The Art of Virtual Leadership – 4 Keys to Leading Remote Workers and Managing Virtual Teams

Many organizations think that one of the biggest challenges they face in the implementation of a virtual office manages mobile workers or remote. It is unfortunate that they let this perception prevent them from reaping the many benefits of a more flexible work environment.

Remote management is not radically different from managing people there. The biggest difference is a change in management style “management eyeball” (assuming workers are productive because you physically see their desk) management by results.

By learning outcomes rather than by scabies activity, improving communication, and maintain trust between managers and employees all the benefits of the organization. In fact, officials of the virtual team reported that their general management skills have increased both on workers offsite.

There are 4 main buttons to direct remote employees. These tips for remote management will help you work more effectively with your mobile workers and virtual teams.

The basics of managing remote and mobile workers

  • Management by results, not activity
  • Improving communication to stay connected
  • meetings and handling times
  • Feedback and Support

One of the most common fears that managers and executives during the consideration of virtual teams is, “How do I know my employees will work if I’m not there to watch? “Well the simple answer is that you will not, not every minute. But realistically, you can not be sure that they really work every minute you see in the desktop; it is easy to confuse activity productivity.

The job of a manager is to provide information specific, measurable and achievable goals for the employee away so he or she knows what needs to be done and when. These may include complete reports, the number of calls and the number of support issues resolved – or any other appropriate measure of labor productivity.

It is important that the employee and manager arrive at a common definition of deliverables and overall schedule. This ensures that everyone is on the “same page” and prevents miscommunication. It also ensures that goals and expectations are realistic.

The value of a manager in an organization is more than a coach and mentor, not a supervisor. This initiative away from the “management of the eyeball,” and the resulting clearer definition of professional responsibilities of employees, is one of the main factors contributing to improved productivity normally experienced virtual teams.

Shifting your attention to managing for performance will help you build a mobile workforce more productive.


Effective communication is one of the most important elements to ensure a successful virtual team. It is a remote area of ​​work that technology helps to make it very easy. A variety of tools are available that enable employees to stay connected and collaborate.

The most obvious way to promote ease of communication with remote workers is to have defined working hours. By highlighting hours that employees must be available, you can work around a common point of confusion and ensure timely communication. recognizes, however, that there is a balance between being in touch and be bothered. This balance must be developed over time.

When remote workers are not immediately available, or the communication takes place in “real time”, another area that can cause problems is the speed of communication. Managers and colleagues are often concerned about the site not being able to contact remote workers if needed.

An easy, but often overlooked, solution to this problem is to create a schedule for checking and responding to voicemail and email. This can be every hour, twice a day, or whatever is appropriate for your situation. This calendar and a time of expected response, allows everyone to rest assured that their messages will be received and a response is forthcoming.

There are also a variety of management practices can implement to help remote employees to stay “connected” and still feel like part of the band office. These include people regular phone calls, including members of the virtual team in improvised lunches and other social events, and more informal routing information, memos, and FYI articles for them.


The meetings serve various essential purposes for any project organization or team, including sharing information, keeping up to date on developments, decision making, reporting on progress, brainstorming and to explore ideas, plans and alternatives.

The monitoring of everyone’s schedule and including remote workers to meetings can seem daunting to an organization investigative virtual teamwork. By being creative with time management and using the technology and tools properly they can become non-issues.

There groupware and Web platforms as well as virtual desktop software solutions available that manage the schedules of groups and shared calendars. These allow both on and off-site employees to access current schedules and updated information on changes of schedule last minute.

A major achievement is that all meetings must be face to face. If you use the appropriate technology, remote workers can use a combination of teleconferencing, videoconferencing, web conferencing and groupware to participate in meetings and presentations in real time without the requirement Attend cost or time to travel. These tools also allow you to include remote workers in large ad hoc meetings that arise.

For times when face-to-face communication is preferable or necessary to schedule meetings when mobile workers and members of the virtual team will be in the office. A simple approach is to schedule consistent meetings as a staff meeting on the second Tuesday of each month or a team meeting every Friday. This type of consistency makes it easier to plan around meetings.


An important, but the basic management technique that is often overlooked is to give employees ongoing feedback and support. Many employees – at all levels of organization – feel they do not get enough feedback from managers on their performance. This type of ongoing discussion assumes greater importance with virtual teams.

Regular meetings are scheduled between managers and remote workers to assess needs, provide feedback and discuss issues. These are excellent opportunities to agree on the scope of work to do, deadlines and deadlines.

Another important way to improve relations with remote or mobile workers is to be sure to include them in the feedback and praise. Many executives and managers give feedback and praise their employees very informally, often when they see these colleagues or colleagues in the office. Remote employees do not have as many opportunities to fall on the boss or manager, so extra effort is needed to keep them in the loop.

This does not mean a lot of extra work, it is a presence of mind. Even using simple and rapid means of letting people know how they do it – like a short voice message or email, or a quick note scribbled in the margin of a report or memo – helps employees stay motivated and on target.

Also, do not forget to do sometimes a pat on the public back as during a staff meeting. This ensures that workers on site remote workers carry their load and can minimize any possible resentment employees feel on the spot to the members of the virtual team and their working arrangements.

Fear of challenges managing virtual teams and keep them connected are two of the most common obstacles facial organizations. This often prevents them from taking advantage of the power and flexibility that comes with having a more mobile workforce.

Do not let these fears in your way. The techniques and the necessary management strategies are not new, they are the same things that good managers have done for years to build trust and clear communication within their team. By using the guidelines I’ve shared with you in these four key areas that you can actually work from anywhere and keep your team connected!

A lawyer working virtually? It would be more accurate to say that Phil Montero is an evangelist for distributed work. It was the iron spear when moving away from more than a decade: teaching how to effectively work from a home office, the road, or virtually anywhere.

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