Remote team management is more time-consuming than the traditional time management styles physical office working offers. This key finding related to contemporary workplace trends was uncovered by a survey compiled by performance management company Actus.
The research was carried out in mid-January 2021. It was focused on managers in the UK, but it’s safe to say the trend is widely echoed in the US and around the world.
Remote Management Takes More Time
The survey shows that an overwhelming 95% of participants consider remote management entirely different or slightly different to physical management. By contrast, a ‘delegative’, hands-off style is considered least effective.
More than half (55%) of respondents reported spending more or much more time on people management activities.
When asked about the most effective management style, a ‘collaborative’ approach, in which clear objectives are discussed and agreed, was voted the most effective style within a remote environment.
Actus’ research is an important resource for small businesses everywhere. Many small businesses have been forced to operate remotely during the last year. For some, this new working set-up looks set to stay for the long-term.
While there are many benefits to working remotely, it is not without its challenges. As this survey finds, time-management is one such challenge, with many small businesses deeming it more time-consuming within remote environments.
Creating Working Environments Centered of Support and Trust
The study points to the importance of crafting collaborative working cultures that are centered on support and trust.
Lucinda Carney, CEO of Actus Software, commented on the significance of the report’s findings in relation to new working practices: “These results demonstrate a clear shift in the people management style within a remote setting and the importance of creating a learning culture that is built on trust and support by empowering teams with the opportunity to enjoy greater autonomy.
“However, what is equally revealing is that remote people management requires a level of collaboration in which teams are offered regular, informative feedback to ensure employees are coping well in this entirely new environment. It also means taking the additional time to recognise your team’s achievements while taking a genuine interest in your employees within a workplace that is now defined by distance,” Carney continued.
Importance of Regular Check-Ins
The research found that 82% of participants considered frequent check-ins and one to ones as the most effective way to pivot the challenges of remote environments. 58% deem providing recognition and praise as the most effective. A similar number (57%) consider managers taking a personal interest in an individual as a vital approach to ironing out the challenges of team management when working remotely.
Managers are Rising to the Challenge
The results found that 95% of respondents value their role as a people manager. This is testament to how managers, despite the challenges of being forced to manage teams from home, have invested heavily to adapt to remote management styles.
The message of the survey is that maintaining a collaborative, human-centric approach to management is a defining characteristic for successful management in these disruptive times.
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Zoom fatigue has really kicked in at our organisation. In the past to resolve little issues and queries you could dish out across the office or walkover to your colleague’s desk and asked the question.
Now you are forced to send a calendar invite with a link to arrange a video call that takes much more time. Often the environment of your colleague is not conducive for a conversation about performance and that’s one of the things that’s really hard to track. obviously remote working has its benefits in terms of the time saved with no commuting. Meaning staff tend to be more active but I think it’s a trade-off.
One thing I consider is the body language and physical cues you get when you’re face-to-face. You can “see” that someone is feeling down or seems lethargic. Then you know to follow up and check in with them.
When managing remotely you have to be more proactive and that does require time. Excellent post.
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