Updated: Aug 27
Over the past year, one big question has been on everyone’s mind. What does the future of work look like? If the answer is slowly starting to take shape for many organizations, one thing is clear: the future of work will involve a mix of in-person and remote working arrangements. Managers exhibiting exceptional leadership skills will be the most successful at manoeuvring within a hybrid workplace.
A New Reality Requiring Adaptation
The winning formula may look different for every business but a recent McKinsey survey showed that 9 out of 10 organizations intend on combining remote and on-site work in the near future. Motivations include staff well-being, safety and security, real estate costs, increased productivity and greater access to talent.
This may come as good news but management can expect a whole set of new challenges to arise.
Let’s not forget that aside from freelancers, remote work has only gained traction over the past few years and that to this day, most people have acquired professional experience in physical work environments in which people meet face-to-face and work hand-in-hand.
We may be used to technology but managing a team partially or entirely made up of remote workers is a different story and requires time, effort, adaptability and commitment from leadership.
Showing Up as a Strong Leader
In a virtual world, a lot of the usual cues are gone, making leadership skills even more important.
Zoom meetings don’t provide the same level of information as physical interactions, nor do they significantly contribute to create culture - unless handled with that goal in mind.
Surprisingly, a hybrid model combining entirely remote workers and others working from the office at least part-time can prove to be as or even more challenging than a 100% remote team, the risk being of generating two separate cultures.
As a leader, you act as the captain that steers the boat in the right direction. It is imperative that you communicate with confidence and ensure your people have the tools and resources to perform to the best of their ability and feel comfortable in doing so. Don’t pretend to have all the answers. Be open to change and suggestions while realizing t