Remote Work: How to Be a Better Leader

We live in a world where more and more people are working remotely. And managers who are used to working with their teams face-to-face may need help to adapt ways to lead a team that includes remote workers.

It’s easy to feel like you’re failing as a leader when you have to deal with things like: 

  • different time zones, 
  • too many meetings, and 
  • miscommunication.

Here are eight ways to become an effective leader while working from home.

8 Tips to Become a Successful Remote Leader

Learn Their Communication Preferences

When you’re a remote leader, you can go above and beyond the expectations of a traditional leadership role. The key here is communication.

When employing someone remotely, it’s essential to consider their communication preferences before jumping in with questions or concerns. 

Ask them whether they prefer email, text, or video calls. It’s also good to find out when the appropriate time to contact them is. And whether or not they are okay with getting interrupted when working on projects. 

A great way for remote leaders to learn more about their team members’ communication preferences is by asking them directly. You’ll learn things about them that will help guide your relationship moving forward. 

Establish Clear Expectations and Workflows

To lead your team effectively, start by setting clear expectations and establishing workflows. This means: 

  • defining what tasks each person on your team should be responsible for, 
  • how much time they have available per week, and 
  • any additional resources they may need, such as time tracker software or equipment. 

Once these elements are defined, make sure everyone knows how their role fits into the bigger picture. Be specific when discussing goals with them so that everyone has realistic targets to aim for over time.

Remember that not every person responds well when given specific instructions. Some prefer more general guidance, while others thrive under close supervision. 

Think carefully about which type of employee would thrive best with your leadership style before making any changes.

One-on-One Meetings and Check-Ins Should Be the Norm.

Meetings should happen at least once a week; they should be at least 30 minutes long. And it’s better to do them in person or via video chat. 

You can set up recurring meetings with your team members using services like Doodle, Calendly, and GroupMe. Make sure the meeting focuses on progress rather than status updates. 

Keeping everyone on track and moving forward as a team is essential.

Provide Regular Feedback in Real-Time.

In a remote work environment, you must give regular feedback in real-time.

How can you provide regular feedback if your team is dispersed? Luckily, there are several tools available to help make this process easier. 

For example, Slack and Zoom allow video conferencing, making it easy to hold meetings with the entire team. You can have the meeting during working hours or at any other time during the day. 

This helps keep everyone on track and connected as they work together remotely.

Hold Each Other Accountable

Don’t be afraid to ask for regular updates. Regular check-ins can help you monitor what everyone is working on and how they’re doing, whether it’s a daily email or weekly call. 

These conversations will also act as opportunities for you to give feedback, offer new ideas, and highlight accomplishments.  That can boost motivation among your team members.

You can also use tools like Asana or Trello to assign tasks and monitor progress in real-time.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions

If you’re in the role of asking questions, there are some good things to keep in mind. First, be specific about what you need. “I don’t understand what this means” isn’t helpful for your co-worker, and neither is “Help me with this project.” 

You might want to say, “I don’t understand the overall strategy because I wasn’t at the meeting.” 

Next, ask the question when you need an answer; don’t ask before or after. Those two points are linked. 

Here’s why: if a question is pressing enough to interrupt someone else’s workflow, it needs to be answered quickly. That way, both parties can get back where they were as quickly as possible. 

Make Sure Everyone Has the Necessary Information 

Having a place where all the information is at everyone’s fingertips is essential. For communication, you can use project management tools such as Trello and chat tools like Slack. 

This will help everyone stay on track with deadlines and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. You could also make use of a calendar app like Google Calendar so that you can see: 

  • what meetings are coming up, 
  • when they’re happening, and 
  • who needs to attend them. 

You can also create tasks or reminders for yourself using Todoist or Google Tasks, so you’ll always know what tasks need attention every day. And if you’re using it on your phone, it’ll appear in your notification center. 

That way, even if an important task pops up while you’re away from your laptop, you’ll still see the notification. 

Share Great Work Being Done by Others

Sharing the good work of others is important because it shows that leadership cares about the team’s success. In addition, sharing your accomplishments and what you’re working on helps to motivate others to do the same. 

You can also share what you learn from a particular project or experience. That is always helpful for other members of your remote team to hear.

Final Thoughts

So here are the eight vital tips for becoming a better leader for your remote team. We hope these ideas will inspire you to keep working hard as a leader for your team. And also help them feel more engaged with their work. 

Even if you think your remote workers are doing some things wrong, remember that it’s all about communication.