Leading a Remote Team

Published Wednesday, July 14, 2010 7:44 AM

FiFA World Cup fever, which heightened in intensity as the finals neared, united sports fans across the globe in front of their TVs. Global happenings like the World Cup, the Olympics or even Oscar night, can seemingly shrink the world to a small village but when tasked with managing a remote workforce-across continents or cities-the distance between remote team members can seem vast.

Remote is Close to Home

Remote teams and how they work is more than an interesting abstraction at our company. We have subsidiaries in 31 countries and distribution in more than 120, additionally, our global management and sales forces are working from a myriad of locations.  In the Beyond Folders blog  we've written about managing the challenges of a global workforce in Teams and Time Zones: Tips for a Global Workforce and posted tips enabling employees to gain recognition in Remote Workers Do Not Have to Be Invisible. 

Managing remote teams presents a singular challenge: when the old model of "MBWA" or management by walking around, popularized as a catchphrase in the first business bestseller, In Search of Excellence,  no longer applies, what is the new model? 

In short, successful leaders of remote teams must demonstrate a willingness to travel and be adept users of social media. I am a fan of two fascinating articles making these points; in Management by Flying Around Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kantar argues that "showing up is the number one key to success."  And in Leading Virtual Teams to Real Results, two leading businesswomen and writers, maintain that social media is a crucial tool for leading remote teams.

For a constructive read on managing both the logistics and morale of remote teams, I would steer readers to How to Manage Employees in Remote Locations.  

Do you lead a remote team? How do you maximize morale and productivity remotely? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers


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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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