Mistakes to avoid when leading Remote Teams

Remote Work Is Not Working

When the pandemic hit hard, it forced many companies to work from their homes, Many companies are shifting to remote operations and hiring from the global talent pool. Business analysis and management experts went far and stated all the benefits of working remotely from home and speculated that this will be the new norm, no one is going to work anymore, some of the multinational corporates announced that it will work with no premises and 199% scattered workers from homes. Studies and statistic showed that the employees are seeing all the benefit of flexibility, work-life balance and saving the commuting time and a lot of money spent on transportations, specially in the large metropolitan cities.


So what happened, why isn’t it working?! companies are experiencing growing pains with this transition. Team leaders and managers notices lost control, less productivity, lost communication, workers are seeing work-life balance is damaged, working all day and night, depression, miscommunication and more screen time, with less and less clarity on the tasks and more over the loyalty for the company dropped heavily.   

9 Fundamental Mistakes

From our observations, interviews and researches we conducted with our clients, we reached a list of 9 fundamental mistakes organizations normally do when they deploy hybrid or remote working policy.

1. Incredible variety of tools and applications:

There are thousands of collaboration and communication tools on the market. And every program can do something that another program cannot. It could become a big problem without starting a precise strategy and spontaneously deciding on any application.

It’s not easy to say which program is best for you. But if the various tools don’t mesh or can’t be integrated into the existing IT system architecture, chaos quickly ensues. The consequences: inefficient cooperation and frustration. Only very few companies have complete collaboration solutions to date.

2. lack of support from the company:

If you are faced with the decision to lead a remote team, you should make sure that the entire company is behind the decision. If only part of the team is in the home office and the rest of the team is in the office, it is important that all employees want and support virtual collaboration. Because it can be exhausting.

At the management level it must be clear that investments will also be necessary: better technology, new programs. And the other members of the team must also stand behind the remote employees. During telephone conferences, no one must be forgotten.


3. Insufficient onboarding and training:

Especially with remote employees you should think about onboarding and training. They should be extremely organized and provide regular support in the initial period. Prepare training materials and collect all important information in a virtual place that everyone can access.

Give your new remote employees the feeling that they can ask for anything at any time. Especially in the beginning, there must be close contact between you and your employees.


4. Technical requirements:


These are the technical requirements that must be met by high-speed Internet, telephone or video conferences and also online-based solutions for working together. If there are technical problems, the in-house IT department will take care of them on site. With virtual teams, the employee himself is in demand.

5. Ergonomic requirements:

Home workstations often do not meet the minimum ergonomic requirements regarding work surface, illuminance or glare. However, federal and state offices as well as trade unions provide checklists to check these.

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6. Organizational problems:

In virtual teams, there is an enormous need for communication so that everyone involved is always up to date, new developments are known immediately and can be reacted to accordingly. If the organization goes wrong because clear responsibilities and goals are missing, the team members do not work with each other, but rather past each other.

7. Perceived loss of control: 

The idea of having to relinquish control is difficult for some bosses. It is not possible to just drop by the office under an excuse. They have to trust that the employees will do their job. That’s why it’s not so much a question of concrete time frames, but rather of the results that are expected within a certain period of time.

8. Social isolation:

Working as part of a virtual team means the absence of physical presence. You may know your colleagues, but you meet them much less often than colleagues in non-virtual teams. Some employees need the direct exchange in order not to become lonely.

9. Individual skills:

Employees of virtual teams require nothing less than very good self-organization, communication skills and intercultural competence.


Whoever leads a remote team has to think very carefully about his leadership style. But a virtual team does not have to be an obstacle to successful projects. If the conditions are right, virtual collaboration can even work better.

Location-independent working creates spatially distributed teams that communicate with each other only virtually for long periods of time. When setting up and managing virtual teams, some special aspects should be taken into account.

Pinnacle has a set of consultation programs, trainings, services to help your organization plot the right strategy for remote works, from HR perspective to technology and facilities perspective, till we reach the change management & training plans for all your organization levels.

Pinnacle® is a multi-country consultancy firm. Our consultants are spread around the world. We have built our organization on modern business model with agility, diversity, and resilience to the business dynamics. We have chosen our technology platform to support our modern mindset thus we work from anywhere …. As work is not a place anymore. We implement Lean Six Sigma in everything we do whether internally or externally at our client sites.

Article is written by:

Roland Friedl,

Senior Trainer and Coach

Pinnacle Country Representative DACH Region

Pinnacle Ltd.

Pinnacle Ltd. is a multi-countries modern consultancy firm, with offices around 11 countries in 4 continents, and 28 consultants working remotely and virtually managed.

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