Michael A., project alignment coordinator for a small accounting firm in Texas, felt unprepared for his new remote leadership role. “It wasn’t the idea of remote workers in general, it was the worry that I couldn’t lead my teams effectively when they weren’t in the office,” he explains. Michael is not alone in his fears; per a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 40% of managers feel that remote leadership is ineffective.
Michael’s biggest concern, like many of his peers, was how to develop leadership with remote workers in the modern workplace. “Finding a balance is hard,” he admits. “The temptation is there to micromanage your remote teams, and that causes resentment for everyone.” Michael began to experience real hostility among his employees. As one anonymous employee explained, “My level of commitment was unchanged, but I felt that my work was no longer valued.”
How do you strengthen your virtual leadership skills and stay firmly in control of your remote leadership goals?
For Remote Leadership, Trust is Key
Michael felt that if his employees were no longer in the office, they wouldn’t be doing their work. This was a huge problem for both Michael and his employees.
The truth is a little different, though. Despite Michael’s fears, only 16% of managers feel their remote teams are less productive, per a recent Integris survey. In addition, 79% of employees report that their morale is unchanged or has increased with their new remote work situation.
If your employees work hard in the office, they will continue to work hard remotely. Employees who were known to be slackers in the office, however, may continue to provide a substandard work ethic.
Putting the right metrics in place, and a reliable way to measure them, is the key to successful remote leadership. Microsoft 365 provides some of these tools, including Planner and Teams, to keep track of employee projects and their progress.
Virtual Leadership Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Increased Meetings, Emails, or Phone Calls
For remote leadership, the temptation is to increase communications via phone, meetings, and emails. It’s important to remember that increasing communications will lead to decreased productivity.
Keep the disruptions to a minimum. Michael explains, “There is a standing joke about meetings; could this meeting have been an email? It’s true that many of our extra meetings were not productive at all.”
Remote Leadership Depends on Flexible Product Management Tools for Success
Michael felt that his teams weren’t working together effectively. “Communications, file sharing, and projects were all haphazard until we switched to Microsoft 365. Suddenly, all remote employees were on the same page, communicating and sharing work effortlessly.”
Take a look at Microsoft Teams in Action With this Free On-Demand Webinar
Microsoft Teams is the best way to keep your employees’ work and projects in one place. With real-time file sharing, chats, and highly customizable interface, you can put Teams to work in the way that best connects your remote workforce.
Streamline Communications and Tasks
Peter S. was a junior accountant in Michael’s firm. “Before we decided to switch to Microsoft 365, I was overwhelmed. I was getting conflicting project goals and priorities, and it seemed I couldn’t complete anything correctly the first time around.” Peter recalls, “My stress levels were through the roof. I honestly thought of leaving the firm.”
Microsoft 365 is the best way to streamline communications, project management, and file sharing. The program offers numerous ways to connect, including video and audio calls and a chat feature.
Integris Can Help You Migrate to Cloud Solutions to Encourage Efficient Remote Leadership
Michael A. explains that making the switch to Microsoft 365 was the best solution for his virtual leadership woes. “Microsoft 365 was sort of a one-stop-shop for us. We already used some features of Microsoft 365, like Outlook, Word, and Excel. Making the complete transition to cloud services was the next logical step.”
Integris is a Microsoft Gold Partner. We work with Microsoft to develop solutions and to bring them to our clients so they can increase employee productivity and improve their remote leadership by connecting, managing, and organizing their teams.
Contact us now for a short, ten-minute chat to see how Microsoft solutions will help move your business forward.
Not ready to chat? You can access our Modern Workplace Essentials Kit and get the tools and resources you need to make sure you are getting the most out of your remote workforce. Download and get instant access by clicking here.