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Why Creating An Agile Remote Team Takes A Different Kind of Leadership

Source | | YEC

Managing a remote team is quite a bit different than managing a local team, as thousands of anxious managers can tell you. Larger corporations are embracing remote teams quickly as a cost-cutting method even as startups are forming remote teams to hold onto that lean-budget cutting edge as long as possible.

We’re not just talking about a new type of worker: We’re looking at a whole new society of them, with different needs and expectations from the workers who came before. This is a topic close to my heart because (not entirely intentionally) my businesses were built entirely by remote team members who have been with me for years now. Building trust and building this team into an effective working machine, took me years of trying, failing, learning and experimenting. Now, I believe I understand the methods that allow you to lead a remote team to glory.

Respect The Lifestyle

Anyone who will be managing a team of remote workers needs to understand the lifestyle that most of these people are living. They may be just as hardworking and qualified as a traditional office worker, but the values are often very different (values are going to be incredibly important here). If you have a dream of hiring a bunch of remote workers and then managing them on the same 9-to-5 schedule as they’d have in an office, you’re headed for a tragedy.

The great remote workers have all the best qualities independent thinkers. They’re often more creative, self-sufficient and driven than the people you’d get for the same salary in an office. The trade-off, of course, is that they work by their own process, are generally attached to managing their own time, and know they have a lot more liberty than most workers to jump to a new ship if you get on their nerves. Typically, the high-value remote workers won’t tolerate the restraints that are placed on office workers. To work well with them, you need to have something closer to a mutual agreement.

Hire Based On Values

You were probably hiring based on values before you ever worked with a remote team, but it means something different here. Values will play far more heavily into a remote relationship because you’ll only have limited access to your employee. Getting the performance you need out of them and expecting them to hang around will require you to share some important foundations.

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