Remote Work without the Worry: Empowering Leaders to Embrace Remote Teams
Remote work has become the norm for many companies, allowing employees to work from the comfort of their homes. Although there are numerous benefits, remote work has also presented new challenges for leaders. Recently, there has been a growing trend of companies mandating their employees to resume working in the office. And as you know, this decision has raised concerns among employees... even seemed to spark a battle between them as they weigh the benefits of working remotely against the need to be physically present in the office. In this article, we will examine strategies for leaders to embrace remote work for their employees and highlight the advantages that come with it.
Some leaders may find themselves struggling to feel in control of their remote teams. Without the ability to physically see and interact with everyone, it can be hard to tell if people are working efficiently or not. However, there are steps that leaders can take to to set up a win-win situation for everyone!
Five ways to empower yourself and your remote workers:
1. Set clear expectations (of course)
One of the biggest concerns for leaders is whether or not their remote employees are working as efficiently as they would in a physical office. To combat this, leaders must set clear expectations from the get-go. Clearly defining expectations ensures that employees are aware of what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured. Moreover, it equips employees with the tools they need to succeed and develop a sense of purpose within their work. This will bring an element of control for the leader and give them the confidence that their employees are on track.
2. Keep everyone connected
Remote work can distance people from each other and make team-building difficult. However, with a few technological tools, leaders can keep everyone connected and working collaboratively. The use of video chat, instant messaging, and project management software can help employees feel more engaged with their work and less isolated. It also allows leaders to know what’s going on with any project and quickly solve any issues that might arise.
3. Consistent communication (but not too much)
While setting expectations and using technology to stay connected are important, the key to feeling in confident about your remote employees is regular communication (and consistent dates/times for check-in's). Without frequent face-to-face interactions or the ability to drop by someone’s office, it may be hard to track progress and provide feedback. Leaders must maintain open lines of communication, and provide feedback through regular check-ins. It is important to emphasize that communication should not just be about productivity/project updates, but also both technical and emotional support.
4. Trust your employees
In order to lead remotely, leaders must trust their employees to do their work. Trust is the cornerstone of all effective teams and the same old rule applies for remote employees. Regularly checking on employees may give the feeling of control but excessive controlling tendencies may lead to negative consequences. Knowing that you have a trusted team gives you the confidence to stand back and let them take the lead, thus allowing you to work on higher level things. Address concerns directly and honestly.
5. Build strong connections with your employees and set a good example
Leaders play a vital role in building a strong connection with their workers as this fosters a sense of loyalty and trust in them. A good leader understands that this is essential for the growth and success of the organization. By setting a good example, leaders create a contagious culture that motivates and inspires their team. They become the foundation on which the organization is built, and their actions set the standard which their team follows. By holding themselves accountable and demonstrating their commitment to excellence, leaders set a high bar that encourages their workers to emulate their behavior. This is true for remote teams and in-person teams!
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Until next time.