Virtual Leadership : A guide to manage remote teams

Aarya Morwal

2 mins

The post-pandemic world sees a challenge to conventional working. The urgent need to adapt the remote model arose, but people have willingly adjusted to the change. With a large number of employees working from home or in a hybrid model, the leaders need to adapt to the changing times and needs. 

Although it is wise to have a clear set of policies for remote work, there needs to be a way for leaders to build a rapport with the team to bring out the best in them. The challenges such as distractions, lack of technological tools, the effect of ongoing tragedies, the shift in workstyle amongst others may affect your teammates. As a leader, it becomes your duty to ensure a smooth transition and functioning of work while virtual scenarios exist. 

As a leader, it may not be a cakewalk to manage teams remotely. But fortunately, there are some research-based steps a leader could follow to ensure good engagement and productivity of his colleagues. 


5 ways in which leaders can support their remote teams :

  1. Encourage transparent, periodic, and effective communication 
  2. Set clear expectations 
  3. Give employees greater autonomy 
  4. Lead with empathy
  5. Engage in social activities


Encourage transparent, periodic, and effective communication

One major advantage for employees working from home is the fact that managers aren't around. Well, no more nags and taunts.


Image source : Giphy


Who wouldn't like that? ;)

But this also calls for less efficiency and productivity. Potentially, having our managers around acts as a catalyst. Therefore brings out the desired results in the required time. Having this as a drawback, managers need to ensure that the communication between them and their coworkers is aligned. 

The objectives of effective communication should be the following :

  1. Transparent
  2. Periodic
  3. Effective

Using technological tools like Bottle ensures a one-stop solution to work and time management. The tools like a task to chat and chat to the task make sure that the communication gap is filled and there are no hurdles in remote working. Our features offer an asynchronous way of communication that offers you to compartmentalize your projects and reply to topics at your own pace. These threads aim at building a better tea communication channel. 


Set clear expectations

Many managers succeed in an office environment because they are physically around people. They can walk over to an employee's desk, check on them, and ask them questions. If there is a problem, they can quickly huddle up with the team and discuss it. With a remote team, these same dynamics don't work.

Defining goals for your employees is essential. The week's targets and days tasks should be set clearly for the employees. It is needed for better efficiency and improves productivity. A defined timeline of a day helps to have an understanding of how a day looks like. The tasks created should have clear priority and deadline . This will help the employees to manage their tasks and time in an efficient way. 


Give employees greater autonomy 


Image source : Giphy


With employees being out of sight, you might be tempted to constantly message/have a call with your team on how their work is progressing along. This is the last thing you want to do. Not only are you taking their time to time as they type up updates, but the context switching can also impact their focus. 

By evolving your management style you can build stronger trust and more autonomy among them. Workplaces that give their employees greater freedom to complete their work experience greater job satisfaction. Millennials in particular seek workplaces with more autonomy, and it’s linked to greater productivity.

Instead of regularly checking in on your employees, define clear goals, deadlines, and updates. Start trusting that your employees can do their work successfully while remote without constant oversight.


Lead with empathy


Image source : Giphy


Being a leader while the pandemic prevails might seem like a blessing in disguise. While people are battling for their lives or seeing their loved ones suffer in distress, it becomes difficult to work and manage ourselves. The global situation has gone from bad to worse, and the future is unforeseen. Amid these times, the last thing an employee would want is workload or inhuman behavior from his workplace.

A leader who understands these situations has his employees back during such times is lauded and appreciated. To ensure this, the leader and management can arrange for physical and mental health programs for their teams. On a personal level, the leader should be a support system to a teammate if a tough situation arises. To lead compassionately, there should be a sense of empathy needed. 

A leader that comprehends and works according to the prevailing situation, is often looked up to and admired by all. 


Engage in social activities

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

We often interact with our work colleagues formally and limit our conversations inside the office. This has now been limited to virtual meetings or even text messages. Thus resulting in a mundane lifestyle for a few. The leaders can take an initiative to organize events for the bonding of the employees and enjoyment of work. The informal events make us realize life beyond work. 

The events may be in the form of game nights or virtual lunch breaks with colleagues. Having dedicated days in a month wherein there's a scope for light-heartedness and enjoyment will make the team more enthusiastic and bring joy during tough times. These events also leave room for building new relations between the departments and across teams. 

Conclusion: 

Being a leader is often undermined and depreciated. At such times, a responsible leader is the one who carries himself and the team through.  He tries to get the best out of everyone including himself. This is majorly achieved by being considerate of the current and ongoing scenarios. It also means getting technological resources for the team to improve efficiency and productivity. By choosing tools like Bottle, the leader can ensure good communication, work, and time management platform. Thus, making the lives of his teammates better eventually.

You might like these too!

Busting 5 productivity myths for remote teams

4 min

Simple Ways to Boost Your Team's Productivity

5 mins