Managing Teams in a Remote-First Environment

Managing remote teams

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, it was rare for workers in many industries and departments to work from home. Now, it seems like everyone is working from home or is at least in a hybrid work environment.

At this point, many companies have completely transitioned to a 100% remote, distributed workforce, and many individuals have been hired with no in-person meetings. While teams have largely adapted to this shift, in the post-pandemic environment, questions about the best way to move forward are being asked. This human resources webinar will examine leadership in the remote workplace. We will look at the challenges of leading remotely, the changes in leadership style that have occurred, and the strategies that have been effective for engaging and motivating employees.

Leading Remotely for Management Teams

As more and more companies transition to a completely remote workforce, leaders often wonder: How can we lead effectively when we aren’t able to see our team face-to-face? Fortunately, technology continues to make it easier for leaders to lead from a distance. While in the past executives might have been limited to weekly team emails or calls and quarterly in-person meetings, today there are a multitude of tools that allow leaders to stay engaged and keep their teams on track.

Keep Lines of Communications Open and Mostly Asynchronous

To truly lead remotely, executives should focus on three key areas: communicating, getting visible, and being accessible. By constantly communicating with their teams through multiple channels such as group chats and Slack, individual messaging, email, FaceTime, Zoom, or phone, it’s possible to maintain a steady flow of information. When communicating, keep questions open-ended and be encouraging by giving feedback and praise when appropriate.

Listen to Understand, Actively

Effective leaders ask questions, listen actively, and don’t try to monopolize the conversation. Even though — through email, text messages, WhatsApp, etc. — executives can stay engaged and instill confidence in the team’s autonomy. Rather than save all communication for once or twice a week or when both parties are free, leaders should encourage frequent and open communication. This will help build trust between the leader and the team which encourages employees to  ask for help and input when needed.

Simulate Body Language By Looking into a Camera

Even though communicating is a key leadership skill, it’s important to remember that it includes more than just communicating verbally. Body language, eye contact, and other forms of communication can also influence a situation. You can simulate eye contact by looking directly into a camera, for example, if you are on a video call.

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