Does Virtual Leadership Require Different Management Strategies?
The skills and habits that are crucial to working together… without being together.
As the business world rides the wave of The Remote Revolution, all eyes are on global corporations that seemingly dictate whether or not managing a virtual workforce is feasible, beneficial, and sustainable. But their results are still inconclusive—some brands are increasing work model flexibility, while others are calling their employees back into the office.
Perhaps the better sources of inspiration are the hundreds of fully-distributed companies that are successfully employing and collaborating with employees around the world every day, and have been for over a decade. Their proclaimed key to making remote work work is remote-friendly management styles that are uniquely designed for virtual teams.
What is different about remote and co-located management?
After years of trial and error, the success of most dispersed teams can be attributed to three words: intention, communication, and trust. Because interactions are limited by tools and frequency in a virtual work environment, team members have to make every overlap count by thoughtfully creating opportunities for engagement, communicating as clearly and transparently as possible, and trusting that team member will follow through on their responsibilities without the physical supervision that is available in an office.
More importantly, what is the same?
Everything. Modern office management techniques also include the incorporation of carefully-designed collaboration opportunities, peer-based reporting models, and responsive communication. Just because management strategies traditionally include top-down delegation and glass ceilings, it doesn’t mean they should. So, companies of all kinds are working hard to update work as we know it. The Remote Revolution is just one small facet of the larger Future of Work initiative that promotes employee empowerment, flexibility, and innovation in many ways, not just location independence.
The point is that remote work doesn’t require different management strategies; the entire business world requires updated management strategies. Regardless of size, location, or hours, no team should be collaborating without intention, trust, and honest communication.
In his presentation Profile of a Virtual Leader at Nomad City 2018, Ken Weary, VP of Operations at Hotjar, will be discussing these universal strategies in depth. Join us on October 8-14 to learn it all, plus more keys to professional location independence, in the beautiful city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.