8 Tips On Leading Distributed Teams

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With no other choice but to embrace a digitised world, remote working practices are now the new norm for most companies.

At Sullivan & Stanley, we’ve moved swiftly to being a distributed-first organisation and helping our clients do the same. Here are some of the tips we use…

Location agnostic

Our staff and experts do not need to share the same physical location when interacting and collaborating. We can work wherever suits our needs. However, Birrane House (S&S HQ) is always open and available.

All for one, one for all

If we have a meeting with anyone outside our physical location, it’s “face-to-face” on Zoom. If we are at a desk in the office, that’s where we take our meetings, and if our desk is at home, we do it there. We don’t have a group in a meeting room and one person on Zoom

Electronic presentations

When somebody wants to present, we’re not going to stand up at a whiteboard and write while those working remotely struggle to see it. We present electronically.

Let people know if you’re around

We use Slack to communicate and collaborate with each other in real-time. We let our colleagues know if they’re available to chat by managing our status. If we are busy, we say so. If we are on holiday, we update our presence.

Turn your camera on

Communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. The non-verbal component is made up of body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%). So if we can’t see people and they can’t see us, we’re missing.

Kick-off new work together

For new work coming into the team, we run kick-off sessions that are co-located and face to face. And when we’re together, we take the opportunity to bring people together outside the office. We go for a drink, have dinner, etc.


Distributed teams communicate continuously. This frequent and clear interaction encourages the sharing of ideas, solutions, and better ways to do things. Obstacles are overcome faster.

Book holiday

Even if work/life balance improves through distributed working, it’s important to take quality time out to help separate the boundaries between career and personal life.

How are you managing this change?

If you’re looking for support or advice on how you can lead distributed teams, please get in touch.

Written by
Sullivan & Stanley