Remote leadership refers to the idea of leading a virtual team which works towards the achievement of basic goals. With the embrace of the technology, there are businesses that have chosen to cut on office practice costs by using remote or virtual offices where employees or team members are managed and led from their various locations. Remote leadership is, therefore, involved with the practice of managing a team that works from their preferred locations. The team leader in such a case is involved with the management of quality and discipline of the team despite their disparity in geographical space (Schedlitzki, 57). Among the industries that have been efficient in the utilization of remote working and leadership. However, there are distinguishing factors that explain the differences between remote leadership and the common leadership. The idea of remote leading is not always aimed at profit making or economic gains. Remote leadership is embraced in different types of organizations and associations whose members do not necessarily have to meet for the organization’s objectives to be met. Working as a freelancer has offered me the chance to understand the need of having good remote leadership skills since my work involves managing a team of freelance programmers.
Because of the existent difference between remote leadership and land-based leadership, remote leaders need to have certain competencies over that will enable them to beat the challenges that come with handling virtual team members. There are certain skills that remote leaders have to keep in possession to efficiently run the remote teams under them. These skill including understanding the dynamics that come with distant employees or team members, understanding the avenues that foster efficient communication between them and their teams, and devising the measures of control to be employed in the quest to harness the discipline of its members. These remote leadership skills are applicable in my freelancing experience and have been discussed.
The ability to coach for both long term engagement and performance is a skill that remote leaders need to internalize. Leading the virtual or remote team does not call one to focus on their current performance but look into the potentiality of realizing a better team out them in the future. Coaching is, therefore, one important aspect and skill that remote leaders are called upon to enhance. Leading remotely means constantly supplying one’s team members with tutorials and feedback on whatever they have done. This feedback is what improves both their current performances and guarantees long-term engagement. Taking into the consideration the nature of remote teams and workplaces, one understands that nay form of coaching is to be conducted through the communication mediums. Taking the freelancer industry, where I have worked as a freelance programmer, any form coaching can be done only through a digital communication medium like emailing or Skype. For this reason, the remote leader is called upon to possess technological skills. Anything that is to be done by the remote subordinates should be well understood by the remote leader. This offer the leader a chance to assess the performance of their remote team members and help in their training.
Understanding the implications and use of technology is a skill that all remote leaders should possess. Remote team building and working can never be effectively achieved without having a good command of technology. The idea of developing a remote workplace or remote team to pursue certain goals is, by itself, a technological idea. Virtual businesses have increasingly been set up after the digitalization of the world. This explains the idea that the idea is solely dependent on technology. As a freelance team leader, one needs to be fully competent in technological matters. Communicating with the team members, supervising their work and understanding the competencies are done in technological ways. The team leader is supposed to be in full understanding of the tools of trade, which are necessary for the achievement of the team’s communication and performance goals. The remote leader should be able to choose the perfect tool for the trade and use it efficiently (Avolio, 121). The remote leaders should as well bear in mind the implications that come when the business is solely dependent on technology. There is a certain technologically inflicted risk that might face such a business, and it is up to the remote leader to prevent the team and the firm in general from any risks of this kind. These risks might include hacking and any unauthorized access to the team’s information.
Clarification of roles
Remote leadership is aimed to steer the team members into producing what is expected of them within a certain deadline. In this context, the remote leader is called upon to treat face time and productivity differently. Face time is the time when the virtual employees appear working. This does not in any case imply that the organization is employing those benefits from it. Productivity is what is what any remote leader should focus on. If an extended face time will imply that the organization, or rather the team optimizes its production, then that will be the major concern of the remote leader. To be in a better control of the subordinates’ productivity, a remote leader will have to practice a strict use of deadlines and quality rubrics to be adhered by the team members. It will be the responsibility of this leader to ensure growth in the skills of their remote team members. This makes it easy for both the remote leader and the remote team member.
Speaking, writing and listening are the three most important communication aspects that a remote leader is called upon to observe in their management and leadership activities. Leadership entails responding to the grievances of the individuals working under one’s team. As a human resource leader in freelancing company, one must be competent in the written and spoken a language. This gives the ability to swiftly respond to the needs of both their remote clients and their remote team members(Johnstone, Greg, 198). Communication is important in any field, failure to have the necessary flow in communication leads to economic and social disaster within any work environment. One cannot observe the changes in a remote corporate environment by looking, and having good communication skills makes up for this factor.
Challenges of Remote leadership
Virtual businesses and work environments have been a way of reducing costs and maximizing on production. However, businesses and organizations using this type of leadership and management have found some challenges relating to it. These challenges include the fact that remote leaders are not able to have a one on one interaction with their team members. It is, however, hard for remote team leaders to understand the personality of their subordinates. The other challenge commonly associated with remote leadership is that remote subordinates are not interested in keeping long term tenures, therefore making them more concerned with ephemeral rewards. Team members re not always concerned with building long-term engagements and find any attempt to keep them within confined within the organization as not benefitting them. My current job position as programming freelance team leader has offered me a chance to observe how it can be hard to get a team member doing exactly what needed to be done. Remote leadership is the only available management option in the freelancing industry. This has called for the improvising of methods of controlling the behaviors and steering the productivity of team members. Since the remote leader cannot have control over the time in which a subordinate spends working, the only focus remains to design the terms of tenure in ways that will look into the matter of long-term engagement, productivity and goal achievement.
In conclusion, remote leadership is an economical but challenging way of managing the human resource. Costs involving office hardware and employee accommodation can be greatly reduced with the use of remote management practices. Technology is the biggest factor impacting on remote leadership since it is much reliant communication. Not much trust is supposed to be given to the subordinates in this type of leadership because one cannot be so sure if they are working on not concerning the various tasks that they are responsible for their accomplishment.
Johnston, Mark W., and Greg W. Marshall. Sales force management: Leadership, innovation, technology. Routledge, 2016.
Schedlitzki, Doris, Gareth Edwards, and Gethin While. “Leadership, management and the Welsh language.” European Management Review (2016).
Avolio, Bruce J., et al. “E-leadership: Re-examining transformations in leadership source and transmission.” The Leadership Quarterly 25.1 (2014): 105-131.