The Managerial Odyssey 2024 - Stage 1 - Décathlon - 5 good practices for managing your team remotely.

💡 In this article, we share tips from Gaëlle, the Communication Leader and Graphic Designer at Decathlon France, on how to manage her team remotely.

🕐 Reading Time: 4 min

How to manage your team remotely?


  1. 1. Managing Your Team Remotely: Gaëlle’s Tips
  2. 1.1 Establish Weekly Rituals
  3. 1.2 Centralize Collaborative Tools
  4. 1.3 Be Highly Available
  5. 1.4 Promote a Culture of Trust, Autonomy, and the Right to Make Mistakes
  6. 1.5 Maintain Physical Interactions and Exchanges
  7. 2. What Surprised Us the Most

1. Managing your team remotely: Gaëlle's tips

Decathlon offers geographical flexibility to some of its employees. This is the case for Gaëlle, a communication leader and graphic designer, who, after working several years at the headquarters in Lille, decided to move to Haute-Savoie. Since then, she has been working at the Decathlon in Passy and manages her team of 8 employees entirely remotely.

In this article, she shares her tips and attitudes for successfully managing her team 100% remotely.

💡 Useful best practices that can also be used in regular teleworking.

1️⃣ Establish Weekly Rituals

🎯 Objectives:

👉 Assess the workload of your team and the progress of projects;

👉 Communicate and exchange regularly;

👉 Ensure good time management and productivity;

👉 Sense the needs of your team.

⚒️ Gaëlle’s Tips – Tools

Gaëlle and her team’s ritual meetings:

• Monday: early afternoon meeting – kick off the week & align objectives;

• Thursday: 2 hours of collaborative work time;

• Friday: the whole day is free and dedicated if a particular need arises from her team.

2️⃣ Centralize Collaborative Tools

🎯 Objectives:

👉 Facilitate collaboration, communication, and project management;

👉 Coordinate activities and monitoring;

👉 Enhance inter-team transparency.

⚒️ Gaëlle’s Tips – Tools

Gaëlle and her team use an internal tool at Decathlon to communicate and collaborate simultaneously on a project.

Tools useful for managing remotely:

Real-time communication; Project management; Task management; File storage and sharing; Virtual whiteboard.

3️⃣ Be Highly Available

🎯 Objectives:

👉 Remove constraints and obstacles for your team;

👉 Strengthen bonds with your team.

🗣️ Gaëlle’s Tips – Managerial Attitudes

• Prioritize your team Gaëlle prioritizes her team above all else: “When I get a phone call from a team member, I stop what I’m doing, I answer, and I help. That’s my priority. If I’m in a video call, I schedule a point right after.”

• Dedicate flexible times in her schedule to meet the needs of her team Gaëlle dedicates 3 fixed hours and 8 flexible hours in her schedule each week to respond to her team’s needs: “This allows me to be present and respond to their needs while managing my tasks optimally.”

• Favor exchanges via video and phone rather than email Moreover, Gaëlle prefers exchanges via video rather than email with her team. This makes interactions more human and reduces misunderstandings and miscommunications (and consequently conflicts).

4️⃣ Promote a Culture of Trust, Autonomy, and the Right to Make Mistakes

🎯 Objectives:

👉 Establish a work environment conducive to engagement and performance;

👉 Engage and motivate your team;

👉 Make your team as autonomous as possible.

🗣️ Gaëlle’s Tips – Managerial Attitudes

  • Adopt inspiring leadership: 
  • By regularly communicating the vision of the project and setting clear objectives.
  • By recognizing each individual’s achievements and successes.
  • By granting the right to make mistakes.
  • By trying to adopt exemplary behavior: “Nevertheless, no one is infallible, and it is also important to convey this. This makes exchanges more human, maintains closeness with teams, and keeps you an accessible leader. It also allows for giving and receiving the most honest feedback.”

• Show empathy and flexibility By considering the individual needs (personal or professional) of your team.

5️⃣ Maintain Physical Interactions and Exchanges: Essential for Successful Remote Management

🎯 Objectives:

👉 Create a connection with your team;

👉 Encourage informal times.

🗣️ Gaëlle’s Tips – Managerial Attitudes

For Gaëlle, it is essential to see her team physically as part of her remote management. She returns to Lille four days a month to spend time with her team. Gaëlle dedicates these four days to:

• Individual interviews with each team member • Team meeting with the four people in person and the four people in a functional role • Informal team times (restaurants, sports, external activities…)

2. What surprised us the most...

😯 We were surprised by the high availability that Gaëlle offers to her teams. Whenever a team member contacts her via video/phone, Gaëlle interrupts her tasks (including meetings sometimes depending on the urgency) to respond to their request. This high availability tends to stabilize as the team matures and becomes more autonomous. As a remote manager, Gaëlle puts her team first and always prioritizes their requests.

The key to managing your team remotely?

Authors: Vincent and Clémentine, The Managerial Odyssey 2024.