Being A Virtual Leader through Remote Working.
By Antonietta Marinelli | Mar 05, 2021
Many companies made the switch to remote working toward the beginning of 2020, and it is likely remote working and workplace collaboration will continue in such a manner for the foreseeable future. In adapting to such a dramatic shift, many individuals have had to make vast adjustments to the way they communicate and carry out their respective work task. In such a dynamic environment, the demand for good virtual leadership skills is becoming more and more important as remote work has increased (Moore, 2020).
Virtual leadership is a form of leadership in which teams are managed in a remote working environment with traditional leadership roles taking the position of helping their teams to continue accomplishing their goals (Moore, 2020). One aspect of virtual leadership is that of presence; specifically if we cannot be there, we must be felt there.
Remote working is a challenge in itself; however, the adjustment of leading a team via remote work has arguably been a greater one. Due to the world shift in working, leaders within teams must adapt their leadership styles to lead effectively in this new environment (Brownlee, 2020).
As a virtual leader or manager, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I checking in with my team enough?
- What is the best way to keep my team engaged as possible?
- What tools do I have in order to make everyone feel connected?
4 Things To Maintain Good Virtual Leadership Within Your Team:
Setting and communicating expectations in a remote environment through regular and scheduled meetings provides a platform for both leaders and team members to identify goals, tasks and potential challenges for their day. Regular communication such as this facilitated and driven by a workplace leader is a great thing for all teams to incorporate into their remote working structure to present accountability and engagement for all team members, including managers
Checking-in individually with all members within the team is another effective leadership strategy in a remote working environment. As a leader it is extremely important to ask team members how they are going, how they are managing their workload and to show sincerity and genuine interest in their comfort levels during their remote working routine. Leaders should communicate freely with their team members and always consider the times they may be available as well.
3. Encouragement and Support
In team meetings, calling on team members by name to hear their opinions and ideas on topics in another effective leadership tool (Ariel, 2020). It is important to ensure that team members are valued and their contribution to the organisation is recognised as important. Furthermore, team meetings also present a great opportunity to acknowledge people who are excelling and assist those who are facing challenges.
Remote working a drastic shift for a lot of employees - so maintaining a sense of ‘office-normal’ is also important. By leading and facilitating an ‘off-topic’ chat provides a platform for team members to have a laugh or joke with their colleagues by sharing funny videos, anecdotes, images or anything non work specific with the rest of the team. Facilitating such a medium is a great way to develop a sense of connection amongst team members and establish a social human element in the remote working environment.
● Ariel. (2020). 5 Must-Have Virtual Leadership Skills [with Tips & Examples for Success] https://www.arielgroup.com/virtual-leadership/
● Baldoni, J. (2020). The Next Big Thing: Virtual Leadership. Forbes. [Accessed 3 March 2021] https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2020/05/12/the-next-big-thing-virtual-leadership/?sh=656d7c5b3e5e
● Brownlee, D. (2020). 7 Leadership Traits For The Post COVID-19 Workplace. Forbes. [Accessed 3 March 2021] https://www.forbes.com/sites/danabrownlee/2020/05/07/7-leadership-traits-for-the-post-covid-19-workplace/?sh=298c19562d4d
● Moore, K. (2020). 3 Essential virtual leadership skills that create a thriving remote culture. Monday Remote. [Accessed 4 March 2021] https://monday.com/blog/remote-work/3-essential-virtual-leadership-skills-that-create-a-thriving-remote-culture/