6 Crucial Steps To Leading Remote Work Teams


STS has been a virtual business for over 20 years! Working remotely is our everyday practice as a team so we thought we’d share our recipe for success in leading remote work teams.

1. Set Clear Expectations
…and communicate them to the team

Agree upon the technology or software you will use to communicate with one another, eg. emails, mobile, Yammer, WhatsApp, Skype etc, along with the frequency of communication – once a day, multiple times or weekly. Most importantly be clear on what work needs to be completed, nominate the person responsible and set deadlines.

2. Measure Outcomes Achieved
…not the hours worked

Consider a normal 8-10hr day – how much of this time is spent productively? Office distractions, social chats and long meetings eat up hours. Working remotely avoids such situations so we can be more efficient with our time. Having clear expectations of what your team needs to achieve by when, means you can manage to results not to the clock.

3. Create Social Connection
…without being in person

Think about how you and your team liked to build a positive team culture when you worked together in person. Can you integrate similar “virtual” experiences such as online games or group chats. Leave time in meetings and conversations for social interactions with the team to continue building relationships and a sense of connectedness to the group.

4. Life Happens
…usually during an important meeting

In the event you and your team suddenly find yourself working from home, chances are work and other responsibilities will collide (think a toddler crashing a web-conference or a dog barking madly at the mailman). This can be a source of stress for your team member, so offer reassurance these distractions are to be expected.

5. Emotional Support
…is important for health and wellbeing

During times of rapid change your team members may require more support and guidance from you. Whilst you may be focussed on managing the deliverables of your remote team, be sure not to neglect their emotional requirements. A simple check-in on how they’re coping with remote work can help you both identify ways to make the experience more positive.

6. Training & Development
…fosters commitment and a focus on the future

Offer your team the opportunity to work on their own development whilst working remotely. Virtual team training programs can be conducted on a wide range of topics and help your team feel connected and valued while simultaneously providing upskilling.


Post written by Teagan Dowler, Capability & Project Manager, STS Consulting Australia