We've probably been looking at the wrong problem when it comes to remote working. Everyone was worried whether employees would slack off or work less when they are working remotely. Every report this year indicated otherwise - employees are in fact putting in more hours and are more productive than in office. We neglected employee managing, though.
No one questioned whether managers are doing a good job themselves. The latest survey of 2300 managers & employees in the UK by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed surprising results in this regard. Managers are after all not doing a great job already and it only gets tougher when everyone's working remotely.
I've spoken to 1000s of remote leaders & workers over last 2 yrs while building @RemoteTools about the future of remote managers.
Here's how the role of remote managers will evolve in 2021 & beyond 🧵👇
Working remotely, all that matters is how effectively managers communicate with their employees
Earlier, when you asked your friend what it is like working at a firm, you will likely hear them talking about the office, location etc. among other things. In a remote setting, the only thing employees care about is how effectively their leaders communicate with them:
- How much do managers involve employees in decision making - How much do managers care about their employees' wellbeing - How much effort do managers put in to ensure diversity & inclusion in the remote workplace
CMI's survey shows that managers aren't doing a great job on any of the parameters
1) 50% managers believed that they are engaging employees more in decision making after the sudden shift to remote but only 27% of employees agree to this.
2) 69% of women with kids want to work from home at least 1 day/week post the pandemic compared to 56% of men with kids. However, higher % of women with kids communicate less than once a week with their manager.
3) Black employees place a higher priority on workplace diversity compared to all employees (39% vs 10%), however, they are also more likely than any other ethnic group to feel that their manager doesn't trust them with the role.
Manager's role and efficiency in employee managing to become more important in remote team success
85% of respondents believe that the role of the manager will be as important or more important in 2021. Managers will play a key role in building trust and ensuring productivity of the team. Where you work from won't impact workplace productivity or happiness.
So it is a wake up call for leaders & managers to be more proactive in building their remote workplace by communicating better & more often. Employees are already doing great in terms of managing individual work & productivity, it now up to the managers to step up and make remote a success.