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Remote Leadership – Set a Benchmark to Outperform

- By Dwaipayan, 17 August 2020 | 6 MIN READ


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Working remotely is “The new normal”, in the wake of COVID 19 many managers just got irked! Not only because of the virus but now they are being forced to lead a remote team.

Executive leaders at organizations like Amazon, Apple, Google, Wells Fargo and several small to medium-sized businesses have instituted remote work policies to keep employees protected.

Leadership is hard, and it just got harder. 

Add a remote staff and living out this definition of leadership becomes difficult for a few key reasons:

•          Team member uncertainty and fear regarding the Coronavirus

•          Technology issues related to working remotely

•          Less work because of the economic slowdown

Here are a Few Best Practices to help ensure you are leading and not managing: If you find yourself in a position of leadership and are now responsible for leading a remote team.

That one thing you can do is “Embrace Flexibility”

Working remotely doesn't mean people have to be tied to their desks from 8 AM - 5 PM. In fact, it's an opportunity to align with what employees already want, flexibility.

In a recent Deloitte study, 94% of respondents said they would benefit from one thing: workplace flexibility in the form of remote work and flexible hours. It's time to let go of the old belief system and to trust your people. Make sure they know they have the flexibility to manage their own time. One of the major benefits of remote work is being able to go for a walk, enjoy a workout, or have lunch/dinner with family. Not to mention, many people are balancing their children being home during this time as well.

Struggles with WFH

Most professionals are [working from home] for the first time, and it's essential to ensure the entire team is on the same page.

Businesses and financial stability are on the line during this critical economic period. Each person is now responsible for their results more than ever, and the mindset of working remotely versus a passive mindset is paramount. An effective Leader will educate them on the typical struggles they will face working from home.

The four biggest struggles for remote workers according to Remote Report from 2020

1.         Collaboration and communication

2.         Loneliness

3.         Not being able to unplug

4.         Distractions

Let’s try not to avoid these, make your team aware of the struggles they are likely to face and ask them how they are going to create systems to overcome them. 

Instilling a habit for Team Meetings for the Win

If you are leading a remote team, your ability to run effective team meetings will make or break you. Not only do they provide a platform for communication and connection, but most importantly, they will keep everyone engaged and accountable if done correctly. 

Try a plethora of remote apps around you, in case if you’re using Zoom set a weekly meeting (video on) on Monday or Tuesday and require everyone on the team to attend. An active structure for effective remote team meetings goes like this:

1.         Personal Updates - Weekend activities, news, etc.

2.         Overview message about current priorities and recent wins

3.         Individual update - Each team member updates the entire group with three things: one thing they did last week that helped, what they are working on this week, and where they need help. 

If there isn't enough work to do because of the current environment, these team meetings are an opportunity to challenge yourself and your team members to be proactive in finding newer ways to benefit the company or develop skills they didn't previously possess. 

Show Authentic Appreciation and Care

Since you will not have the opportunities to show appreciation for the work your team is doing in person. It is essential you show them authentic appreciation in one way or another. The reason is simple:

Employees who feel appreciated will always do more than what's expected

Photo courtesy: https://unsplash.com/@tfrants

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