Leading a remote team hopefully means you’re enjoying a whole bunch of engagement and productivity from them. Despite the benefits, it can sometimes be really challenging to stay in touch. It can be difficult to feel like you’ve got a sense of control and progress with your team.
In a recent study, 59% of remote workers agreed that written communication is the most important when working apart. That’s a really handy tip right there. If you’re going to bring out the best in your remote team, chances are they’re going to be looking for written instruction. Written support makes it easier for your team to direct their own work and achieve the goals they have set up. So make sure to document all of the operational knowledge you have in writing. By making those files centrally available to the entire team, you’re on the fast track to success.
“The real competitive advantage in any business is one word only, which is ‘people’.” Kamil Toume
So what else is key to being effective when you are leading a remote team? Let’s have a look!
Keep The Tools You Use To A Minimum:
To save confusion, it’s vital to ensure you keep the tools you use to a minimum. There are so many tools it can be a little overwhelming! I keep it really simple, using Slack for direct messaging and Zoom for video conferencing. We use Google documents and Google suite as our central workplace. Just keep it really simple, ensuring the tools you use get the job done.
Ensure Everyone Has What They Need To Work:
Now in saying all that, it is important your staff have a good understanding of those tools. Whatever platforms you are using, make sure your people know exactly how to use them. Importantly, also make sure your people have clear work instructions. Give them whatever guidance they need to do the job you have given them. Support them if they run into trouble.
Stay Connected With Your Staff:
This leads us to maintaining connections. This is vital for their support and for your peace of mind. You don’t want a project to stall because you’re not there enough. Keep communication open and make sure you’re available. If they get stuck or they’ve got an idea they want to share, be there. There are a lot of great communication tools to help lead your remote team.
Manage Workflow With A Cloud Based Tool:
Using a good cloud based tool helps make sure tasks are getting completed regularly. Everyone can see exactly what needs to be done and how people are performing. Make sure you’ve got a tool like Monday.com or Trello to keep people moving and accountable. When you’re leading a remote team, having an overview of work in progress is essential.
Use Video Conferencing Regularly:
Using video conferencing regularly is another way to bring out the best in your workers. This allows them to stay connected and feel a sense of social belonging. It also allows a fast transfer of information. It allows your remote workers to ask quick questions that may not translate well into an email. Plus, it’s always nice to see another friendly face!
Keep Expectations Realistic:
Be mindful of the situations your team members are in. When people are working remotely they might be working from quite challenging circumstances. They might be working from home with a sick child. They might be working in a shared workspace where there’s a lot of distractions. When leading a remote team, keep your expectations realistic.
Seek Out Feedback Regularly:
You should also check in with your team and get regular feedback. Ask them how they’re going, but also give them feedback about how you think they’re going. Be specific, giving quality feedback so everyone understands what is expected from them. This applies the other way too. Be open to learning what you can do better. The more you learn, the better a leader you will become.
Be Flexible and Stay Positive:
Staying flexible and positive is another vital part of bringing out the best in your remote team. Make sure you’re not being too rigid. This online space is so clear, so wide open. There’s no need for people to be super strict. Your team can make their work lifestyle work for them. They will increase their engagement and productivity as a result.
Encourage Healthy Work Habits:
Finally, maintaining healthy work habits is crucial. Making sure people are routinely looking after their own self care. Encourage people to have healthy snacks and a glass of water on their desk. Ask them how they’re going with looking after their own health. Keep your connection up. Take a holistic approach to bringing out the best in your workers.
With so many businesses exploring the remote workspace, becoming an effective remote team leader is more important than ever.