Succeeding with Virtual & Remote Teams

The Webinar:

This month’s Business Leaders’ webinar was on


If you missed it you can
Download the Podcast
Download the whole Webinar
(which includes the presentation, and useful worksheets and templates.)
(more information below)

Here is what we talked about:

We’re all global

In business today, it’s important to recognize that it’s not just our companies that are global. We are each global employees.

We need to remember to think more about our remote colleagues.

We need to invest extra time and energy on sharing information, communicating, and including them in our day to day conversations, decisions and work processes.

This webinar was loaded with specific ideas for improved communicating, team building, and performance management.

We covered the following scenarios:

1. When you are the remote employee
2. When you are managing a remote employee
3. When you are managing a geographically dispersed team
4. When you are managing an intact, outsourced team

Here are the 4 big ideas:

1. Presence

Just because you are not physically present, does not mean you can’t exert your presence.

The best way to solve a remote or virtual problem is to think through how you would make it better if you removed the remote issue. What would you do in person? Then find a way to do the same thing (or as close as possible) from a distance.

We talked about ways to replicate physical presence by optimizing limited face time, using video, photos, and better managing conference call behaviors.

Remote team building is possible.

We also talked about the fact that you can still do team building activities even when people are not in the same room. We covered some great techniques and best practices to do this.

You must find ways to exert your presence whether you are the remote employee or the remote manager. Think of this as part of your job.

2. People

Sadly, “out of sight, out of mind” often takes hold in remote working relationships.

It is vitally important to treat people like people in business, even if you can’t see them — especially if you can’t see them!

We talked about how to increase the personal connection so that the distance, and the lack of physical presence does not make remote people and teams feel like they count less.

Managers need to reach out personally.

Making the effort to connect the dot’s for people about why their work matters increases motivation and performance.

Going out of your way to get inputs and include people in different locations in key decisions increases the effectiveness of the whole team.

Finding ways to participate personally in outsourced or remote team events and celebrations makes remote people feel like they count.

Individuals need to build a network of support.

We also talked about different ways that remote relationships go bad and make people feel powerless and cut off. We shared ideas for remote employees to take initiative to connect with their peers and manager in a personal way to build more visibility and support.

3. Communication

Clear, regular communication is important in any organization. But when dealing with dispersed teams, time zones, languages and cultures it becomes even more critical. So you need to put extra effort into an on-purpose communication program.

Augment voice communications.

We talked about how workflow can stall, slow, or go in the wrong direction when English is not the first language of everyone on the team, and how to use blogs, and IM to optimize understanding and efficiency across time zones.

Too much information just gets lost across geographic distance. We talked about how to create a communication plan for remote stakeholders and colleagues to keep everyone in the loop.

4. Performance Management

While individuals can be more productive working remotely, teams can’t.

It’s vital in remote working relationships, that you get very clear and outcome-oriented with performance objectives and expectations for individuals and teams.

You can’t let people hide just because you can’t see them.

It’s not the distance that is the problem as much as fuzziness in expectations and lack of follow-through.

You can’t really get away with sloppy performance management in person either, but it’s even worse if you let performance expectations get fuzzy at a distance. You won’t stand a chance keeping on track.

We covered a few different examples of the problems that crop up and how to deal with them at a distance.

Taking action and improving

We covered a lot of stuff in this webinar!

If you are leading or participating in a remote team, this webinar will help you think through your strategy to improve team performance and motivation. It’s also loaded with ideas and practical techniques you can use.

Want more?

If you missed the webinar and you want to hear it in its entirety…

All downloads are free for members.

Become a member

Here’s how membership works:

Every month I do a webinar on topic of business leadership and success. Anyone can call into the live session for free.

If you want to get the podcast to listen at your own convenience, you can purchase it. If you are a member you get it for free.

As a member you get free access to all the podcasts, webinars and worksheets in the Member Library for 1 year.

You also get to participate in a monthly members-only Coaching Hour with Patty.

There are so many great resources available for free to members.

Do yourself and your career (and life) a favor and Join Now. Become a Member
(It’s only $179 for a whole year!)

With your membership to the Business Leaders’ program you will get access to this webinar and podcast AND:

  • Access to all the webinar podcast downloads from the Member Library
  • Useful worksheets with each webinar to help act on what is most important to you.
  • Personal access to Patty in monthly member-only Coaching Hour conference calls

Managers: Provide membership to your team

Membership to the Azzarello Group Business Leaders’ program is a practical and useful development program for your team.
(Contact me for group rates)

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.

About Patty
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.


Free eBook Download

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

Shortest Blog Ever...
10 easy ways to network in the real world