Remote Leadership: Do’s and Don’ts
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a new type of work environment referred to as the remote workplace. A digital workspace has made it harder for leaders to manage their teams within their organizations. A year and a half into the remote workplace, it is probably safe to say that remote leadership is here to stay, and C-level executives who do not want to believe that fact need to adjust accordingly.
Why is Leadership Important?
In a recent article, we explain the importance of leadership development. Companies require strong leadership roles to continue to further the success of the company itself, as well as, the goals of the team members within the organization. This is done by clarifying team communication strategies, boosting employee engagement and morale, and enhancing the employee and client experience in the workplace; none of which could be achieved without strong leadership.
How to Develop Leadership with Remote Workers
As cited in WorkLife, strong in-person leadership skills don’t necessarily translate to being a good virtual leader. Instead, organization and competency reign supreme. One must remember to set expectations, listen and check-in regularly, and say ‘we,’ not “I” in order to create a sense of collaboration, not dictation, when managing remote workers.
The Dos and Don’ts of Leading a Remote Team
- DO practice clear and efficient communication. There is no need to excessively email employees that they feel as if they are being micromanaged, yet set a schedule for one-on-one meetings to ensure all team members are on the same page and working to the harvest of their ability, despite being home and potentially lacking the sense of mentorship they may have been receiving in the physical office space.
- DO prioritize your team’s mental health. According to Workplacementalhealth.org, working remotely can cause individuals to feel isolated, less enthusiastic to check-in with team members, and unmotivated to work to the best of their abilities. These feelings of loneliness and lack of socialization have been shown to lead to an increase in social anxiety and depression.
- DO establish deadlines, goals and milestones for employees. Meet with team members to follow-up on how they are reaching their goals. If employees are struggling, assist them in laying out the small steps needed to achieve the large goal. The big picture is attained by achieving a bunch of tiny bites of progress along the way.
Remote work requires leaders to trust their employees more, as they are not monitoring them in an in-person office environment anymore. Here are 3 don’ts to remember when managing a remote team and providing remote guidance:
- DON’T hold team meetings without a productive agenda. Team leaders may have weekly check-ins scheduled with team members to ensure that employees are feeling heard and know that time is being designated in a busy schedule to prioritize their needs. However, the employee’s time is just as valuable as the employer’s. Set an agenda of important tasks to discuss, goals to set and questions to answer to ensure everyone’s time is being utilized wisely.
- DON’T overwhelm team members with new remote work technologies. Adjusting to the remote workplace means new technologies will have to be tested and implemented, but remember that team members are home and not just outside your office door where they can easily run over and ask a quick question. Have patience as it takes time to figure out new systems and programs, especially when typical quick questions may have a longer response time.
- DON’T ignore boundaries such as honoring regular office hours and not expecting overtime without compensation because commuting has been taken out of the equation. It is more likely that distraction will occur throughout the day when working from home, but if employees are honoring their employer’s time and making up for distracted time efficiently, then no employers should expect their team members to work extra hours or on the weekends/days due to the simple fact that they are home and they can. Respect boundaries and check-in with employees on how they are managing their work-life balance while working remotely.
Unlock Remote Team Management Skills with Roos Advisors
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