Learning to lead remotely is one of today’s most important skills. Even aside from the recent transition to remote work caused by COVID-19, remote working and distributed teams are quickly becoming the new norm.
Running an effective team remotely requires you to take a different approach to leadership. Here’s what your distributed team needs from you to function at its highest level.
Set Clear Expectations from the Start
What do you want to accomplish? To what standard do you want it done? When is it due? How do you want to receive updates?
It’s your job to let your remote team know what your expectations are early and often. Not only will this help you manage your stress as you navigate leading a remote team, but it provides your team with the tools they need to hold themselves accountable.
If everyone knows what they’re doing and why, then you can all focus on getting it done.
Focus on Goals and Outcomes First
If you’re new to remote leadership, then you might struggle with the possibility of the unknown. In other words, unless you use tracking software, you don’t know what your team members are doing at all times. The temptation to worry and to micromanage can set it in quickly.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that unless you hover all day, you don’t know what your team does when they’re in the office either.
So, rather than worrying about activity and productivity, shift your attention to meeting goals and completing outcomes. These are much easier to manage and track without driving your employees crazy.
Encourage Teams to Unplug After Work
In Buffer’s State of Remote Report for 2019, remote workers said their biggest struggle isn’t staying motivated or dealing with distractions at home. Rather, 22% said it’s difficult to unplug after work.
When your team can’t relax after work, it will impact their performance during the day. It leads to dissatisfaction, low productivity, and employee burnout.
You can help them switch off after a workday by both giving them permission and sharing resources that might help. Even quick messages like, “Thank you for your work, go log-off and enjoy your evening” can help employees take a sigh of relief.
Setting communication boundaries can also help. Don’t email or message your team after the day is done. It will help you switch off, too!
Hop on Video Calls When You Can
Video calls offer a better connection between your teams. They generate a better sense of community, and they allow you to use nonverbal communication, which makes conversations more productive.
So, next time you’re tempted to send out a long email, consider making it a video meeting instead.
Are You Ready to Go Remote?
Remote working is here, and to succeed, you need to understand how leading a remote team differs from leadership in the office.
At Transcend Solutions, we place exceptional leaders with perfect clients. Request an employee to start the search for someone with the skills, experience, and character needed to lead your team.