Even prior to the international health crisis, remote working, or teleworking, was not a new concept. In fact, a significant number of businesses worldwide had already begun to transition from central workspaces to separate and distant alternatives. This is, in large, due to the development of technology that has, over recent years, reached a point that allows for tasks to be performed quickly and securely over great distances, alleviating the need for the potentially expensive overheads that are associated with office properties.
Following the pandemic, we have seen teleworking spread out of necessity and, even as businesses are given the opportunity to return to their shared spaces, desire, with many companies preferring to remain remote. This is, in part, due to the realisation that there is great potential in productivity and development for businesses that manage remote departments well. However, achieving this success requires a new approach to leadership, one that might seem to conflict with traditional workplace practices.
For employees, remote working may be a new endeavour. As such, there should be a certain degree of support and patience offered as individuals navigate a novel professional environment. Managers must appropriately guide employees through new systems, while also ensuring that each employee is given the tools and training they need to fulfil their role from home.
Ross Eades, CEO of Red, shared his optimism when in conversation with People Group Services, stating “We know what we need to do, we certainly need to cut our cloth to suit the market. But can everybody make that change and follow you? And I was really pleased. The resilience of people. We underestimate how resilient people are. When there’s underlying trust, people will follow you.”
The foundation of effective cloud computing and the virtualisation of office spaces is built upon software. Those businesses that have remained staunch in their dedication to software have occasionally found themselves falling behind when attempting a remote working transition, with familiar programs marred by lack of efficiency or even capability.
Leading software will not only support an array of tasks but will actively encourage engagement too. This is important because a number of employees may lack the training or digital skills to transition to an entirely new method of working, which is why successful softwares are not only designed for capability but inclusivity too.
Managers will soon realise that the individual employees will work most effectively when allowed to embrace their own remote circumstance. Resisting such adaptation, such as imposing strict working schedules and methods of accomplishing a task, can lead to frustration for both employee and employer.
Instead, such differences should be supported inside clearly defined guidelines. What is important is the accomplishment, not necessarily the methodology used to achieve it. This mindset helps employees to feel independent and, importantly, trusted, leading to a potential increase in productivity.
Perhaps the most important quality for leaders, however, is communication and, in a newly remote environment, excessive communication is far more preferential than absence or silence. Be sure that, whichever methods of management you find most effective for your business, your employees are not only led but heard too.