How to Successfully Transition to Lead a Remote Team


Amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic threat, also known as COVID-19, companies are responding by asking their employees to work from home. They are aiming to preserve the health and safety of their team. However, this change creates a new set of challenges on how to lead a remote team.

Here are 5 tips to support and stay connected with your newly remote team.

Lead a Remote Team

1. Lead by Example

With the sudden change to home-based working, you’ll need to set the example for hours and attitude. You’ll not only have to remain calm but to empathize with your employees’ feelings and thoughts. Remember, if their leader is unavailable, nervous or anxious, they’ll mimic that.

2. Create a Set of Practices as a Team

Establish a set of practices to guide everyone as they work to achieve the laid out objectives. Consider these questions to create best practices while adjusting how you work.

  • What online tools will you use to share information? Emails or sharing platforms such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams?
  • What is the main channel of communication? Is it text, email, or phone?
  • Does the team meet frequently? When and how long?
  • How will you ensure people are present? Does everyone turn on their video camera?

For additional documents and outlines you can use, be sure to checkout the remote team templates put together by the team at Venngage.

3. Emphasize Personal Interaction

As a leader; you have to understand that remote work is different from being in the office.

Let your team know you are sensitive to their constraints in their non-traditional workspace. Some may have multiple roommates and others may have to deal with distractions like noisy passing vehicles, dogs barking, or kids. Be open to discussing alternatives such as flexible work hours during this period.

Your team is likely to feel disconnected and lonely in their new work environment, which can lower engagement, creativity, and productivity. Make time to check on everyone (it is crucial now more than ever) and boost their spirits. Encourage them to balance family and work in a healthy manner.

You can enlist in a company like Outback Team Building & Training to help you run highly engaging virtual team building activities for your remote team. Their virtual escape room and virtual happy hour trivia are two of their most popular options.

4. Schedule Regular meetings

You should know the team will crave social bonds and face-to-face interactions. Instead of relying only on emails (they tend to limit the depth of debates), you can switch to FaceTime, webchats, video conferencing, or even phone calls.

The meetings should be regular to boost their morale and improve the decision-making process. Regular meetings will also help to maintain a routine.

5. Let Loose and Network

In the current panic, there are many different conversations happening, and your team could be misinformed about the virus. Have conversations about what is happening. Share perspectives to help only help those looking for information, but also as a reminder that they aren’t alone.

The YouGov brand, as an example, has reported a significant decrease in Corona beer consumption. People think there is an association of the beer to coronavirus when clearly there is not.

Educate, clarify, and provide factual guidance when need be. Also, encourage your team to rely on news from credible sources, including WHO, Popular Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or Elsevier.

A Successful Remote Workforce during Coronavirus – and Beyond

When the whole world has been impacted, and the infections keep rising significantly, the world of work has to embrace change. In times like this, you can still adjust and thrive in a new and different normal.

Lead a remote team to be productive and successful in working remotely. As a leader, you have to be proactive when implementing these 5 tips, so you can smooth the transition and become a remote workforce. Who knows? You might consider going fully remote, long term. After all, you can reduce overhead costs, and your employees get flexibility while saving on commuting time.

For more on leading a remote team, check out this post.

Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?

Let’s talk about your business. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org. Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!

Contact Mike today to start the breakthrough!

Mike Gingerich life leadership business coaching

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