Leading from Afar: How to Banish Loneliness in Your Global Team

lonely man, future office
Leading from Afar: How to Banish Loneliness in Your Global Team
July 23, 2023

So, you're leading a remote team that spans the globe.

Exciting, isn't it?

But let's be honest, it's not all smooth sailing.

One challenge that often gets swept under the rug is loneliness.

If you're nodding your head, you're not alone—pun intended.

The (New) Norm: Remote Work

Remote work isn't just a passing fad; it's the future.

But unlike the traditional office setting where chats by the coffee machine are common, remote work often comes with the side effect of isolation.

Imagine sitting alone in a room for eight hours; even the most introverted among us would crave some social interaction.

Practical Solutions: Tools and Recognition

Now, there are practical ways to address isolation.

For starters, make sure your team has access to the right tools for seamless communication.

Think Slack channels, Zoom meetings, and project management software like Monday.

Recognise achievements, no matter how small.

A simple "Great job on that presentation, Sarah!" goes a long way in boosting morale.

Leveraging Technology to Combat Loneliness

But what about loneliness?

It's more than just physical isolation; it's a state of mind.

Thankfully, technology is on our side. Virtual coffee breaks, team trivia games, or a simple 'How's your day going?' message can bridge the emotional gap.

Understanding Personality Types

Here's a personal nugget: not everyone is the same. Shocking, right?

Some team members might be bursting with extroverted energy, while others prefer the solace of their thoughts.

Tailor your leadership style to fit the varying personalities on your team.

A little cultural awareness goes a long way.

Creating Virtual Social Spaces

Remember those casual water-cooler conversations?

Why not recreate them virtually?

Platforms like Gather.town offer a virtual space where teammates can 'bump' into each other.

It's like The Sims, but for professionals.

paul arnesen human capital

Building Non-Work Communities

Work isn't everything.

Encourage your team to share their hobbies and interests.

Whether it's a book club, a cooking class, or a fitness challenge, non-work communities can serve as a glue that holds your team together.

Cultural Sensitivity: A Must-Have

Working with a global team means you're diving into a melting pot of cultures.

Being culturally sensitive isn't just nice to have; it's a must.

Understand the nuances of different cultures, and adapt your communication style accordingly.

Sign up to my Culturally Fluent newsletter here!


Leading a remote team is like directing an orchestra; each instrument (or team member, in this case) plays a crucial role.

It's your job to make sure they're in harmony.

And part of that involves ensuring that no one's singing the blues—emotionally speaking.

Final Thought

As you navigate the waters of remote leadership, remember that a well-connected team is a happy team.

So go ahead, schedule that virtual happy hour, and let the team-building begin!

paul arnesen

Paul Arnesen

Paul Arnesen is a human capital strategist with more than 10 years experience working with companies globally with HR processes and global strategic direction. Paul is from Norway, but lives in Milan, Italy.