Man smiles as he works with laptop

How Do You Lead a Team Remotely?

A growing number of organizations are shifting to remote work environments either for the foreseeable future or on a more permanent basis. As leaders manage the implications, it is important to know how to help employees with a remote work environment that supports high levels of productivity and engagement—whether they are just starting out with remote work or have been doing it for a while.

A good place to start is by auditing and analyzing if the remote work environment will enable the employee to achieve short- and long-term success. A perspective from both the leader and the employee can reveal what remote factors will support the employee and any gaps that need to be addressed to ensure a positive outcome or enhance an existing arrangement. The following checklist for employees working at home will serve as a guide for a thoughtful and thorough discussion.

Physical Environment

  • Woman works remotelyDoes the employee have enough space to work with adequate comfort and ergonomics?
  • Does the work area provide privacy and is it free from factors that could hinder concentration and attention?
  • Does the employee have enough storage space for supplies, material, and/or work equipment?
  • Has the work area undergone a security audit?
  • Is the work environment safe and configured to avoid accidents?


  • Does the employee have the tools, equipment, technology, resources, etc. to execute their work and collaborate with others?
  • Does the employee have an adequate and reliable internet connection?
  • Have IT security and protocols been put in place?
  • Does the employee understand the processes and procedures to keep company data and resources secure?
  • Are anti-virus and anti-malware tools active and up-to-date?

Work Processes

  • Has the employee read and do they understand the organization’s policies related to working remotely?
  • Is the employee clear about job specific roles, responsibilities, and expectations in the remote environment?
  • Is the employee clear about work hours and work-life balance?
  • Does the employee understand and commit to work output goals, metrics, and requirements?
  • Is the employee clear about how and when to report on work output and productivity?

Engagement and Morale

  • What concerns or fears does the employee have and how can these be addressed?
  • What does the employee feel are the positive aspects of remote work?
  • Is the employee clear about how and when to communicate with the leader and other team members?
  • Does the employee understand who to notify if they need help?

Lead and Engage Your Remote Team with The Remote Work Readiness Checklist

Workplace dynamics are changing rapidly and remote work will be a critical element of the future of work. Organizations and leaders who are forward-looking and take the steps to optimize the remote working environment can make it a viable talent strategy.


Are you leading a virtual team? Improve your leadership effectiveness by taking CMOE’s Leading Virtual Meetings self-paced, on-demand course.


Multiple Authors:

Anubis Rezende

Stephanie Mead

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About the Author
Stephanie Mead
Ms. Mead has experience in operations management, leadership development curriculum design, organization development consulting, and international operations. Stephanie has developed complete leadership development curriculums for some of the world’s leading organizations. Her experience also includes creating specialized learning experiences and blended learning programs aimed at maximizing human and organization performance. Stephanie has also co-authored 4 books with other CMOE consultants.

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