How to achieve effective leadership when working from home?

We are in a difficult time that needs us to make quick decisions and transform all of our operations.

4 min read

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

How to achieve effective leadership when working from home?
How to achieve effective leadership when working from home?

By Julio Velázquez, director of Google Cloud Mexico

We are going through extraordinary times that are impacting all aspects of our lives: from how we work , how we socialize , how we buy , how we study and even how we see the world . The current situation is pushing us to rethink our work models and to explore other ways in which we can keep our businesses going while at the same time helping others. It is a time to also work internally, propose to be more creative and flexible to discover new doors, and also work on our resilience, that ability to respond and recover from stress.

For the leaders of an organization (managers, founders, managers, coordinators, etc.), working from home presents other challenges and probably more than one wonders how to lead a team if they are not in the same space. This is one of the things to rethink. Leadership is not necessarily something that should be done face to face. Good leadership involves setting clear goals, being present, communicating clearly, and ensuring that all team members are contributing their strengths and have the tools to do so.

Technology can be a great ally to overcome these challenges. Using tools like Hangouts Chat or Hangouts Meet allows both leaders and the entire team to always be connected. Video conferencing is great for important meetings or goal setting meetings, while written chat is the best way to have short, quick conversations that require immediate response.

Being present also means the timely review and approval of projects. To avoid confusion, save time and ensure that the final document is the one that is approved, it is recommended to work on shared documents such as Google Docs , Sheets or Slides . These types of documents have a single version that is saved in the cloud, where everyone involved can work at the same time. Furthermore, it is possible to enable editing permissions, so the final version of a file can only be left with permissions to view, so that no one can make subsequent changes.

Something that usually makes you waste a lot of time is finding the necessary information and when you work from home this can get worse. Completely migrating to the cloud in difficult times like this can be difficult, but you can do the digital transformation bit by bit. Materials held on physical servers or hard drives can be passed to shared folders on Google Drive . Thus, the information is always available from any device and is only open to people who need it.

Finally, especially when you have a leadership position, you cannot forget taking care of the well-being of the team members. Productivity , business operation, and achieving goals can sometimes blur your view to what matters most. Video calls are also an opportunity to review how everyone is doing on physical and mental health issues. It is important to have a balance of life and work, so it is good to have a shared calendar where work schedules are defined and updated with the day's activities. And something that should not be forgotten is that, as a leader, you have to work in active listening to be more sensitive to all the issues that involve the team.

We are in a difficult time that needs us to make quick decisions and transform all of our operations. Technology can help, but we must always keep our focus on what helps us the most is to stay together and in touch, even if it is virtual for the moment.

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