Successfully working as a virtual team requires leaders to focus on the fundamentals of good management, including establishing clear goals, running great meetings, communicating clearly, and leveraging team members’ individual and collective strengths. Here are three keys to success in working remotely.
Leaders should clarify and re-clarify goals and roles for their entire teams. The move to home-based working is a great opportunity for a team to revisit the basics in order to ensure everyone understands the team objectives, their individual roles, and how each person contributes to the outcome. Leaders may need to clarify and share new and measurable metrics of success. It is important to manage expectations and stay focused on goals. Don’t worry as much about what is being done. Instead, concentrate on what is being accomplished. If we are meeting our goals, then great. If not, we need to look into the situation further. It is all about accomplishment, not activity.
Communication is always essential for leaders, but becomes more so when when working remotely. The most successful managers are good listeners, communicate trust and respect, inquire about workload and progress without micromanaging, and err on the side of overcommunicating. One way to maintain communication without micro-managing is to ask the following questions every week: What have you done? What are you working on? Where do you need help? These three questions allow individuals to take ownership of their habits and behaviors. They also allow leaders to demonstrate another vital component of remote leadership: trust.
Remote leaders should place an emphasis on connection. Now more than ever it is important to maintain a regular cadence for meetings or lunches, make time for personal connection and foster and maintain team morale. A number of companies are creating a virtual water cooler where employees can run into each other and play out their personal and human sides. One simple and popular option is a #watercooler Slack channel where employees can trade jokes, gifs, and family photos.
Excerpts from: Leading Remote Workers – Forbes.com