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How to Lead a Remote Team

“If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it” – Tom Hanks

Whether you’re in Minneapolis or elsewhere, leading a remote team is going to be hard, but it’s a challenge that provides your team with a unique opportunity to grow. So as you’re cloistered in your home like a character from a Jane Austen novel, remember that whatever the situation, you can lead your team to success.

Engage Often

Simulate face-to-face contact every day if you can. Find time for virtual “coffee chats” and “pizza parties” and “happy hours” (editor’s choice) more often than normal. While at home, you can’t tap your teammates on the shoulder, so instead of spamming their Slack feed, save your ideas for a virtual conversation. 

Schedule in time for each of your employees to check in with you, and block it off in their schedules. Help them find time to take lunch, workout, or spend time with their kids. 

Learn to Listen 

In an office environment, you can rely on physical cues to manage and respond to your team. While we’re all separated at our homes, we lose these important cues. 

Now, you need to listen attentively. As a manager of a remote team, this is how you’ll get missing information that you’d otherwise get in person. During your daily check-ins, use the time to connect with each of your employees on a deeper level. Ask your employees questions about their day-to-day challenges, questions, and suggestions. You’ll not only understand their motivations, but also you’ll make them feel valued. 

Lead with Trust 

…instead of control. While the phrase “working from home” can conjure up nightmares of your employees scrolling on Facebook, running errands, and telling you, “I’m still waiting on Joe to get back to me so I can start”, remember that you hired your team for a reason. Trust that they’re driven to work hard and try their best–no matter what.  

Every day, your team is overcoming new obstacles, like relearning Algebra (harder than it looks) so they can homeschool their children. Between Algebra-meltdowns and naps, clocking in for eight straight hours probably isn’t possible. 

Of course, none of these should be an excuse for missing deadlines, but as a leader, be flexible when you can. Your trust makes all the difference during this difficult time. 

If you’re looking for more work from home tips, check out Harvard Business’ list of resources to help you effectively lead remote teams or stay updated with ESP IT in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Facebook

To learn more about technology staffing company ESP IT in Minneapolis, Minnesota visit our website or contact us at 612-337-3000.