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How to lead and manage remotely Adjusting to the COVID 19 pandemic

The sudden, large-scale shift to remote working has meant leading and managing in new ways. Leaders from McKinsey share insights related to people, organizational structure, processes, and technology.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, many companies have shifted to remote work, and employees are balancing major changes in their personal and professional lives. In this McKinsey webinar, experts highlight four primary challenges in making the leap to managing a remote team: people, structure, process, and technology. Managers must address all four dimensions to create an efficient working model.

  • People. In addition to setting direction and helping employees work effectively, managers should focus on energizing the team and providing psychological safety—reiterate a shared purpose, encourage levity and informal videoconference get-togethers, and get to know one another as people.
  • Structure. Remote working amplifies any existing lack of clarity and difficulty navigating the organization. The answer is to shift from large, siloed teams to smaller, cross-functional teams of five to nine people with clear, outcome-based objectives.
  • Process. Establishing a clear cadence of scheduled daily and weekly meetings is crucial for remote working. This approach usually requires a culture shift, and managers must adapt to dealing with more ambiguity.
  • Technology. Managers must ensure employees have the basics—for example, enough bandwidth for a full family online all day—as well as tools spanning content creation, video conferencing, file sharing, channel-based communication, backlog management, and team culture. All of these tools need to meet security requirements.

For more, see “A blueprint for remote working: Lessons from China.

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