Accountability: How do you set up your remote team for success?

Schedule remote video meetings.

RNI, the Remote Nation Institute, is holding a series of half-hour webinars to help you help your employees work remotely, efficiently, and happily. As part of these learnings, we offer tips, based on years of remote work experience.

Every day, we’ll give you one concrete action you can take with your team to keep your people focused and on task.

Sophaya’s Tip of the Day

Once you establish a chain of command and initiate the information sharing process we discussed in yesterday’s Tip of the Day, your second step is to hammer out expectations and basic work requirements. I can hear you saying – “These people know their jobs. Why do I have to explain things further?” Why? Because this is a completely new circumstance. Old expectations and job requirements simply don’t apply.

Every employee needs to understand what is required of them. Once expectations are set, you need to demonstrate you will hold them accountable. There’s nothing new here, but during an emergency shutdown, priorities and capabilities change. Think of this as starting over. You must come up with a new plan. Here’s what you need to do.

Schedule a group video meeting with your entire team or your team leads, managers, and key staff people, depending on the size of your firm. We recommend video because face-to-face contact is so important. It helps people stay focused and confident when they see you. This is your opportunity to shine as a role model and set an example for others.

Prep the agenda and share it before the meeting to give people time to digest and think about things. Ensure the team is on the same page. Integrated workplace platforms like Office 365 with Teams and SharePoint can be incredibly helpful.


  • Schedules and availability
  • Channels/tools the team will use to
    • Communicate
    • Share files
    • Get work done
  • Notification/request processes for when team members must be offline for personal reasons. What counts as sanctioned personal time?
    • Child/parental care
    • Personal care/illness
    • Meals and breaks

Group discussions help the team focus on work and allows for brainstorming. When your people are part of the discussion, it helps them:

  • Remember they’re still part of a team
  • Realize working remotely is possible with proper expectations and support
  • Feel empowered to make decisions and solve problems themselves

Once the team understands the basics, have each member announce their commitment to the rules and processes. When you update the plan, inform the team and be sure they understand the changes. Create a document with the rules and distribute it to everyone so they can refer to it.

After a plan is in place:

  • Develop KPIs (key performance indicators) tied to the new guidelines
  • Adjust the agreement as the situation changes

It pays to be flexible. That way, there’s wiggle room if something changes.

To learn more about managing a remote workforce, join us for our RNI Remote Work Series: You sent them home to work remotely, NOW WHAT?