How Tech Leaders Can Succeed With Remote Employees & Lead Effectively in a Digital World.  

By Jessica Anderson and Kalyna Miletic

October 30, 2020

Chiefly - How tech leaders can succeed with remote employees & lead effectively in a digital world.
Many executives and managers, who resisted the idea of working from home, have now been thrown into the idea due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote work has taken over our workforce, with 42% of the US workforce working from home and approximately 5 million Canadians. We have had to quickly learn how to manage our teams remotely.

For most leaders, they have had to quickly adapt to a new way of leading employees. Pre-pandemic 52% of tech leaders except their employees to be in office five days a week. With the post-Covid approach to workplace being more of a hybrid approach, we need to look at the keys to succeed in the “new normal”.

Some common challenges you are faced with during remote work are:
  • Lack of face-to-face communication,
  • ​Lack of access to information ,
  • ​Social Isolation and; 
  • ​Distractions at home.  

Top 5 things to help you face those challenges and move towards successfully managing your remote teams.

1. Managing your Expectations  

It is important to set your team up for success when working remotely. Ensure you create realistic expectations for both your employees and you. Help your team understand the task and exactly the reason behind it in order to set a standard of how your teams' success will be measured. Most of the time it is better to provide more detailed tasks with examples of what you are expecting in the result. This means you should have deadlines, scope and deliverables for each task and/or project your team is working on. 

2. Consistent Communication-Daily Check-ins  

With a lack of face-to-face supervision, it is important to have regular weekly meetings set to check in with your team. Take advantage of the many communication tools out there, that will keep everyone on your team engaged. Be sure to establish which communication tools can be used for you to be contacted immediately vs team and client meetings. Give regular feedback to your people so they know how they are doing and whether they need to change anything.  

3. Trust Your Employees

The transition from office to homework space has many obstacles not just as a manager but as an employee as well. It’s important to be flexible and understanding, when initially moving to a work from home team. Leaders have often thought that employees will not work as hard unless they are being supervised. Once you have set the expectations for you team and employees, it will be easier to trust your employees with the tasks at hand. 

4. Offer Encouragement & Emotional Support 

Working remotely can be extremely lonely especially when it is an abrupt change and for those who are energized by social interactions. It is important to check in with your employees. A simple “How are you adjusting to remote work?” can go a long way. Think of new ways to connect with your employees, through virtual happy hour, or an increased number of meetings. Let your team know that you are available when you need them. 
Chiefly - You need to offer encouragment and emotional support to your workers

5. Remember to Listen  

Often when working remote it can be hard to be really engaged in lengthy zoom meetings however it is important to be actively listening to your employees. Employees can tell when you are truly engaged, this will help with providing and feedback. Being actively engaged in conversations with your employees will help boost engagement and job satisfaction.

Covid-19 might have been the push we needed to break old stigmas around remote work. Post-pandemic, leaders are now only expecting their employees to be in the office 2 days max. As we are forced to move into remote work, it is important to keep in mind the wellbeing of our employees. 

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