Remote Leadership
7 Principles of Remote Work Leadership
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We are decidedly in a new era of collaboration. Enterprises of all sizes are rapidly responding to the remote work revolution. This transition has not always been easy, and, unfortunately, has proven to be nearly impossible for some. 

Some subtle differences among traditional, hybrid, and remote work cultures may make themselves readily apparent, even to the most seasoned executives. Mapping and monitoring your virtual work environments requires an open mind. These guiding principles of remote work leadership will aid you tremendously.

Here are the 7 principles of remote work leadership:

1. Monitor results, not activities

One of the more jarring developments for traditional work environments is the transition from micromanagement to progress management. 

Draconian management styles have proven to be fairly ineffective in remote environments and often inhibit valuable production time. Instead, remote leaders should focus on results and progress made as a team. 

2. Be as flexible as possible

Making progress in a remote environment does require flexible leaders who can work in different time zones and across cultural boundaries. Additionally, remote work has shown workers when and how they work at optimal capacity. 

This brings on the additional challenge of leaders being able to work with different personalities and unique work schedules. Indeed, flexibility is the hallmark of a bonafide remote leader.

3. Encourage asynchronous communication

In traditional environments, most leaders are used to an immediate call and response from their team members. In a remote environment, this is a much harder task to complete and leads to an asynchronous communication style by default. 

However, mastering this sort of communication can give your team an undeniable advantage in a remote environment as it provides maximum flexibility and information sharing.  

4. Make team meetings valuable

Great remote work leaders also know how to get the most out of their meetings by using the vast array of tools now available to streamline information and maximize the time opportunity. Google Workspace, Zoom, Trello, and Asana are just a few of the many tools and platforms that remote leaders use to optimize their meetings in a way that would be too difficult in a traditional work environment. 

5. Find opportunities to empathize

Remote leaders are all too aware that remote workers are surrounded by both real world and personal responsibility at home. As such, the best leaders know when to empathize with their team members in a way that benefits everyone involved. 

Due to the nature of remote work, there is natural leniency that is created by working around family and life. Great leaders know when it’s time to take time.

6. Craft clear project roadmaps

Remote leaders are all too keenly aware of the value of a clear and concise roadmap that details roles, budgets, and expectations. In remote settings, these roadmaps act as the rulebook and guide through which team members from all over the globe can coalesce and share ideas. Leaders must always be willing to revise and restate their roadmap so that the plan stays steady and the team remains focused. 

7. Improve by iterating

Experienced remote leaders know the value of iterating each step of their process to rarefy and refine the team and its products. 

Improvement through iteration is the hallmark of almost all advanced tech companies because it works. Iterating with team members is something that all remote leaders should rely upon to get the most out of their teams. 

Conclusion

The most productive organizations in the future will be those willing to evaluate their current processes to create more efficient and effective virtual work environments. That means embracing completely different communication and collaboration styles for most enterprises. 

A remote work environment flourishes when it is results-driven, flexible, asynchronous, and agile. Leaders must spend more time creating foundational protocols that avoid micromanaging and over-scheduling while maintaining an open stream of communication. Redundancies must be reduced in order for productivity to remain high. 

Many managers are wont to keep in constant video communication with every worker. This should be reserved for activities that require either nuance or emotional sensitivity to maximize productivity and minimize workers’ performance anxiety.

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