Leading Remote Teams
"Life is now a series of uncomfortable
Zoom interactions separated by snacks"

No one needs another ‘hope this email finds you well in these strange and uncertain times’ email, and you certainly don’t need a lecture on how working remotely calls for a ‘new normal’.  Globally we are a couple of weeks into this [depending on your region that may vary a bit] – you have already figured that out. So let’s talk honestly about working remote.

First thing I would point out is that we are not working remotely! We are working remotely in the middle of a pandemic. Those are two totally separate things and require some nuance in terms of how we lead.  But in other ways, the principles of leading remotely are still the same. So what are they :

  • Communication: Now is the time to really up weight this. Honesty, transparency and authenticity are so important. Schedule regular times each week ensure opportunities are not missed. Think about the language we are using, empathy is key at the moment. Spend time thinking about the delivery, the forum and how you want this message to be received.

  • Teamwork: Bringing together team leaders for open, transparent collaboration is the best way to get buy-in right now. Are you aligned on your goals from week to week, is everyone clear on their focus areas. Working more closely together to figure out any current challenges will keep managers engaged and focused on outcomes.

  • Culture: It is in more challenging times that your culture will shine through however this is harder in a remote environment. How do you retain and strengthen this culture during this period? Is everyone aware of the values,  are they fit for purpose, how can we bring them more to life now in different and innovative ways. They can’t just sit in a deck, they need to be real and be given opportunities to be present each week.

  • Focus on the Human: What this crisis has done in humanise the workforce in a way that has never happened before. We know more about our team members, their personal circumstances. Encourage managers to continue to check in with their team and engage them through listening and understanding their challenges. Use of platforms such as PepTalk is a great way to break down barriers, show vulnerability and create conversations in this period.

Tips, Tricks & Cheat-sheets

Some we have created, some are people we know, others are just so epic we felt why not just acknowledge them and pop them in here :)

#1 - Are you struggling with communication in this new world?

If you are you're not alone. Zoom fatigue is real. While video conferencing has been incredibly helpful it is not perfect. This cheat-sheet will give you some ideas on how structure your regular comms with your remote team.

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#2 - Are you worried about respecting all Team Members?

Digital media has certainly made communicating more accessible for remote and hybrid teams. However, we don't always have the luxury of reading body language and some social cues. Trello's Ryan Sorenson gives us some tips.

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#3 - Is it tough building community and connection?

Building connection and community virtually is probably going to be one of the most difficult things you will do as a leader. Here's some tips and hints to get you started, including 41 icebreaker questions.

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#4 - Do you want to create strong remote relationships?

Chris Kaundart from Trello shares his four habits that helped him cultivate better and more effective remote realtionships.

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#5 - How to structure your day for you and your team

Holly Fawcett from SocialTalent gives us her three top tips to help leaders with remote teams structure their day.

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Would you like to read some more?

We will be shortly publishing an eBook "What if work wasn't a place?" that deals, in depth with the intricacies of introducing a remote or hybrid work model. Click the button and leave your details so we can email you a copy.

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