Leadership for Remote Support Teams

I am writing a book on remote leadership for support teams

I am writing a book. After three years of sticking to blog-posts and magazine articles, I am back writing an in-depth and very pragmatic guide on how to lead remote support teams. This will be my first book in English, and my 6th book in total. This book consolidates my leadership style based on my passion for minimalism and simple solutions – while including tips and tools from other remote leaders.

And I am not writing this book alone. I am fortunate to know some remarkable leaders in the support industry, both remote and co-located. Many have offered their insights (or referred me to others) to help me include strategies and ideas from across many different companies. Next week I’ll be talking to Andrea Badgley from Support Driven, Sarah Park from MeetEdgar, and most likely Nick Francis from HelpScout.

A special shoutout to both the SupportDriven Slack Community as well as the TheWaterCooler – two amazing online communities to connect with other (remote) leaders.

If you are leading a remote support team, or if your team includes some remote workers, get in touch (here or via twitter). I’d love to pick your brain and learn from your experiences!

These are the questions I am asking other leaders (and the answers to which you’ll find in the book):

  • Remote employee qualities: When hiring remote employees, what are you looking for that would differ from hiring a co-located team member? Anything that is NOT required? Anything that is specifically required?
  • Performance: How do you manage performance expectations with your remote support agents?  Is that different to co-located colleagues?
  • Development: How do you manage career planning/professional development for/with your employees? Are there different paths for support agents when working remotely?
  • Tools: Which tools do you use to stay in touch, do the work, hold each other accountable?
  • Team building: How do you create a team spirit for your remote/mixed team? Or maybe you don’t need a team mentality when everybody works from home? How do you approach this aspect?

(A very ambitious) timeline

I spent most of March on the outline of this book. drawing on my experience as a lead at Automattic as well as my previous company. After sharing my ideas with peers and mentors, I started reaching out to other leaders to get their perspective and best practices. I want the guide to be as pragmatic and applicable as possible, both for small teams and for bigger support divisions.

In April I’ll continue getting more input from other leaders, while starting to add more details to my outline.

May will be dedicated to writing, writing, writing. Oh, and the kids. They don’t enjoy being ignored.

In June, I’ll add the last tweaks and start the editing process, followed by proofreading by a native speaker. And then it’s publishing time.

If you are signed up for my newsletter, you’ll get a download link into your mailbox. Otherwise, you’ll be able to find the copy on this website.

How do you do this?

I am not sure yet. Getting up early is one secret weapon. Getting rid of Facebook also adds about 30 min to your random day. And writing 30 min every single day can get you very far indeed! Also, have a look at these book writing tips for busy people by Naomi from Ittybiz (who’s currently my writing group coach – yay.).

I’ll keep you posted – and write a recap afterward.

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