Working Remotely: Manager Skills

Empty OfficeGreat post in Wired about the continuing debate over teleworking vs. working on-site and both sides make valuable points.  Working remotely allows one to be more productive while working on-site enables be on to engage in more spontaneous planning and other creative activity.

The right way in this is a middle way that allows for employees to be where they need to be as needed. Kind of an open-office where meetings are a mix of online and face-to-face, sponsored activities for team-building, and the tools and metrics for managers to set goals and measure success.

The greatest challenge for remote working is not the employee but, rather, the manager. Many managers are not equipped (with skills and tools) to manage this kind of work flow. They also do not have the intuitive skill to communicate with a remote worker, making sure that he/she has the tools and information (both technical and social such as news from the office) to feel part of the work organism that is the modern work place.

At the end of the day, it is easier for a manager to lean out of their office and see their employees, whether that does anything or not is a different matter, than it is to actively engage. And therein lies the difference between good leadership and bad.

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