Insights for Managing Your Remote Team featured image

Insights for Managing Your Remote Team

By: Hero Frenzel

~ 5 minute read

Navigating the New Normal with Insight and Strategy

The shift towards remote, virtual, and hybrid models has been one of the most significant changes we’ve seen in recent years. Remote work, it seems, is here to stay, and with it comes a host of leadership challenges and opportunities for developing leaders. The move away from traditional office environments means that managers must adapt to hybrid and remote management styles. This shift isn’t just about keeping operations running smoothly, it’s about reimagining how we lead, engage, and motivate teams. 

To Bring Back or Not to Bring Back? That Is the Question

You might be asking, “Should I bring my employees back to the office?” Deciding whether to bring your team back to the office requires careful consideration. It’s not a one-size-fits-all decision. As a manager, you need to weigh the benefits of in-person collaboration against the flexibility and potential productivity gains of remote work. Consider the nature of your team’s work, their personal preferences, and how they best achieve their goals as you craft your plan for virtual talent optimization.

Understanding Individual Needs: The Key to Remote Workforce Management

When managing your workforce remotely (or hybrid!), the Golden Rule does not apply. Recognizing that each person has their own unique needs is crucial. This is where the Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral drives and needs can offer insights into how to best support each team member’s productivity when you don’t see them every day.

For example, bringing a low extravert back to the office requires intentional planning. It’s important to ensure they’re in the office for a specific purpose, not just for the sake of “being with the team” or so you can “watch them work”. With low extraverts, it’s increasingly important to organize meetings in advance, provide ample independent “think time”, and help them navigate office dynamics in a way that preserves their energy for productive collaboration. If possible, offer a hybrid schedule or help them block “no meeting” time to give them the distance and space they need to be most productive.

Understanding the nuances of personality types using the Predictive Index (PI) can significantly enhance how you manage and integrate teams in the workplace. Each personality profile brings unique strengths and preferences to the table, particularly in the context of in-person vs. remote work environments. First, let’s delve deeper into which profiles are more naturally suited to in-office work.

High B with Low C: The Dynamic Connectors

Reference Profile examples: Promoters and Persuaders

High B (extraversion) individuals with Low C (patience) are natural communicators and thrive on the energy and immediacy of face-to-face interactions. The in-person office setting offers them the dynamic and fast-paced environment they crave, allowing for spontaneous meetings, brainstorming sessions, and the ability to influence and motivate their colleagues directly. Personalities like Promoters and Persuaders are adept at rallying teams, sparking enthusiasm, and driving forward initiatives. Their ability to quickly connect with others makes them invaluable in fostering a collaborative and energized office culture. They are often the ones bridging gaps between different personalities and encouraging open communication.

Low A with High B: The Collaborative Spirits

Reference Profile examples: Altruists and Collaborators

Those with Low A (dominance) and High B (extraversion) drives shine in environments where teamwork and collaboration are key. The physical office space allows them to engage in the interpersonal interactions that fuel their motivation and satisfaction. These profiles want to feel like part of a team. They excel in roles that require empathy, understanding, and cooperation, benefiting from the nuanced communication that is often more easily achieved face-to-face. Profiles like Altruists and Collaborators contribute a sense of unity, empathy, and support that can transform the work environment. Their strengths lie in building strong relationships, mediating conflicts, and encouraging a sense of community and belonging among their peers.

High A with Low C: The Proactive Leaders

Reference Profile examples: Captains and Mavericks

Individuals with High A (dominance) and Low C (patience) are natural-born drivers who excel in settings where they can take charge and move projects forward decisively. The office environment offers them mobility and the fast-paced environment they prefer. They are proactive and assertive, qualities that are often more impactful and appreciated in an in-person setting where these individuals can feel like they are making an impact. Profiles like Captains and Mavericks bring a sense of direction and purpose to the office. Their presence in the office often inspires confidence and ambition in their teams, pushing everyone to achieve their best.

woman with glasses sitting on a sofa at home wearing headphones while she writes in a notebook as she has a laptop computer in front of her.
Many individuals can thrive working from home. In fact, there are several personality factors that find remote work to be more fulfilling and productive than being in office.

Remote-Friendly Personalities

Now let’s talk about what you really came here to learn– which behaviors are naturally suited to working remotely (or hybrid!) and how you can maximize their strengths without looking over their shoulder. These aren’t the only profiles who work well remotely, but their natural drives and needs lends to being naturally productive in remote or hybrid spaces.

Low B: The Focused Innovators

Reference Profile examples: Specialists and Artisans

Individuals with Low Extraversion (B drive) are characterized by their independent and introspective nature, meaning they are less energized by social interactions and more by internal processes. Remote work environments provide the quiet and solitude that Specialists and Artisans need to thrive. Without the constant buzz and interruptions typical of an office setting, they can dive deep into their work, fostering innovation and detailed analysis. This environment allows them to focus intensely on complex tasks, research, and development projects, leading to high-quality outcomes. In a remote setting, they can leverage these abilities without the distractions that come with an office environment. Moreover, their preference for written over verbal communication often translates into clear, concise, and well-thought-out contributions to team projects and discussions, even from a distance.

High C: The Steadfast Executors

Reference Profile examples: Operators and Guardians

High Patience (C Drive) individuals excel in roles that require consistency, precision, and stability—traits that are well-suited to remote work environments. The controlled setting of their home office allows them to plan, organize, and execute their tasks. They appreciate the predictability and structure that remote work can offer, where they can set their schedules and workflows with minimal disruptions. This autonomy in managing their workload enables them to maintain high levels of productivity and consistency. Profiles like Operators and Guardians have an ability to remain focused and dedicated to their tasks, which is especially important in remote settings where self-discipline is crucial. Their methodical approach to work ensures that even in the absence of physical oversight, projects progress smoothly and standards are upheld.

Engaging Your Remote Team Members

When you have team members who are remote, especially if they are 100% remote, it’s important to personalize your management style to ensure your employees are getting the direction and connection they need. 

For Low Extraverts:

  1. Schedule meetings in advance to respect their need for preparation.
  2. Allow space for their contributions, ensuring they feel heard and valued even when you don’t share the same physical space.
  3. Provide time for them to process information and ideas.
  4. Keep meeting time focused on work, minimizing personal chatter to maintain their engagement.

For High Extraverts:

  1. Leverage video calls for face-time, fostering connection and a sense of belonging.
  2. Offer quick personal check-ins to acknowledge their need for social interaction.
  3. Introduce variety and team opportunities to keep them stimulated.
  4. Maintain frequent communication and avoid canceling meetings to provide the interaction that helps them be most productive.

By considering the individual behavioral profiles of our team members, you can tailor your management approach to ensure everyone can be their most productive selves through virtual talent optimization, regardless of where they work.

Crafting Your Strategy for Remote and Hybrid Management

Reflect on the dynamics of your team, the unique attributes of each member, and the broader goals of your organization. The real question isn’t “Should I bring my team back to the office?”, it’s “How do I create a work culture that acknowledges and harnesses the unique contributions of every team member?” The job of a leader is to ensure that regardless of where they work, employees have the opportunity to excel and contribute to their team’s success.

Whether your team is fully virtual, remote, hybrid, or gradually transitioning back to the office, the key to success lies in flexible, empathetic leadership that recognizes the value of each individual. In doing so, you’ll not only overcome the leadership challenges of today but also lay the foundation for a resilient, adaptable, and thriving workforce.

Lead with Confidence

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Hero Frenzel

Glue of MindWire with a flair for education, media creation, and team building. Baker, actress, family woman, and aspiring beach dweller fueled by coffee, tea, and joy.