Leading Remote Teams: How to Boost Productivity and Keep Your Team Focused

As a leader, the transition to working from home comes with unique challenges.

You’re not just responsible for your own productivity. You need to be in consistent touch with your team to ensure they have everything they need to be successful and to ensure projects are being completed thoroughly and in a timely manner.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin, so I want to provide a few tips to help you get the right things in place to be successful in leading remote teams.

Consistent Communication

The most important part of your remote working leadership success will be how you communicate with your team.

Be sure to set expectations early and be consistent. Set up a communication channel, such as Microsoft Teams, to allow team members to chat about projects and easily stay in touch. Slack is another great option for this.

Whatever channel you choose, encourage your team members to stay in touch and get in the habit of communicating with one another as much as they would when in the office.

Check-In

Select a day when everyone checks in with what they are working on. Maybe even a daily check-in to say hello and stay connected.

This ensures you maintain that individual connection to each of your team members and keeps you in tune with all the projects they are working on. It also keeps your team members from feeling lost or disconnected.

These should be short and sweet. Don’t overdo it with meetings. If you try to have 30-minute conversations with each of your team members daily, that will turn into the only thing you do each day. So, just a quick touch base will work.

Set Goals and Expectations

Lay out a road map for what you expect your teams to accomplish. Whether this is for a specific project or more of a complete picture of all the work, it’s essential to set a clear direction, so your team members know that they are doing the right thing and aren’t confused about what’s expected of them.

Be Positive

Some of your team members will likely have remote working experience and be very comfortable with the transition. Others may struggle.

Maintaining a positive voice and giving encouragement to your team are super important. Your team will look to you for signals on how to respond to the situation, so be sure to be a positive influence.

Highlight wins, both big and small. Give recognition to team members for their contributions.

Talk openly about the challenges but note how impressed you are by how your team responded. These things can go a long way in keeping productivity high.

Project Management Tool

This serves the same purpose as a to-do list – but for teams. A good project management tool will keep you and your team organized and can even send notifications to your team members when tasks are due.

You should look for a tool that only offers what you need. You can spend tons of money on a project management tool and never use 90% of the features. 

Understanding and Flexibility

Remember, some of your team members may struggle with the transition to working from home.

Different environmental influences will impact how each team member works and how they get the job done. So, it’s vital for you to be flexible and understanding.

No two work-from-home situations will look the same, so work with each person to accommodate their situation and give them the tools and resources they need to be effective.

Leading a remote team comes with its challenges, but if you have the right approach, you can keep your team headed in the right direction and maintain the same levels of success you experience working from a physical office.

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