Three Ways to Improve Leadership in Remote Working Environment

Hanna Wilson, HR tech Outlook

In a virtual work environment, the challenge to bring internal and external stakeholders in person for the foreseeable future makes it harder to make decisions and increases the possibility of conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the working environment, bringing unforeseen business and leadership issues from effective performance measurement, management, and accountability. Leaders need to be in sync with their business and employees, despite the difficulty in their lives during this time.

In the current environment, organizations' difficulty depends on how senior leaders engage virtually in effective decision-making processes with stakeholders and internal team members to improve trust, transparency, and teamwork. The issue offers a crucial opportunity to rethink how decision-making is allocated and handled locally and globally.

Here are three tips to enhance leadership skills when working virtually:

Manage Yourself

Maintain a regular schedule, such as getting up at a specific time, making time for activities like exercise. Working remotely provides you the flexibility to work when required, but you need to ensure that you attend to other essential needs as well. Formally scheduling non-work-related time on your calendar will help replace the breaks that organically happen when commuting between home and office.

Additionally, take well-being breaks throughout the day as sitting in front of the computer all day is unhealthy. While working from home, you must find time to take breaks and exercise, even if indoors.

Manage the Work

Focus on preparation and agendas to help remote meetings be effective. Meeting virtually can be challenging in terms of logistics and required mental cognition. Therefore, leaders need to put more time into ensuring everyone is prepared before the meeting, and the agenda is list out carefully.

Reduce the size and duration of the remote meeting and make sure it has a clear purpose. Meetings in large groups are often challenging, while smaller groups are easier for everyone to be heard and for decisions to be made effectively. Have frequent but shorter meetings that are more focused. Manage the frequency of the regular meetings as leaders gain more understanding of the new operating routines.

As a virtual alternative to big team meetings, organizations can follow "un-conferences" or other formats that include formal information sharing with peer learning and relationship development. The virtual solutions will need extra time and energy, but the reward for companies will enhance versatility, inclusivity, and accessibility for meetings and events in the near and long terms.

Manage Development

Organic opportunities and low-stakes communication like sharing brief observations before or after a meeting have become difficult. Leaders need to create the space and time to offer the feedback despite it being challenging through phone or videoconference. Have regular check-in conversations of 10 to 15 minutes with team members can help create that in-person organic moment. Instant messaging or texts can also offer quick check-in as an addition to the video or phone conversation.

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