Leading a team Remotely

If we are taught one thing during this Corona Crises it is that we can work remotely, without being in physical contact with our direct reports and team-members. For myself, working remotely wasn’t quite a challenge. From previous working experience, I am used to working from home on a regularly bases and guide and support overseas teams. On the other hand, guiding and supporting a team that isn’t used to work remotely was more of a challenge. I am sharing my experiences and thoughts in this article.

  1. Structure in meetings

Make sure you create a routine in regularly meetings, for my team we have scheduled a weekly meeting in which we discuss all outstanding topics. All issues are listed so we can appoint a dedicated responsible team member, a priority and a deadline to resolve the issue. During Month-End Close we have setup a daily call in the morning in order to discuss the progress on the deadlines and we the planning for the current day. Don’t forget to ask your co-workers how they are doing and if they expect any inconveniences. Make sure they know you are there to support them.

  1. Trust

Have trust in your co-workers for taking their responsibilities in given tasks and they will reach out in case of issues or unclarities. Now is the time to delegate tasks and let go of ‘management by walking around’. Manage your team based on their output, be clear about your expectations towards your team.

  1. Know your co-worker

This advice refers to the lack of non-verbal communication we are suffering from working remotely. How do we know how our communication is perceived during our online meetings?  The answer is simple: ask them. Start with the most extrovert colleague in order to break the ice for the more introvert members of your team. Give your co-workers a call, instead of writing them an email.

  1. Be there

Make sure your co-workers know where and how to reach out to you. Make clear agreements on what platform is used for specific types of communication. Most companies nowadays facilitate a chat application, which is most effective on small issues that need to be resolved immediately.

  1. Company culture

One of the most difficult issues on working remotely as intensive as we did the last months is maintaining the company culture. Be aware of the risk that your co-workers might get distracted from your company. Challenge them to call a colleague instead of sending emails. Share information about the organisation regularly and plan online team events.

  1. Leadership by example

Off course, last but not least, show leadership by example. Express your non-verbal communication, reach out to your co-workers, keep in touch and behave as an ambassador of your company’s culture.


Fomo Sapiens: Working from Home and Company Culture
A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers by Barbara Z. Larson, Susan R. Vroman and Erin E. Makarius (Harvard Business Review, March 18, 2020)

About the author

Eef Michielsen is working as an interim financial over 5 years, she graduated in Business Administration and Change Management. In 2019 Eef founded M2-Consulting. M2-Consulting combines finance hard skills, change management and experience in order to deliver sustainable, stakeholder driven solutions to her customers.