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  • Writer's pictureMJP

Navigating the Future of Work: Adapting Management Skills in the Age of Remote Work

Since March 2020, the world has experienced a tremendous shift in every aspect of life, including work. For many people, predominantly white-collar workers, working from home became the new normal.

While the hospitality sector was hit hard by the complete lack of tourism, working from home was not always a feasible solution for everyone. Dealing with crises is an integral part of management skills, and 2020 has taught us to be more adaptive and proactive instead of just going with the flow. This became a 360-degree truth for many aspects of our lives, including the workplace. The office environment, which used to be a physical space, teleported to our living rooms, bedrooms, or even broom cupboards.

Managers worldwide are required to pick up new skills to coach team members through a global crisis. They must tell their team what will happen next, even if they are not sure themselves. Comforting and reassuring team members during these challenging times is critical to effective management.

At least half of the global white-collar workforce went and stayed home for a significant portion of the year, prompting organisations to rethink their office policies. This means the end of enormous, shiny offices prepared to offer everything to the employees. The office of the future will be smaller, not permanently house any teams, but offer temporary meeting spaces. Most companies will support working from home, and many professional workers will become digital nomads working from remote locations. This will require an entirely new set of tools and management skills very shortly, so it is best to prepare proactively.

If we view 2020 as a milestone in the evolution of management, it seems natural for leaders to adapt to the new situation using new tools and methodologies. The previously viral office environment will lose not only its personal touch and social life, but the ways we communicate, follow the progress and recognise our teams will also change in the upcoming months.

Being a remotely working boss requires the integration of strict project management tools into processes and a rethinking of meetings. Here are some glimpses into the future:

• Project management tools will allocate tasks and monitor progress, with everyone knowing the status of individual projects.

• Multiple-hour-long meetings will shrink and move online, with weekly planners being replaced by daily standups, which are short 5-10 minute sessions to inform others what you need from them and what they need from you and each other.

• Emails will be replaced by group chat communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WhatsApp, which are more transparent, searchable, and visible to relevant colleagues.

• Remote managers will need to spend more time motivating their team and keeping them on track while having less knowledge and access to their progress.

The best approach to preparation is to involve colleagues and team members and see what the best-fitting solutions would be for each key stakeholder.


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