Running remote working teams during COVID-19

To support managers and leaders adjusting to managing teams via a new way of remote working, we offer up the following guidance to support you.

You’ll need to start to think differently. You and your team are physically removed from your natural workspace. This will have psychological effect on how each of you approach your work, communicate, problem solve and ultimately think. What’s important is raising your self-awareness based on some personal reflection. 

Take five minutes out of your busy schedule and give it the attention it deserves. 

People manager

What’s your normal preferred management style? Is it more autocratic, democratic or paternalistic, for instance? How is that approach working for you at the moment? Do you need to adopt a different style and why might that be more helpful? What are your direct reports’ individual needs - don’t presume to know; have you asked them?

Stakeholder management

No doubt you’ll have a breadth of stakeholders to manage, including those in your organisation more senior and junior to you and other teams, clients, customers, etc. Who do you need to reach out to and how often? What’s their preferred method and frequency of communication? How are you going to keep track of them?

Managing conflict

We are working remotely in a constantly changing and very demanding landscape, exposing us to a greater chance for miscommunication and the potential for conflict between people. Being mindful of this and carefully selecting your methods of communication will help. For instance, email can be quite a blunt medium that regularly lends itself to misinterpretation of meaning. Calls, either via phone or chat software are a much better way of handling anything more than routine ‘traffic’ and allow for a much richer exchange of information to flow, as well as social interaction.

Essential negotiation skills

This need not only be in a commercial sense, but can include the negotiations that take place between you and your direct reports. The key here is to ensure that you plan the negotiation. Take a position of curiosity, so you understand as much as you can from the other person and this will help you to influence the outcome far better than taking an adversarial approach.

Delivering powerful presentations

How you communicate is everything and is key to the success of all of the above. It’s not just being mindful of the delay that occurs when talking via chat software, but to understand who you are communicating with and when to adopt an active listening approach.

This article was last updated on 29 March 2020.

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