When you imagine a remote team, do you see a bunch of introverts hunched over their laptops? Remote workers must go days without speaking to a living soul!

Thankfully, that’s not the case. Many remote companies have developed cultures that are friendly and social. When the right expectations and values are in place, remote working can be a huge benefit to both employees and managers.

Here are 5 painless ways to quickly improve employee dynamics and productivity on a distributed team:

1. Cut stress

Sixty-nine percent of remote workers report a reduced stress level. When you don’t have to come into the office, you don’t have to deal with the hassles of a commute. No one is microwaving fish or burning popcorn. Co-workers can’t stop by every five seconds to share the latest YouTube clip. Remote workers can set their own boundaries, which helps them to feel more in control of their day.

2. Create margin

Almost seventy-five percent of telecommuters cite work/life balance as the best reason to work remotely. Having a remote set-up creates margin in your life to take care of family or personal issues. Remote workers also have the flexibility to deal with life’s inconveniences. If you work from home, you can create your best working environment. If you want to play loud mariachi music or have total silence to focus, go for it. No one is around to complain.

3. Choose your own social outlets

Remote working can be a challenge for very social people, but it can be managed. In one experiment, half of the remote workers chose to return to an office. Some of them reported loneliness as the reason. Try a coworking space or coffee shop for some extra social interaction. To connect with colleagues, use a virtual water cooler. It provides an online location to socialize throughout the workday.

4. Stay in control of projects

When you work remotely, you have more control over requests for your attention. Shut off alerts when you need to focus on an important project. Worried that going incommunicado will make you look bad? Use online tools like Basecamp, DailyStat.us or Trello to update your project status and check off tasks. Managers can keep tabs on what’s getting done, and workers can be productive without incessant interruptions.

5. Increase job satisfaction

Remote working generally leads to happier workers. Since they are trusted to manage their own time, they are more loyal and productive.  Not being micromanaged helps employees feel more autonomous and independent. Want to dip your toe in the remote-working water? About two-thirds of employers offer occasional telecommuting, which improves employee retention and satisfaction. Choose some communication and project management tools. Start small, offering a day a week, and see how your team performs.

You might be able to succeed as a remote manager, but could your favorite fictional boss? Check out the infographic below to see if Don Draper or Ron Swanson could cut it in a remote work environment.