People feel far away from each not because of physical distance, but rather by the amount of time—the delay—it takes to get answers or responses from others. People feel “close” when communication is predictable—not necessarily fast, just predictable.
The most important thing you need to do as a remote team leader is to get agreement (i.e., set expectations) on three things: (1) Normal working hours, (2) Response times, and (3) How to notify people when unavailable.
- What are the “normal” working hours? Do these hours need to be the same eight-hour
day for everyone, or should you make “normal” hours only a four- or six-hour window of time when everyone is working at the same time? How will you accommodate multiple time zones?
- How long will it take to get back to each other? Should we expect answers to questions immediately? Within an hour? By the end of the day? Should this be different based on the communication channel (e.g., respond to a phone call in less time than an email)?
- How will we notify each other when we’re unable to meet these expectations (e.g., out at a doctor’s appointment)? Send a group email or update a shared calendar?
After completing this activity, consider leaving a reflection in the LEADx app using the Coaching Plan Activity “Reflect” button.