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Lead from anywhere with these 5 strategies

  1. Adapt your management practices

  2. Set standard tools for your team to use

  3. Build and maintain trust

  4. Make virtual space for social connection

  5. Encourage breaks

1. Adapt your management practices

Managing remote workers

How to align priorities with each remote employee and across your entire team when you're not in the office together.

Professional development

Each 10-minute video covers an essential topic for supervising remote teams:

  • Managing remote workers
  • Leading virtual meetings
  • Evaluating remote workers' performance

To watch, login to myUK, click myUK Learning, and use the Find Learning tile to search for "Remote Work Series".

Log in to myUK

2. Set standard tools for your team to use

Keep your team aligned and keep information easily accessible to all by designating set tools for set purposes.


Use the tools available to you from the university

Microsoft Office 365

A variety of applications for most of your productivity and collaboration needs.

See the app list


Video conferencing for large groups or extended meetings. Zoom easily integrates into your Microsoft 365 Exchange email.

How to log in

Choose and communicate your team's go-to tools

Among Zoom and the Microsoft 365 apps, there are many options for working together. In addition to the university-licensed apps on this list, your team might also rely on proprietary software for job-specific tasks.

Project collaboration

Consider Microsoft Teams or SharePoint

File storage and sharing

Consider Microsoft Teams, Outlook email or OneDrive

Meetings: video and audio conferencing

Consider Zoom or Microsoft Teams

3. Build and maintain trust

Trust is a must have for effective work, and your team is counting on you to drive trust when working apart may challenge it.

Recognize great work

In addition to you, as a leader, publicly praising and acknowledging your employees for their great work, encourage your team to also recognize their colleagues. Consider a Teams channel for recognition.

Choose to give trust

Yes, hold employees accountable. However, the more we “keep tabs” on our employees, the less likely they are to feel like we trust them to do the work they were hired to do.

Share information broadly

Ongoing, open and authentic communication is key to building trust. This includes being honest about a situation, even when it’s difficult news to share.

Show vulnerability

Acknowledge the things you do not know and ask for help from colleagues instead of just telling them what they need to do.

Intentionally build relationships

Studies show those who connect with others and help them with their projects not only earned the respect and trust of their peers, but were also more productive themselves.

4. Make virtual space for social connection

Find low-effort, high-payoff practices to embed in (almost) everything you do as a team to keep everyone connected.

Pre-meeting time


If you’re hosting, open the “meeting room” 10-15 minutes early. This encourages informal conversation and connection and provides either introduction or catch up time.

Question of the week


Kick off your all-team meetings with fun conversation starters like this:

  • What was a win from last week?
  • What was your first job?
  • What are you reading right now?
  • What’s a song you can’t stand?

Virtual backgrounds


Introduce this feature prior to a team meeting by asking employees to choose a virtual background that represents their response to a prompt like this:

  • Your favorite food
  • A childhood photo
  • Something that makes you happy
  • Where you wish you could be on vacation

Teams channels


This provides a space for ongoing, positive conversations and photos, so consider the interests across your team and create channels such as these:

  • Pets
  • Kids and family activities
  • Hiking
  • Peer-to-peer recognition

Create a new channel

5. Encourage breaks

This is important for all employees, but for non-exempt (hourly) employees, you need to ensure you both follow state law.

Rules for breaks, lunch and overtime

You and your hourly employees must be aware that rules from our state's wage and hour laws still apply, whether working on-site or remotely.

These rules as outlined by Kentucky state law include:

  • Pay at time-and-one-half for any hours worked above 40 in one workweek.
  • 15-minute breaks for each four-hour period worked.
  • Meal breaks of 30 minutes for each workday over five hours long.
  • Complete relief from work duties during breaks and lunches.

Learn more from HR