Working remotely isn’t for everyone. But for some, it adds invaluable flexibility to their life. The motivation behind the desire to work remotely will be different for everyone, but the requirements for it to work remain the same.
How do you lead a remote team?
When managing any group of individuals, you should always lead by example. Don’t expect your remote workers to openly share their opinion, discuss projects, and try to get to know one another, if you’re not doing so yourself. Remote workers can easily shy away from the opportunity to collaborate with other employees. As a leader, it’s important that you actively involve your remote workers with all aspects of the business, while also establishing clear performance expectations.
Two words: regular meetings
How are you supposed to lead a team you know nothing about? Schedule regular virtual meetings on a platform that suits your team and take the time to get to know your employees. By extending an open and honest communication line, your employees are more likely to feel as though they’re part of a team. It’s also important that everyone forms an understanding of the different communication styles within the team and recognise that their preferred style won’t always work for others.
Working remotely has several pros and cons, for both leaders and their remote workers:
- Being able to shape your work around your life
- No more insanely early starts to make that 7am bus for the city commute
- Freedom to work when you’re at your most productive
- Less distractions
- Working in an environment that has been created to suit an individual’s specific needs
- Less office politics
- More flexible – schedules are no longer reliant on the traffic or public transport
- Little to no commute
- Being more engaged with work
- Employees are more inclined to take initiative within their roles
- Living and working where you want – location no longer impacts work-related decisions
- Forgetting to have lunch & take a break – it’s very easy to work through the day when you’re no longer working by the clock
- Becoming distracted by housemates or family members at home
- Faced with the housework that needs doing
- Difficulty with switching off and relaxing after work
- Miscommunication between team members
- Strong sense of discipline and organizational skills required
- Can sometimes get lonely
- Poor performance can go unnoticed
Managing a remote team can be challenging, however, if leaders are well equipped with the right tools and resources, the benefits of work flexibility outweigh the rest. For more tips and strategies, keep your eyes peeled for our new training workshop on modern day leadership challenges, including managing remote teams and mental health issues in the workplace.