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New world management skills

Image: petite-entreprise.net
Image: petite-entreprise.net

The way in which our work and our workplaces will be organized in the future has been the subject of much speculation since the start of the crisis. One major change to be envisaged has been the creation of the role of ‘Chief Places Officer’. Now, remote working and shared offices specialist Regus has identified another management skill which may need to be taken into account in the future, that of ‘Remote Leadership’.

Regus starts by saying that digitalisation, globalisation, flexibility, and remote employment are just some of the ways the world of work is evolving. It says that while many key skills, such as resilience and adaptability, are still relevant, others require a rethink to meet a new standard of best practice. To illustrate its thinking, Regus identifies four domains of leadership and the way in which the ‘new world’ will differ from the ‘old world’.

The first of these is communication, where in the old world effective written and verbal communication skills have always helped leaders build good working relationships with everyone from suppliers and potential investors, to customers and employees. Pre-pandemic, good body language and a firm handshake were also important. In the world of remote work and distributed workers, Regus points out, communication is more important than ever before – especially with leaders having to do it from behind a computer. If the majority of communication is through email or text-based chat, it is important to be as clear as possible – while still staying polite and friendly. And it may be time to rethink how much time is spent on the keyboard in order to be more visible to colleagues and employees on video calls.

Delegation and management

Failure to delegate was a trap some business owners fell into in the old world, says Regus, usually because they were reluctant to let go of control. Good leaders found a way to manage their time effectively by delegating responsibility to someone else in the business or outsourcing. In the new world it is helpful to realise that most people want to do a good job at work, whether they are physically present or not. They want their company to be successful and they want to contribute to that success. Once this is understood, it’s easier to see how much of leading remotely is about empowering staff to do the required work and trusting that it will get done.

Next comes project management and planning where in the old world managers knew how to effectively manage resources, including time, money and staff. In the new world, operating online enables advantage to be taken of many tools to help with all of the same tasks as before. This may even be better for the business, as processes and decisions are documented more easily – and all employees are all clearly briefed and accountable.

Networking

The final domain involves a reality which many have highlighted. People need to have human contact, and in the business world this is a valuable source of leads. In the old world, says Regus, building good relationships through networking helped grow a business and provide the support it needed. In the new world, however, networking may have moved online for the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. From team meetings and wider networking opportunities, knowing how to get involved and how to make the most of the video medium will still contribute to the future success of a business.
Tim Harrup
04-08-2020
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