Leading in a Virtual Environment

The world of work has changed a lot in the last two years. Business travel is slowly coming back, offices are reopening as hotel spaces, and working from home has become the norm. What most companies thought would only last for a few months became our present reality. While a lot of companies are thriving in this fully remote environment, the transition hasn’t been easy for others.


A quarter of employees are enjoying the benefits of working from home, but managers are anxious about leading these teams virtually. One of the major problems managers are facing is that because they can’t meet with their employees in person, they are worried that employees aren’t working and maximizing their time, or they could be just doing the bare minimum.


With the future uncertain and the benefits of remote work becoming more apparent with each passing quarter, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. Your first consideration is whether your company will adopt a fully remote work setting or transition to a hybrid setup. In either case,  it helps to know how some companies did it successfully.


Here are some tips from other businesses that can help you adjust quickly and successfully in a virtual environment:


  1. Build trust

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. Since managers can’t physically check up on employees, you have to trust that they’ll get their work done without you watching their every move. In return, employees must be able to trust that their managers won’t micromanage and that they believe in their ability to deliver quality work.


     2. Ensure effective communication

Managers of successful virtual teams know that communication is paramount in a remote environment. It is important to plan meetings and provide a variety of communication tools to keep your team in the loop. Be sure to establish “rules” and norms for different types of communication


Body language is also important when communicating and you miss out on that when working virtually. Employees and managers have to work diligently on their tone of communication and learn to be more perceptive of the emotional content of the message being communicated.


     3. Focus on results

Successful virtual teams place very little emphasis on the actual hours logged, and focus instead on the outcomes. If your employees are turning in quality work on time and meeting the goals of the company, then when they do the work shouldn’t matter. To adopt a more results-focused work environment, you must set realistic expectations with your employees from the start.


Learning from others and seeking out support and resources whenever you need them will help your company cultivate all the characteristics it needs to be the best remote team it can be. Sounds complicated and time-consuming to do that? P2L’s Leading Virtually course can help you and your team.

This course is great for businesses that are still unsure of how to start and what to do to successfully lead a team virtually. Contact us for any questions or inquiries about this course.

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