Leading Teams Remotely

Tips for Leading Your Team Remotely

Erica Katz

How to lead your team effectively while working from home.

Managers throughout all industries are being challenged to reevaluate their leadership techniques as most teams continue to work from home. From a creative team perspective, leading remotely can be a challenge. Brainstorming sessions and collaborative projects are now taking place on Zoom instead of in the office. How do you remain supportive, flexible, connected and on deadline?

Communication is key.

Begin each day with a short check-in to dole out responsibilities for the day. Allow team members to reach out periodically throughout the day to give status updates on their work or ask questions if they’re stuck. If team members aren’t already sharing their calendars with each other, suggest they start. This is a helpful way to know when others are free for a progress discussion.

Continue to set deadlines.

Distractions take on different forms when teams aren’t in their typical office settings. And working hours tend to be a little bit more flexible. Make sure that clear deadlines are established, not just for daily tasks, but for long-term projects as well. Accountability has become more important than ever.

Use tools that allow collaboration.

Aside from the hardware, creative teams must also have access to shared files, which can be very large in size and difficult to access remotely. Migrating your server to a cloud service is the easiest way to keep team members connected to important documents while working from home.

There is not a “one size fits all” solution for leading your team remotely. Experts like Basecamp’s Jason Fried has been running a remote company for 20 years—he even wrote a book on it—if you are searching for additional suggestions to implement.

However, these three things are universal for creatives: communication, accountability and effective tools. Christine Xoinis, chief executive officer and founder of Ethos Creative Group says, I’ve found that more than ever, it’s important to foster and continue to grow the personal relationships you have with your team. As a leader you should carve out the time to talk to your team on a one-on-one basis. Find out how they are “really” doing.” Xoinis feels that a lot can be learned from doing this, and it will only strengthen the relationships leaders have with their staff. “It also proves how important each team member is to you. In a world where everything is so unsure, they should at least be certain that you care.”

As a leader, you’ll be forced to reconsider your expectations in the rhythm of everyday life. Get ready for your virtual trust fall!


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