Set Expectations for Remote Work Success

How can you help your virtual team succeed?

Pamela McClinton, Founder of Content Strategy and Development for MSPIRED, talks about some of the challenges of leading virtual teams. At times, discussions about remote work or working from home can feel like arbitration or negotiation. Do you have employees inquiring about work from home opportunities at your organization?

How will you answer their questions when there is no formal remote work policy at your company?

Pamela has been leading virtual teams for over ten years and shares that set the appropriate expectations for remote work is the best way to set your team up for success. Expectations are the tasks, behaviors and responsibilities that you believe the employee should accomplish in a remote setting and can be as simple as checking e-mail more frequently, monitoring instant messages or being available by mobile phone.

Expectations help your team members measure how they are performing in a new role.

Learn why expectations can help your virtual team members succeed. Watch this and other videos on negotiation and deal making today on Leadercast!
I think that in the business world, specifically with the technologies that we have, you're going to have employees who may request to work remotely or even be faced with creating a virtual team. And it's a negotiation, just like every other negotiation in business.

And negotiation happens in every business. And I think that leaders who are faced with these challenges should really look at what opportunities could also exist in creating a virtual team, or allowing a remote employee within their organization.

First and foremost, I believe that if you have expectations on work, those should be up front. That way if there is a challenge that presents itself, or someone does ask to work remotely. They understand what your expectations are for their roles and their responsibilities.

And meeting those roles and responsibilities is of first importance. I have had a director who said that an employee just simply said, "I'm working from home today." And it presented a challenge because the company did not have a remote work policy.

And so if a leader is faced with this type of situation, which this director was, and came to me and asked, "What should I do? How should I address this? I said, "The first thing that you need to do, is set an expectation of what remote work is, and how it should be asked, or offered within the organization."

Not only that, but employees need to understand that it is a privilege to work remotely. And with that privilege are going to come expectations, and even additional things that the leader may request as part of their work or remote work policy.

And so I think leaders can have the confidence that they can address the negotiation of working remotely with their employees by simply laying out what their expectations are first. But then, making sure that those are communicated, and that they have a remote work policy so that everyone understands how remote work will be handled in the workplace.

Within an employee's job description, it outlines the roles and responsibilities that they have on a daily basis. Some of those roles and responsibilities may need to be altered for a remote work policy. So a remote work policy can be standard throughout the organization, but it may not address the specific tasks and goals that that employee should complete on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. So having some type of agreement or policy that states what individuals on the team will perform or produce as output is going to be very important in a remote work policy.

Pamela McClinton

Having served in various leadership roles, Pamela McClinton, Ed.D., advocates for transformational and servant leadership above and beyond managerial duties. With her Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership at Argosy U...

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