is part of a management guide about following up after a performance review.


Next Guides:


Manager’s Handbook: Following-up After a Review


Why should I follow up after a review?