At Leaders in Heels, we’ve operated our team remotely since our inception almost a decade ago. Our staff, partnerships and suppliers work in different cities, countries and timezones. Needless to say, we’ve found our groove and how to best operate for productivity AND, more importantly, in a way that fosters proactive work too! As of late, many members of our community are also finding the opportunities and hurdles in discovering how to lead a team from home.
Here is what we’ve found works for us:
Thinking about HOW we communicate with our team
We LOVE using Google Hangouts. Primarily because we can share our screens so everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time.
If you’ve got a small number of people in the meeting you can easily hear and see who is speaking. If the meeting has a larger number of people then allocate one person to read out questions/thoughts that pop up in the comments section from the other team members.
Keeping our channels of communications clear and purposeful
There’s nothing worse than trolling through a million different platforms to find a sentence of information. Determining which communication channels you’ll use when and how you’ll use them is extremely important.
Typically, we use Whatsapp if we want an answer from a teammate as soon as feasible. Email gets used by the team when we have longer-form communications or if something might need more deliberation time.
Having an organised folder structure is super important when you’re planning how to lead a team from home
Lose the habit of emailing files to your teammates. It’s quick and easy at the time but boy does it a) clog up your inbox and b) make it hard to find edits, files and comments in the future.
Set up team and individual folders and subfolders on a platform like OneDrive or Dropbox, that drill down by activity/content. For example, Leaders in Heels > Marketing > Christmas > 2020.
Delegating tasks and keeping them on track
Keeping oversite of your colleague’s workloads helps ensure they don’t burn out and that everyone has an even spread of work. We like to use task manager Asana which acts as a to-do list where you can delegate tasks, comment on each other’s work and tag relevant team members. From a leaders point of view, it also allows you to see how your team are tracking with their work, which makes it easier to extend help when needed.
Keep comments relevant to their documents
As mentioned above, emails are great but they can easily get out of hand or make it hard to have a clear view of multiple versions of work. To counteract this we use Google Docs to draft work, and comment throughout, rather than emailing feedback and creating a multi-user feedback thread. Having the conversations linked to the applicable paragraph of text keeps the lines of communication open.
Do you have any questions or comments about how to lead a team from home?
Let us know in the comments below!