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Leading a Productive Team Remotely

My LinkedIn feed this past week has been overflowing with some wonderful tips, tricks and advice for all of you that are now working from home. First, let me say, welcome to my world!

I have been working from home for over 7 years now. My role as the Team Leader is to effectively manage and lead a team remotely. Incidentally my entire team also works from home and are based all over the UAE.

I took some time to reflect on how I have been doing this and here are some of the key things that have I have focused on while leading a team remotely:

1. Trust, trust and more trust.
First always comes the trust factor. If you do not trust your team a 100%, then everything else will eventually fall apart. When doubt sets in, it becomes challenging to focus on the job at hand. Once in doubt, always in doubt.

2. Hire for culture fit.
If you hire for culture fit, you know that that team member will be fully on board with your company and team values. It is much easier to manage a team that are in complete harmony with one another than a team where all are swimming in different directions. Whatever role you are hiring for, your new team member can always be up-skilled to meet the exact criteria you need. It is much more challenging to train a person to fit into your team culturally than it is to up skill for job requirement.

3. Do not micromanage.
Micromanaging is counterproductive. If you give your team members the freedom to do their job, they will in turn reward you with their time and focus. Thus producing outstanding results. Micromanaging is time consuming and not useful for both parties.

4. Accountability.
Everyone on my team is 100% accountable for their actions. We stand by each other in times of need, either on a professional or on a personal level. If you instill accountability in your team, when mistakes happen, they are so much easier to handle. You will no longer be having the discussion on whose fault it was, rather what are the next steps on making it right. Again, a massive time and frustration saver.

5. Have a virtual meeting place.
Having a virtual water cooler or staff kitchen really helps. This can be as simple as a Whatsapp group where everyone can be heard in times of frustration, needing help or just wanting to share a joke. When you offer your team an outlet, a vent and a place to go when they have had a rough day, or wish to share a personal achievement or simply want to make others laugh you will see your team go from strength to strength. I have worked in many large and small companies in my career, never have I worked with such a close and supportive team as I do now.

So, you will never catch me calling to "check up" on any of my team members because I am confident that at any given point in the day they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. That is delivering outstanding work totally and completely from home.

*** This post was first published on Amanda's LinkedIn profile ***


Author: Amanda Schulte
Amanda heads Operations for the professional Outsource Administrative Services business. She manages a rapidly growing team enabling them to deliver the well-known, Platinum Level Service to large B2B businesses. Amanda is passionate about delivering excellence, building empowered teams and sharing her knowledge in the sector to raise the awareness of professionally managed Virtual Executive Assistance services.
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