Tips to leading a remote team well

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Tips to leading a remote team well

While companies all over the world transition to a work-from-home environment and workers grapple with their own fears and uncertainty in a response to COVID-19, your leadership has never been more crucial and defining. That is why we have compiled these tips to leading a remote team well.

Leaders can empower remote workers and one of the ways this can be done is by trusting them. As the leader of a remote team, the most important factors that matter are performance and communication. Communication breeds trust, and trust allows for increased responsibility and performance.

How do you build trust while leading a remote team?

The answer to how you trust a remote workforce lies in measuring output and not presence. Ensure that all employees have a clearly crafted job description, work plan and measured output that they are required to deliver. By focusing on deliverables and production, undergirded by purpose and values, managers can step back and allow employees to get on with their job without being micromanaged while fostering a culture of trust. 

Read more about Building A Future-fit Company in our blog.

Respect your employees' boundaries

Just because your employees are working from home do not expect them to be available 24/7. Employees need to be conscious of work creep as it is easier to work extra hours when you are working from home. 

Respect your employees working hours, so don’t phone them or expect them to respond to emails after hours. Fostering a good work-life-balance will ensure that the employee remains healthy, productive, engaged and loyal.


Set expectations

Make sure you have clear expectations for the frequency, means and ideal timing of communication for your remote employees.  Let your employees know the best way and time to reach you during the workday.

Make use of relevant tools and applications to keep their expectations clear and to reinforce priorities. For instance, a quick informal check-in can be done via WhatsApp.

Assist your employees with what the expected outcomes are and help them understand exactly how you will measure their success. This means defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for each task or project your team is working on. 


Schedule regular meetings for remote teams

Leaders of remote teams should schedule regular individual/team meetings via visual online formats. Your team needs to see you, and you need to see them.  As a leader, your role is to keep your team connected and to guide and lead them through changes in the working environment.

Check in frequently using collaboration tools, phone calls, chat, and video to invest in the relationship. 

Here are best practices on how to conduct a remote meeting: 
Virtual meetings are often video meetings using applications like Zoom, Google Cisco and Microsoft Teams, but virtual meetings can also be done over a phone. Here are some best practices when it comes to virtual meetings:

  1. Set and distribute the agenda for the meeting.

  2. Indicate clearly which platform will be used for the meeting on the calendar invite request.
  3. Indicate if you would like video screens and mute buttons on or off when joining a meeting. 
  4. Be prepared by having the screen open that will be presented before the meeting starts.
  5. Assign an administrator who needs to ensure everyone is in the meeting to avoid wasting time waiting for someone.
  6. Appoint a scribe to record and distribute important information.
  7. Only the person speaking should have an active mic, the rest should be on mute.

Working from home is now more broadly accepted, and employers are becoming reliant on successful remote and virtual collaboration. Strong leadership is vital to the success of remote working. 

RecruitMyMom has developed a remote working series to support employers with their transition to a more remote workforce. To view all the articles in this series, click here.