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How on Point Are Your Remote Management Skills?

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
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This biweekly column features the latest future of work trends and Upwork’s role within them.

Entrepreneur | The Key Management Skill for the 21st Century: Leading Remote Teams


The future of work was a hot topic at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX, with discussions about workplace considerations including innovation, tools, and design.

Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel participated in a panel about the future of work, which led to an interesting post-session conversation when an attendee asked: How can someone become a better manager of remote teams?

Our understanding of work has changed; changes to business culture and better technology are removing barriers to remote work. However, while business schools have kept pace with this evolution, many companies have not. Kasriel says they lag behind at their peril.

“Companies that learn how to use remote teams productively will gain access to a far broader and deeper talent pool than those who limit themselves to one geographic area. And for managers, organizing and coordinating the work of a distributed team is a crucial key to winning recognition and advancement in the coming years.”
— Stephane Kasriel, Upwork CEO

For people who want to sharpen their ability to lead remote teams, Kasriel outlines some of the fundamental principles:

  • Update your expectations to encompass a remote-first approach. “Assume that everyone is or may be remote at any time,” Kasriel said.
  • Focus on results rather than how, when, or where people get things done.
  • Embrace technology, so the right communication tools are readily accessible.
  • Create a “virtual water cooler” where people can socialize more easily online.
  • Keep tabs on questions, so you know what’s top-of-mind and can address concerns and misconceptions right away.
  • Meet in person when necessary, to help build and maintain relationships.

Kasriel says these principles won’t just help you navigate the future workplace—they’ll help you leverage the best talent, be a stronger leader, and ultimately get better results.

Read Kasriel’s full comments here