Leading a remote team is never easy, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States earlier this year, many leaders were thrust into remote leadership positions suddenly and unexpectedly. With this came various challenges such including technological, communication, and just overall stress and burnout. Luckily, it’s possible to adapt to a remote leadership position, and many have successfully done so in the months since the pandemic began. For those that are still struggling and want to be a better leader for their team, read on.
Communication Is Key
In any leadership position, remote or not, communication is of the utmost importance. When you’re not physically present with your team, it becomes even more important. Employees tend to feel disconnected from their coworkers when they’re working from home, and it can often feel like their leaders and managers don’t have the time for them due to not being able to be physically present with them. On top of making sure communication is occurring regularly, leaders must be sure they’re transparent with their teams as well. Transparency, especially in unprecedented times such as these, is integral to your team members trusting you, and ultimately working harder due to the respect you’ve shown them by being transparent.
While many offices allow their employees to work from home once or twice a month, now that we’re doing it full-time things are a little different. It’s important for leaders to be flexible with their employees, as everyone’s home situation is unique. Some employees may be parents and with many kids being in a remote learning situation right now, they may have their child at home with them. Juggling getting your work done while also taking care of a potentially small child is never easy, and it can be easy to get distracted. Outside of having kids at home, working from home and not getting that social interaction from the office, or not having the boundary between your work and home, can cause burnout. It’s important for leaders to be aware of this, and encourage their employees to take mental health days or let them know that it’s okay if they potentially fall behind.
Provide Tech Support
Working from home brings loads of technical difficulties. Some employees may not have great Internet, while others may not have webcams on their computers. It’s important that tech support is provided when possible due to employees not having the access to everything they need like they usually would in an office. This falls in line with flexibility, and understand that everyone’s situation is different. It’s important to work with your employees to ensure they have everything they need to do theory work efficiently and effectively.