Unlocking Remote Team Success: Insights from Future of Productivity’s Shane Spraggs

Remote Team Productivity Tips

Shane Spraggs, founder of Future of Productivity, shares expert insights on maximizing remote team productivity. Learn about intentional communication, fostering relatedness, and leveraging technology to create high-performing virtual teams. Discover practical strategies for overcoming common remote work challenges and building a thriving remote work culture.

In today's rapidly evolving work landscape, remote teams have become the new norm for many organizations. But how can leaders ensure their virtual teams remain productive, engaged, and successful? Shane Spraggs, founder of Future of Productivity, recently sat down with Michael Bernzweig on the Software Spotlight podcast to share his expertise on maximizing remote team productivity.

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Shane Spraggs, founder of Future of Productivity, discusses remote team productivity tips Software Spotlight podcast.
Learn expert tips for remote team productivity from Shane Spraggs, founder of Future of Productivity.

The Journey to Remote Work Mastery

Shane Spraggs' journey into the world of remote work leadership began long before the pandemic forced many companies to adopt virtual work arrangements. With a background in software development and years of experience managing remote teams, Spraggs founded Future of Productivity to help organizations navigate the challenges of the digital workspace.

“Even though the pandemic has been over for four years, a lot of companies have, you know, left the remote world and gone either hybrid or back to the office,” Spraggs notes. “It's all changed. How we communicate has changed, how we collaborate has changed, how we work together.”

The Three Pillars of Remote Team Success

Spraggs emphasizes that successful remote work strategies revolve around three key pillars:

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Technology

People: Treating Employees as Humans

One of the fundamental aspects of effective remote team management is treating employees as human beings rather than just resources. Spraggs explains, “Are people being treated like humans at your business? And are you doing what you can to set them up to be as productive as possible?”

He cautions against the misconception that longer work hours equate to higher productivity. “Working them 60, 70 hours a week doesn't necessarily make them more productive. It means they're spending more time in front of your laptop and front of your keyboard. But it doesn't necessarily mean they're developing the right amount of value for your business.”

Process: Forming the Right Habits

Establishing clear processes and habits is crucial for remote team success. Spraggs emphasizes the importance of “forming the right habits as a business to have everyone follow the same approach to things.”

This includes creating intentional approaches to communication, collaboration, and innovation. By setting clear expectations and guidelines, remote teams can work more efficiently and effectively.

Technology: Leveraging the Right Tools

The final pillar of remote team success is technology. Spraggs stresses the importance of having “the right tools to do the work you're doing” and exploring how AI can be integrated into business processes.

“Is the technology working for you? Do you have the right tools to do the work you're doing? And AI, how is AI entering into your business?” Spraggs asks. He notes that while AI offers many opportunities, it's essential to be discerning about which tools truly add value to your organization.

Overcoming Common Remote Work Challenges

The Shift from Organic to Intentional Collaboration

One of the biggest challenges in remote work is the loss of organic, water cooler-style interactions. Spraggs explains, “We're all familiar with the concept of the water cooler and how innovation happens around the water cooler and teams organically work together. And if you boil down what organic means, it's… It's another way of saying the word luck.”

To combat this, Spraggs advocates for a more intentional approach to collaboration and innovation in remote settings. This includes:

  • Establishing clear communication channels
  • Creating structured opportunities for team interaction
  • Developing intentional processes for innovation and idea-sharing

Fostering Relatedness in Virtual Teams

Another significant challenge in remote work is maintaining a sense of connection and relatedness among team members. Spraggs draws on the self-determination theory, which identifies three key motivators: autonomy, competency, and relatedness.

“When you're working remotely, it's easy to make sure people have autonomy over the work they're doing, that you do it in the office as well. It's also equally easy to make sure that they have competency in their work. But it's just related to the side of things that when you go remotely breaks,” Spraggs explains.

To address this, he suggests:

  • Facilitating virtual events and meetings effectively
  • Teaching team members how to engage in virtual settings
  • Creating opportunities for meaningful connection beyond work tasks

Leadership Strategies for Remote Team Success

Communicating Purpose and Values

In a remote setting, it's crucial for leaders to consistently remind team members of the organization's purpose and values. Spraggs notes, “Remotely, leaders have to constantly remind people of why the business exists and have to put more effort in tying every task and project everyone does to a priority of the business and therefore to the purpose of why they're at work.”

This approach helps employees understand how their work contributes to the larger goals of the organization, fostering a sense of meaning and motivation.

Developing Actionable Values

Spraggs emphasizes the importance of creating values that guide decision-making rather than generic statements. He shares an example from his previous company: “Vertira had a value, say no to fire drills… And this came up all the time. You get someone who brought someone, something to the table that was urgent, but not important. We all know these tasks. They happen all the time. And it was empowering for anybody in the company to, say no to fraud.”

By developing clear, actionable values, remote teams can make decisions more efficiently and stay aligned with the company's mission.

The Future of Remote Work

As we look to the future, Spraggs believes that remote and hybrid work models are here to stay. He predicts that tomorrow's successful companies will likely start as remote organizations, only considering physical office spaces as they grow significantly.

“We're going to see the Googles and the Amazons and the Facebooks of tomorrow are going to start remote. And then at one point, someone going to say, hey, it's time we get an office now that we have 400 people and they are spread all across the globe,” Spraggs envisions.

Conclusion: Embracing the Remote Work Revolution

As organizations continue to navigate the evolving landscape of remote work, the insights shared by Shane Spraggs offer a valuable roadmap for success. By focusing on the three pillars of people, process, and technology, and addressing the unique challenges of virtual collaboration, leaders can create thriving remote teams that drive innovation and productivity.

The future of work is here, and it's increasingly digital. By embracing intentional strategies for remote team management, organizations can unlock the full potential of their distributed workforce and stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.


What are the three pillars of successful remote work according to Shane Spraggs?

The three pillars are people (treating employees as humans), process (forming the right habits), and technology (leveraging the right tools).

How can leaders foster relatedness in virtual teams?

Leaders can foster relatedness by facilitating virtual events, teaching effective virtual engagement, and creating opportunities for meaningful connections beyond work tasks.

Why is intentional collaboration important in remote work settings?

Intentional collaboration is crucial because it replaces the organic, water cooler-style interactions that naturally occur in office settings, ensuring continued innovation and teamwork.

What role do company values play in remote team success?

Actionable company values guide decision-making and help remote team members stay aligned with the organization's mission and priorities.

How can organizations maintain productivity in remote teams?

Organizations can maintain productivity by setting clear expectations, leveraging appropriate technology, and focusing on outcomes rather than hours worked.

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