How to Deal with the Challenges of Leading a Remote Team

Remote teams offer unique and often unanticipated leadership challenges. Teams with members spread across the world can find it difficult to stay connected, develop a shared sense of purpose, and maintain an atmosphere of openness.

In this post, you’ll learn what it takes to overcome these challenges and create a thriving team that’s effective at work and happy in life. It covers how to set up your remote organization so that you’re maximizing its potential and practical strategies for getting the most out of your virtual team:

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1) Solving communication challenges 

Communication is the key to building trust and respect in the virtual team, so it’s essential to figure out the best ways for your team to be in contact with one another. Since the global pandemic, video conferencing services have grown in popularity. Yet email remains the most popular communication method, even among virtual teams.

2) Use remote-friendly processes 

Being geographically distributed requires a different way of working compared to face-to-face teams. The more processes you can apply that are suitable even when people are hundreds or thousands of miles apart, the more smoothly team members will operate together. This should include how teams access and transfer company files, resources and data. Avepoint.com provides advice on Office 365 migrations, data backups, and platform integration.

3) Developing a shared culture and identity

One of the biggest challenges of leading a remote team is the difficulty of developing shared norms and values. A lack of face-to-face interaction and limited opportunities to socialize can lead to greater anonymity and weaker interpersonal connections within the team. This is why companies are distributing cultural guides across their teams so they know what behaviors are considered acceptable or unacceptable when working remotely with one another.

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4) Managing distributed time 

Time differences mean that there will always be times when your team is active at times that aren’t ideal for you and vice versa. This means you need to learn how to manage these situations effectively. Agreeing core hours so you know when your team members are available can alleviate time differences.

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5) Managing your remote team’s reputation 

People tend to treat remote teams with doubt and skepticism. So how does a remote team leader cultivate a positive and supportive reputation among their team, as well as with their company? There are various strategies for managing how others believe you think about your remote team. Working through these issues will help you build trust, respect, and confidence in yourself as a leader.

For example, managers need to act as an advocate for their team to ensure its achievements are noticed and recognized.

6) Resolving conflict across distance 

Conflict is a natural part of working with people, and remote teams will inevitably experience disputes from time to time. However, there are ways to increase the effectiveness of your response by making sure conflicts are dealt with as quickly as possible before resentments fester and issues escalate out of control.

While remote team leaders face unique challenges, it’s also an exciting and invigorating way to lead. You’ll find that working with a remote team is similar to leading an in-person or virtual team, although there will be some differences. However, you may want to try different things with your team to find the proper management techniques that work best for your situation.

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