When you can’t see someone all day long, the only thing you have to evaluate is the work. A lot of the petty evaluation stats just melt away
Remote work is not new, but over the last years it has grown immensely, together with the leadership challenges related to it.
Communication is key
The shift to taking all meetings virtually is a challenge, it’s hard to build relationships and trust with a camera. The level of interaction many of us are used to isn’t possible working remotely. As a leader, you can help by setting expectations and creating structure around communication. This doesn’t mean dictating exactly how and when teams will communicate.
One way you might help is by facilitating a conversation with teams and helping define “official” channels and practices to help them communicate effectively with one another and with other groups inside the organization.
This might be setting expectations around using a particular chat system for the entire team, or establishing regular stand-ups, or status updates via email. A lot of this depends on the culture of your workforce and their work.
As leaders, I believe we must think about the whole
person and not just people’s work roles.
I think it’s important to convey respect for our team members
and understand that they’re dealing with a great deal of stress
that they can’t just put down when they ‘come to work’ .
A new focus
As leaders, we need to be able to embrace ambiguity and help our teams do the same. Work with them to set purpose and goals that endure but be able to adapt and update plans and decisions as needed. Ensure they understand that the purpose and goals don’t change so they feel continuity, but the decisions and plans will need to be adaptable and the ability to pivot quickly as a team to new plans is essential.
Remote leadership is about result orientation instead of process orientation. It’s not about the time spent on work, about to-do lists, but about the awareness of the individual contribution to the greater good, which helps to do the right things and the right things right.
Also celebrate results in order to help your team to understand that enough is enough. Since there will always be more work to be done.
In a remote environment it’s even more important to emphasize work/life balance, since it’s hard to separate work and personal life when home is also your office….
Did we make you curious about how your organization can become (more) effective in remotely leading distributed teams? Feel free to contact us!