For almost a year now, companies have switched to remote work as a way for employees to social distance during the pandemic. Small and large businesses have implemented new remote work policies, which also calls for new ways to lead the employees. It can be challenging to adjust to leading a team while remote as you can no longer speak in person and must do everything behind a computer screen. It’s also important to remember that there is a difference between managing and leading, especially during these times. Here are some practices to help you lead a remote team successfully.
Focus on Team Meetings
If you usually held team meetings in the office, then switching over to virtual meetings could be a little easier. Employees are at home working alone, so having more meetings can help keep everyone on track of team projects and, most importantly, engaged. For some people, this can be their only form of communication and connection that they’ll get during the day, making it as personal as possible by discussing individual updates such as their weekend activities. Successful leaders can also use this time to develop teamwork skills for everyone involved.
Show That You Care
In an office, you can walk around and show your appreciation for team member’s hard work, but you have to go a little beyond while remote. Send out personal emails to employees who have been working hard under these circumstances. You can even send out cards through the mail and give them something they can hold onto. Typically when employees see that their work is appreciated, they are more likely to continue working hard.
Take Advantage of Flexibility
Although your team may be used to working a regular 9 am-5 pm schedule, there is more flexibility now that they’re working from home. As a leader, you should encourage your team to take mental breaks and go outside for fresh air when needed. Giving them a choice to manage their own time gives them a sense of trust and can make their lives less stressful. Many people balance work and family, so taking it a little easy on project deadlines and putting your employees’ sanity first can generate better quality work.