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5 questions to ask yourself to sustainably take your team virtual

As of this moment, there are two things that we know for sure. One being that the pandemic has forced many businesses to shift to remote work faster than they could prepare for it. The other is, that it looks like our situation isn’t changing any time soon. If you’re looking for ways to build a sustainable virtual workplace, there are 5 things that you need to ask yourself.

1. Am I making all of my conversations and interactions with team members count?

Communication is a critical component of success, especially for a remote team, so review your interactions. Are you prioritising them? Are they consistent? Do your team members always leave with actionable steps to improve?

Prioritizing mental wellness check-ins and weekly one-on-ones help managers keep a pulse on employee engagement, productivity, and performance – so make every interaction count!

2. Have I revisited our firm’s meeting schedules and touchpoints?

If you’re going to sustainably take your team virtual, you need to find what works best for everyone. How many team meetings does everyone need per month? Around what time during the month works best when it comes to productivity? Revisit your schedule, is it working or does it need to be changed?

The same goes for your touchpoints. Many employees are struggling to adapt to this new working dynamic and are nervous to ask for help, so you need to be checking in regularly. Whether that is a one-on-one zoom call every month or a phone call, make sure that these interactions help provide support, coaching and ensuring employees have everything they need to work successfully from home.

3. How do I need to change roles and responsibilities to help people perform at their best?

Managing a virtual team, as opposed to a physical team, requires you to adapt your role and managerial style so review how you need to change.

Typically, a manager or team leader needs to become more of a ‘coach’ rather than a manager. They need to take a more ‘outcome-based approach’ rather than a ‘time-based approach.’ Take a look at your team and see what you need to do to help people perform at their best. You can even have a meeting and discuss this all together.

4. Am I keeping the big picture in view? Or am I getting stuck in the day-to-day?

Although you need to adopt a more ‘coach-like’ role when it comes to your leadership style, you also may need to get out of the way for your team members to really flourish and for the team to grow. Think, how can my team do more of the day-to-day, so that I can do less and do more of what will make the business grow?

Take a look at all the tasks that you do. Review your processes, where are you involved and can you minimise this? Can you teach another team member to do something or delegate authority to prevent you from becoming the bottleneck?

The idea here is to get you to remove your fingers from a lot of the pies so that you can focus on the big picture.

5. What can I do more of, to strengthen the firm’s culture?

Working remotely presents a lot of its own challenges, primarily self-motivation and loneliness. As you can imagine, this can have quite a negative impact on employee morale and productivity if you let it.

To avoid this, you need to be thinking of how you can strengthen your firm culture and how you can do this regularly. For example, refining the core values and goals of your business and communicating these with your team is a really great way to get the team invested in the success of the business as a whole. Encouraging socialising, getting to know everyone personally, and hosting virtual team building events is also extremely important. It helps build trust, relationships, and that all-important sense of camaraderie.

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