COVID-19: How to Manage Remotely With Confidence

By Dan Rockwell

Take responsibility to manage your team, even if it’s via video.

Since COVID-19 hit, I’ve been opening public zoom meetings for anyone to drop in and tell me what’s going on for them. Yesterday I had several conversations about managing remote teams.

Begin with trust.

Approach new situations trusting that team members will bring their best.

Uncertainty makes you say stupid things. You’re worried about productivity. Maybe you unintentionally threaten people.

During turbulence, err on the side of support.

  • What’s one thing I can do to help you succeed?
  • What’s your biggest concern?

Accountability:

Accountability is as simple as a question.

A leader of remote workers in Reno explained that accountability is as simple as asking, “What’s your plan for today?” (Thanks Chuck)

You might say, “I’m going to touch base with you this afternoon. What do you want me to ask you about your work?”

Clarify focus or good people will dilute their impact by doing too many things. When you clarify focus good people:

  • Avoid distraction.
  • Pull with greater confidence.

Tip: People feel powerful when they have control. Powerful people get more done.

Connect:

Connect with each other.

Create virtual connection space. Bill Straub, the CEO of All4 Inc., showed me their All4Core site.

Tip: Establish a practice of checking in with team members at the end of the day.

Connect with customers:

Stephan Brady, the CEO at the Covation Center, said they’re calling all their customers to see how they are doing and to offer help.

Establish routines:

You might love the idea of wearing pajama bottoms all day but Cesar, a leader of teams at WordPress, said, “It’s good to get up, shower, shave, and put on real pants.”

If you go to the office in pajamas, feel free to wear them in your home office.

I typically observe a lunch hour when I’m working from home.

What mistakes should be avoided when you manage remote workers?

What practices are most important when managing remote teams?

Bonus material:

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers (HBR)

Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce during Coronavirus – and Beyond (Linkedin)

This post was previously published on Leadership Freak and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.

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Photo credit: iStock