The Future of Remote Leadership: Balancing Flexibility and Control

It is estimated that around 50 percent of the global workforce will work remotely post the pandemic era. The concept of remote work has already become quite popular since the advent of the global pandemic. The trend is only accelerating. A larger remote workforce is expected to challenge HR leaders to re-evaluate the existing approaches to the recruitment and management of talent.

According to a leading research report, it is believed that around 48 percent of employees will work remotely at least during some point of time in the post-pandemic era. What should the future of remote leadership be like? Let us understand!

Remote Leadership Offering Support to the Remote Teams

A recent survey reported that the number of employees working permanently from home will only double in the post-pandemic era. For leaders, this shift will imply that a major part of the workforce will be working outside the confined walls of the organization. This will require them to adapt to the all-new dynamic while continuing to meet organizational goals at the same time.

Most teams or groups might be looking for relevant remote leadership insights into supporting the remote teams while ensuring that projects are getting completed. Here are some tips for future leaders to support the respective remote teams −

Communicating Effectively and Actively

In the domain of leadership, listening has always served to be a vital skill. However, with remote staff, it takes on a completely new meaning. It is easier for employees to remain behind a screen if they are feeling unheard or struggling or want to be unseen while working on a project. Future remote leadership tactics can promote the importance of active communication by asking for relevant ideas or opinions from staff in one-on-one video chats or group video meetings.

Depending on the level of direct communication with the staff, leaders are expected to analyze how often active communication is required. For example, a CEO might require delivering only a single speech in an online meeting once or twice a month. On the other hand, a direct supervisor is expected to speak with the employees on a daily basis.

Additionally, leaders are also expected to make sure that they are communicating organization-critical information to the employees on a prompt basis. Upon the initiation of a new policy, leaders can consider sending out emails to the staff. At the same time, following up with phone calls or a video meeting with every staff member is also crucial to obtain their respective reactions.

Establishing Highly Realistic Team-specific Goals

Within a project itself, there might be several sub-goals that can be set by employees rather than getting determined by the leaders. For instance, an employee might think of deciding on the steps necessary for accomplishing the goal or dividing up the project.

Studies reveal that employees tend to be highly invested in their work if they have the ownership guarantee. Leaders tend to foster the overall growth of employees by encouraging them to take up responsibilities in specifying goals while reaching the ultimate organizational goal.

Leaders can also consider working in collaboration with their teams to develop personal work-oriented goals that will help the team to succeed. As leaders and employees work together towards identifying common issues that they might encounter while working remotely, leaders can go ahead with assisting employees in the development of a plan for dealing with the existing problems.

Prioritizing the Physical & Mental Well-being of the Staff

While it is believed that working from home brings about positive feelings for the employees, you cannot still overlook the downsides. It is simpler to continue working on a project until it gets completed even in the wee hours of the night. Leaders can think of encouraging the employees to set a particular end-time for work or have a time off for ensuring both physical as well as mental well-being.

For some workers, the overall risks of over-working can be significant. They might find it increasingly difficult to manage their personal and professional life. Others might start feeling isolated as they are not having interactions common in a dedicated workplace.

A futuristic remote leader can go ahead with showing ample support to the team by continuously checking in. Leaders can either initiate a chat message or indulge in a phone call weekly as per the requirement. Leaders can also consider encouraging the workforce to take some time away from work while respecting personal time by not texting or calling.

To minimize instances of social isolation, leaders can organize get-togethers in person or through video chats. Team lunches and virtual happy hours are also creative ways to help employees unwind, de-stress, and take a break from the monotonous routine.

Understanding the Need for Flexibility

When everyone is involved in the same office, you can expect to set a specific set of rules working across the entire department. In the case of remote workers, the overall need for ample flexibility tends to increase substantially. For instance, rather than employees working typically from 9 to 5 as in a proper workplace, you can expect some workers to be more productive when they start work at noon or work past 5 in the evening.

In some cases, employees might also require the flexibility of scheduling team meetings when family members might not be at home. Employees are known to perform excellently when leaders go ahead with supporting their needs to ensure a flexible and balanced schedule. Businesses can also look forward to benefitting from a workforce that remains focused on their respective jobs while working at the prime time.


The overall nature of work has changed to a major extent quiet lately. As such, it can be presumed that we are entering the domain of globalization. There are several potential pitfalls. However, the overall benefits of a remote workforce on a global level tend to be infinite. As leaders continue rethinking remote working strategies, it is crucial that they allow employees to leverage the right tools as well as technologies to be connected and successful in any corner of the world.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2023


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