Free courses that teach you how to lead and manage a remote team

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Working virtually has become necessary and popular, which means leadership has also become virtual for many teams.

By U2B Staff 

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Remote work has been in demand this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Companies were forced to close office doors and make the necessary changes to transition to remote-work plans that would ensure safety and compliance. 

Some organisations are eager to return to normalcy while some have found the change to be a step in the right direction. 

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that employees will continue to work from home until July 2021. He also expects half of the company’s workforce to work remotely within the next ten years. 

In light of this major shift, the company is looking to fill a position that would lead this effort. Facebook is hiring a director of remote work — someone to help develop remote work plans and lead the company’s push toward “remote-first ways of working”, according to the job posting. 

“Facebook is taking a thoughtful and measured approach to the future of work at Facebook, including committing to remote work as one of our long-term strategies,” the listing says. “We’re seeking a Director, Remote Work to lead this strategy and partner with an extensive group of cross-functional partners to make this shift to the way we design our organisations and grow our people.”

Whether an organisation is planning to work remotely for six months, a year, or ten years, LinkedIn has advised that the smartest companies would hire an executive to lead this journey. 

If you are interested in leading this journey for a hiring organisation, here are some online courses to help you prepare:

How to Manage a Remote Team

This free course just takes eleven hours to complete via Coursera. While leading a remote team might be new to most, it is something GitLab is very familiar with, being all-remote since 2011. GitLab offers this course to learners who are looking to apply the best remote work practice, build policy and prepare their teams for success.

Upon completion learners will be able to lead in a remote environment, build organisational culture and practices, assess readiness in teams and managers, and to create a foundational strategy for executing the overall transformation.


Effective Communication 

Some of the topics covered in this free course are business writing, graphic design and successful presentation. This course is offered by the University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera and was designed to help companies and learners use effective communication to deliver ideas powerfully in the workplace.

According to Sara Sutton Fell, CEO, and founder of FlexJobs, “Proactive communication – taking the initiative to reach out when an idea, question or challenge comes up, rather than waiting to be asked or waiting for a scheduled meeting – can really help to develop a more transparent, open management process, as well as build trust and prevent problems from going unnoticed.’’

Strategic Leadership and Management

This free course is offered by the University of Illinois via Coursera. It was designed to enhance leadership and business skills for immediate impact.

Upon completion learners will be able to practice everyday leadership — managing people, learning and applying concepts and techniques effectively to manage organisations, and to formulate and implement strategy. 

Leading People and Teams

This free course by the University of Michigan teaches essential leadership skills, including how to inspire and motivate individuals, properly manage talent, influence without authority, and lead teams.

Learners will also be able to learn directly from exceptional leaders including Jeff Brodsky, Global Head of HR for Morgan Stanley, and John Beilein, Head Coach of the University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Team. Coursera reports that 67% of learners started a new career after completing this specialisation. 


Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers

This free course was designed to help learners become better managers of people, to develop strategies and skills for hiring, managing performance, and rewarding employees.

Offered by the University of Minnesota, this course provides a robust introduction to the key principles, policies, and practices of human resource management. Upon completion, learners can expect to have a deeper understanding of what works in the workplace.