07 December 2020

Leaders are responsible for ensuring their teams are productive, inclusive and collaborative, and team members are responsible for managing their own time. Here are five principles for mastering remote leadership, based on Deloitte research on virtual teams

2:00 Min

As conductors dictate the tempo for musicians in an orchestra, leaders set the pace for teams’ collective efforts. In a remote setting, the tendency to disconnect from the standard work-life rhythm is much higher, which can render old practices and routines ineffective. MIT research shows that alternating between “always-on” connectivity and “heads-down” focus is essential for remote work, meaning leaders should balance interaction and individual work time among their team.

In the absence of human interaction, motivation may stall. Leaders must foster the team’s sense of connection and ignite feelings of purpose that remote workers may struggle with. According to Gallup, 70 per cent of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager, so leaders today can boost engagement levels by encouraging teamwork and professional development. To learn more, check out our five ways to increase virtual engagement in remote teams.

Successful leaders depend on their team’s success. A recent study shows that compared to in-office teams, individual empowerment plays a more critical role in virtual workplaces, sustaining, driving, and improving performance. Empower your teams today by delegating responsibilities and providing growth opportunities. Click here to discover Forbes’ ten ways to inspire remote teams to enhance performance and boost satisfaction levels.

There is a need for empathy in the workplace as the lack of proximity makes it more challenging. As a leader, it’s crucial to ensure your (virtual) door remains open by checking in on your employees frequently, practicing active listening, and showing sincere interest in their needs, hopes, and dreams. Opening up to your teams also encourages others to do the same. Watch this inspiring TED talk to influence your perception of vulnerability in leadership.

Two out of five employees claim that their mental health has declined since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a recent study. Leaders can play a role in countering this phenomenon by becoming role models for healthy behaviours. By showing commitment to one’s own wellbeing, others are more likely to feel that they can embrace their own. Habits such as sticking to work-life boundaries and prioritising personal connection will set the right example for successful remote teams.