75% of workers say managers lack remote team leadership training

by Time Doctor
managers lack remote leadership skills

The 2024 Workplace Flexibility Trends Report highlights notable differences in the adoption of hybrid work models and the use of efficient management methods for such arrangements, as the corporate world continues to change in the post-pandemic era. Even though working remotely is becoming more and more popular, a shocking 75% of workers say managers lack remote team leadership training. This underscores a critical problem with current workforce management approaches.

The shift from ‘where’ to ‘how’ we work

Within five years, there has been a significant shift in the landscape of job flexibility. The percentage of employees who can work remotely has increased from 5% to a substantial 58%, indicating that people’s choices about “where” to work have gotten more flexible. But it seems like there is a slowdown in the shift in “how” work is done in these hybrid environments.

Businesses must adapt their technology, procedures, and teamwork for a flexible workforce to avoid decreased productivity, difficulties in hiring, and low employee engagement.

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Supporting employees in a hybrid world

The president of Global Workplace Analytics, Kate Lister, stresses that companies must concentrate on providing workers with appropriate support, wherever they may be in the world. The pandemic’s quick push for remote work exposed ingrained inefficiencies in conventional work habits, especially with regard to an over-reliance on email and meetings. The research advocates for customized solutions that address the particular demands of various workforce demographics and proposes a shift toward management by results as opposed to simple presence.

Adaptive practices for a flexible workforce

The report identifies six key areas where organizations can improve to support flexible work and enhance productivity:

  • Asynchronous communication: With a slight preference for real-time communication, there’s a notable demand for more asynchronous options. The majority of employees believe emails could replace at least a quarter of their meetings, and nearly 70% see value in incorporating video messages into workplace communication.
  • Interruptions: The data indicates that in-office workers face significantly more interruptions than their hybrid or fully remote counterparts, with a notable impact on productivity and stress levels.
  • Unplanned meetings: These are viewed as the least valuable, suggesting a need for better meeting management and prioritization.
  • Demographics and job status differences: Flexibility varies greatly across generations and organizational levels, with managers and Baby Boomers generally having less flexibility compared to senior leaders and younger generations.
  • Company size: Smaller companies are more likely to offer fully remote options than larger organizations, indicating a potential advantage in flexibility for smaller businesses.
  • In-office flexibility: Compared to hybrid employees, those working exclusively in-office experience considerably less flexibility in their working hours and arrangements.
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Closing the flexibility gap

To bridge the gap in hybrid work management, companies must actively seek employee feedback, discourage low-value meetings, embrace asynchronous communication, establish clear working arrangement agreements, and create designated focus areas within the office. By doing so, organizations can not only improve individual performance but also drive overall organizational success.

The 2024 report serves as a critical reminder that the future of work isn’t just about where employees are located but how they are supported to achieve their best. As companies navigate this hybrid work landscape, the successful adoption of these adaptive practices will be paramount in fostering a productive, engaged, and satisfied workforce.

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