How to Lead a Remote Team!

For years the world of work has been moving toward a more distributed and flexible reality. One in which people are able to, and increasingly expect to, work from anywhere simply because they can. The current pandemic didn’t create this trend, but for many, it accelerated it. 

In our group, some companies are fully remote. Others offer a range of flexible variations that combine office work with remote options. How we lead these different remote teams largely depends on their unique setting.

While there is no “one size fits all” recipe, we do believe in one common, overall approach; leading remote teams is less about control and regulations, and more about helping each team member succeed. We’ve said it time and again: when our people grow, our business grows.

From our perspective, the advice we give for leading remote teams is in fact great advice for leadership in general. But perhaps, it is even more important when leading from a distance. 

Top 3 pieces of advice from our New Normal approach to remote leadership: 

  1. We focus on outcomes, rather than on when and where our teams are working. We try to define goals and desired outcomes to work towards - together - rather than micromanaging and controlling every aspect of our teams’ work. As Bård, CEO of Group company Crystallize elegantly put it; “This is the modern workplace mentality. It is not about when or where you work from, it is about what we create together.” 
  2. We strive to connect and communicate with our people often. Having a sense of belonging, and feeling connected to your work and your team members, creates a sense of purpose and builds company culture. Purpose and culture are strong motivators, and the remote leader’s best tools for supporting their team. 
  3. We trust our people. We strongly believe that each person in our group wants to do their best and wants what’s best for their team and company. All of us want to contribute to our growth. 

The remote leader’s job is to set clear expectations and have systems in place for follow-up and feedback. To provide flexibility and tailor to individual needs, so that our people can focus on bringing their best selves to work and help us reach our goals.