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Dealing with the causes of stress
in remote teams

A Remote Work White Paper by Human Made

Remote work is growing in popularity as more and more companies and individuals make use of technology to create online teams and workspaces. While many publications promote the benefits of remote work, there is a growing body of research into some of the challenges faced by distributed workers. In addition to the stressors faced by traditional teams, remote workers face a unique set of stressors caused by cultural, temporal, spatial, and linguistic distance.

As a globally distributed team, we are always reflecting internally on what we do and how we can improve. In the summer of 2016 we were lucky to have Catalina Alvarez, an MSc student in Occupational Psychology, do an internship with us. Catalina’s research gave us new insight into how we operate as a team, and spurred us to do further research ourselves and put together this white paper to share what we learned.

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Available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0

This white paper:

  • introduces you to concepts around occupational stress
  • discusses the unique causes of stress for remote teams
  • explores ways that you can prevent and alleviate stress in remote teams
  • provides advice for individual remote team members to manage stress

Who is it for?

  • managers and leads responsible for remote teams
  • fully or partially distributed companies
  • HR and occupational health professionals specialising in remote work
  • remote team members
  • companies considering hiring remote employees


Siobhan McKeown is Events Director at Human Made. She is the author of a forthcoming book about remote work.


  • Tom Willmot, CEO, Human Made
  • Catalina Alvarez, Researcher, University of Paris 8
  • Rian Rietveld, WordPress Engineer, Human Made
  • Yuliana Yurieva, Senior Project Manager, Human Made