5 Things That Facilitate Remarkable Remote Leadership

July 1, 2022

No matter what your level of management experience entails, leading a remote team can be challenging.

The following five rules will help you become a stronger remote leader:

1. Clear and Effective Communication

Managing remotely is most challenging when it comes to communicating clearly and unambiguously. It’s easy to think you can do this via text or video conference, but what you think you’re communicating and what your employees receive can be surprisingly different.

In your communication, you should really consider whether or not it’s urgent. Is an email sufficient or should you pick up the phone? In any given situation, knowing whether to communicate verbally or in writing is crucial. Moreover, if the communication is verbal, you should document everything so that everyone is aware of what was decided.

In addition, be aware that your communication needs may be different with staff based on their different time zones or schedules. It’s important to communicate at a time that is convenient for everyone (not just you).

2. Setting an Example for Others

It is imperative that you set an example when it comes to working well remotely. To do so, you might have to be deliberate about publicly thanking team members. A supportive and appreciative attitude is what you want to cultivate in your team. The solution might be as simple as using the correct task management system.

When you tell your employees that something is important but disregard it yourself, they are going to assume that your actions are speaking louder than your words. Taking time off when you are ill (and letting your team know) is an excellent way to set an example. Employees who work remotely may hesitate to use their sick leave, since they may feel that they will be expected to work from home regardless of their health.

In addition, if your organization offers flex time, make sure you use it. Again, ensure your team is aware of this. For example, say, “I’m working an additional two hours today in order to leave early on Friday, so don’t be surprised if I’m online later than usual.”

As a final note, ensure that you model the kind of interpersonal relationships you wish to see on your team. This can be as simple as making a point of saying “Happy birthday!” to your team members who are celebrating birthdays.

3. Getting to Know Your Team Members

Getting to know your team is easy when you’re in the office. Taking a walk together, eating lunch together, hearing them talk about their weekend, seeing how they decorate their workplace, learning how they drink coffee, and so on, might be some of the things you do as a team.

It’s not simple in a remote environment. The more proactive you are about getting to know your remote colleagues, especially if you’re an introvert, is very important.

It would be fun to have everyone share something about themselves on certain days of the week (like their favorite TV show, for example). During your weekly meeting, you could encourage employees to share anything interesting happening in their lives.

It’s also a good idea to ask about your team members’ goals for professional development. They could be asked about their objectives, encouraged to identify skills they want to develop, and reminded of training opportunities offered by the company.

4. Clarify Priorities and Set Goals

You must set goals and clarify priorities when leading remotely, just as you would in person. Virtual environments, however, require particularly clear communication. When you don’t use tone of voice, body language, and other cues to convey your message, it becomes very easy to misunderstand. If your team member has time on their hands, you might ask him or them to review the editing process documentation and make any changes needed. To ensure everyone understands what’s most important, tasks can be tagged with different priority levels. In other words, a priority “1” will mean stopping everything, a priority “3” will be about average, and a priority “5” will mean that it’s a small task that doesn’t have to be rushed.

5. Allow Employees to Openly Speak About Obstacles or Challenges

It is common for leaders to believe that they are approachable. Do your employees really perceive you that way? Despite mounting problems, it might be difficult for your team to voice their concerns.

It is possible that your remote workers may mistakenly believe that you are too busy and won’t want to hear about problems. So, make sure your team members are comfortable bringing problems to your attention. Regularly check in with them to see if there’s anything you can assist them with. It is a good idea to emphasize to your employees that you want to hear about all problems, no matter how big or small they may be.


Being a remote team leader can be a challenge. There might be times when you feel disconnected from your team and may have to resist the urge to micromanage. By following the tips above and focusing on clear communication, you’ll be on your way to becoming a great remote leader. With your close-knit team, you’ll build a strong, long-term relationship based on trust and communication.

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