You’re Suddenly Leading Remotely: Now What!?
The skills needed to successfully lead remote workers and teams are both unique and additional to those required when working in the office. Even with planning and preparation, leading from a distance can be challenging – even more so if you are thrown into it due to the COVID-19 pandemic! We’ve prepared a list of practical tips to help support your success.
✓ Check in regularly with your employees to help them feel more comfortable and connected.
✓ Schedule regular team meetings or virtual huddles, as well as one-on-ones, to maintain the flow of work and communication.
✓ Avoid multitasking when you are communicating with your team. Becoming distracted may make your employees feel that you do not respect their time.
✓ E-mail and instant messages can lack tone and create misunderstandings. Lead by example by not jumping to assumptions, and address potential conflict immediately.
✓ Even if you have known your employees for years, working to maintain strong relationships is important from a distance. Express appreciation for your team, acknowledge birthdays, and carve out time for personal conversations that would happen naturally in a shared office.
✓ Ensure that you and your employees maintain work-life balance and wellness. Encourage your team to set boundaries to ensure the home is not a 24/7 workplace.
✓ Set clear start and finish times, as well as breaks that would normally occur in the office. Clarify when you are “out”.
✓ Leverage e-mail, instant messaging, and video to facilitate numerous avenues for communication. Turning video on for one-on-ones and team meetings helps people be more present and engaged.
✓ Shift to a results-focused mindset instead of a time-focused mindset by setting clear performance goals. You don’t want to micromanage, and your employees don’t want to be micromanaged!
While leading from a distance involves unique challenges, all leaders currently or potentially working in a distributed environment can develop high-performing teams. For more information about how to support yourself and your employees with flexible and remote work options, contact us today!
Work EvOHlution has been a world leader in remote work success since our launch in 2014. We are a Calgary-based team of Organizational Psychologists committed to enhancing engagement and performance in distributed workplaces. We offer innovative assessment tools for leaders, teams, and employees based on research conducted since 2003, as well as consulting, coaching, and training solutions. Work EvOHlution specializes in supporting organizations both locally and internationally.