Covid-19: 5 tips for leading remote teams

Nick Root
3 mins

  • Thought leadership

In our last blog, we shared our top tips for making remote teams work for your business. In that blog, we promised we’d follow up on our final tip - Be a role model. Leading remote teams is hard at the best of times - this crisis has made it even more challenging. So we’re sharing some extra top tips for leaders, direct from our CEO, Nick Root:

  1. Lose the cape for a few hours. One of the hardest things during this time is adjusting your expectations, but recognising your limitations is a superpower you can develop and grow. Let go of past expectations to make space for new ones—even if they feel lower than before. Adjusting your expectations to fit the current circumstances helps reduce stress and pressure but I warn you it’s not easy.
  2. Ruthlessly prioritise. Scrutinise how you spend your time. When is your energy highest? What are the various roles you play throughout the day? Use that as a guide to schedule and block your highest priorities—having lunch with your kids, deep work time, physical activity, and so on.
  3. Evaluate meeting participation. If you’re drained by video calls, you’re not alone. Be ruthless in determining which meetings require video, and which require your presence in the first place. Often when communicating complex concepts you do need to video call, but are you tightly setting the objective of the call at the start, are you publicly making notes on actions and keeping the call as short as you can?
  4. Set boundaries and try bold experiments with your schedule. Try experimenting with set chunks of time for your responsibilities throughout the day, and commit to 25 or 50 minute meetings so you don’t run over. Make your calendar visible to your team, and share your scheduling experiment with your team and encourage them to do the same.
  5. Leave loudly. This is a big one and really helps me. The problem with this current situation and remote work in general, is that you can’t separate work from home life. One way to create that separation is to leave loudly. Create a lexicon or ritual around ending your day: at about 20:30-21:00 every night I hit 'sleep' on my Mac and turn off my phone notifications so i can start my 'power down' process and sleep later on.

At Intergiro, we’ve been working remotely to some degree ever since we started. We’d love to talk to you about the challenges and successes your business faces in making ‘remote’ work, or you can check out our longer piece Org Design 2.0 for ideas on how futuristic companies are organising themselves to build, adapt and thrive.