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Managing remote teams and keeping track of time

If you’ve ever managed a remote team before, you know how difficult it can be to keep everyone aligned. The challenges that describe managing remote teams could be summarized as a lack of face-to-face supervision, clear expectations, communication such as low productivity, and social isolation.

But don’t worry, we’ve got something for you to enhance your team’s productivity.

Tips how to manage remote teams

Elevating communication levels by:

  • Noticing miscommunication issues and solving them early

  • Maintaining team spirit

  • Consulting with team members regularly

  • Using online communication and collaboration tools

  • Keeping work rules and processes straightforward and clear

Creating a strong company culture

Creating an overall culture for your business where employees can identify with its values, beliefs, behaviors, goals, attitudes, and work practices will result in increased productivity and creativity of your remote team.

Use a time-tracking tool

When you manage remote teams and want to get the maximum performance, an efficient time tracking tool is unavoidable. There are many benefits of a time-tracking tool. Here is an overview of the most important six:

  • A time-tracking tool can help you track team members’ productivity by recording their time on job activities and comparing it to estimated time.

  • Through time tracking tools, you can use data to assess delegated tasks.

  • Time-tracking software organizes team workload and helps with decision-making.

  • Set vacation policies and avoid understaffing. A time-tracking tool can alert you of absences.

  • Time-tracking software can help individuals and organizations to be more productive.

Manage remote teams easily using time tracking

Time tracking is one of the critical elements in managing remote teams. The benefits of these tools will offer an overview of your teams’ capacity, while it’s easy for you to identify roadblocks and solve them. Timesheets are outstanding for team management, providing a more realistic estimate for tasks, indicating the hours your team spends per project, and comparing productivity over time.


Christine P. Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 11, 2022

I think time-tracking is an interesting part of team capacity planning, but also, understanding whether the amount of time spent across responsibilities reflects the team's actual priorities. 

Curious for you @Andreas Springer _Actonic_ and others who read this:

  1. Do folks track time by estimating time things will takes (the before), logging in hours as work happens (the during), and/or reflecting on work once it's done and tabulating hours then (the after)?
  2. And where do folks find the tracking most helpful to help team decision-making (versus helping your own individual productivity decision)?
Marta Woźniak-Semeniuk
Rising Star
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November 17, 2022

In my experience - for truly Agile teams - working with story points [Scrum] and /or Cycle time, Lead time is a much better idea for increasing the productivity. Estimating in hours and then logging it puts people back in the 19th century factory mindset really quickly - but that is just IMHO ;)

Kai Becker
Community Leader
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November 24, 2022

@Marta Woźniak-Semeniuk @marI agree on your opinion regarding the estimation of issues. Never the less, software is usually developed for customers that actually pay for it. So there is definitely a need for time tracking and further billing. But thats just my personal opinion.

Viktoriya Borisova
Community Manager
Community Managers are Atlassian Team members who specifically run and moderate Atlassian communities. Feel free to say hello!
November 25, 2022

@Christine P. Dela Rosa I can't speak for the team level, but on an individual level, I do all three! In advance, I time block all tasks on my calendar (the before). As I begin the task, I monitor it on my calendar to track time (the during). Once I complete it, I update my calendar on how long it actually took me to complete the task (the after).

I am incredibly visual and loose track of time easily, so I need to see the length of a task on my cal to begin to sense/feel time in my day.

Note - Once teammates began to hesitate scheduling meetings b/c they didn't know what task they could book over, I made a private calendar that is only visible to me. : ) 

Like Christine P. Dela Rosa likes this
Iryna Komarnitska_SaaSJet_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
January 24, 2023

Hi everyone!
Great tips in the article :)

I also want to advise the app Cost Tracker for Jira Cloud, developed by my team.
It's a simple add-on, that helps track costs and expenses. With it, you allow calculating costs of projects, sprints, versions, issues, etc. And, of course, it helps manage remote teams.

The Add-on maintains the straightforward principle of calculating the company and project cost.
In one line, it can be written as:

People logs * People rates + Direct expenses.

It's free now. Hope it will be helpful for all of you!

Graham Twine _Slm_ January 26, 2023

I have always found this a really difficult topic. I have been in both camps and I see their points of view.

As a developer, tester or administrator I want to be left alone so that I can focus.

An excellent article worth a read is Developer Interrupted.

As someone in the PMO I need to know where everyone is in their tasks and how my release health is looking so I want everyone at my fingertips.


Mature teams go a long way at getting a good balance to this problem and they update their Jira issues, document what has been done etc.


Just my observation of the matter

Like Dave Rosenlund likes this
Lucy Warner_SaaSJet
Rising Star
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March 3, 2023

Hi everyone

Additionally, I would like to recommend add-on which helps to track time spent in status and how long each of your team member (even the remote one) has been working on the issue.

Time in Status for Jira Cloud developed by my SaaSJet team generate the Assignee time report which shows how long it takes for each assignee to solve the issue. So you can easily monitor on which stage some delays occur and who is responsible for them.

Assignee Time.gif

If you have any additional questions, please, let me know.

Hope it will be helpful for someone of you.

Like Charly [DEISER] likes this
Charly [DEISER]
Rising Star
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March 14, 2023

Great post, thanks for sharing!

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