Following the past few years, we can conclude that remote working is not going anywhere.
84% of employees who had to adapt to working from home during the pandemic have reported that they plan to stick with hybrid or fully remote work in the long term.
These trends brought along new remote manager stereotypes encompassing different working and remote management styles.
In this article, we will explore five remote manager stereotypes and help you identify if you are perhaps one of them.
Stereotype #1: The Micromanager
Keeping a tab on your employees’ activities can be challenging even in a traditional office environment. When it comes to remote work, it is easy for managers to fall into the habit of obsessive micromanaging.
Do you wonder what exactly your remote employees are doing? Have they even turned on their computers? Are they sitting in a cafe sipping on their latte, walking their dog, or doing weekly shopping during working hours?
According to studies, 79% of employees have been micromanaged at least once in their careers. Although this manager stereotype often has the best intentions for their team, it can be detrimental to their working environment.
A remote leader who needs to monitor basic day-to-day tasks and always needs to know about their staff’s whereabouts is not setting up employees for success.
Let’s be honest, just because your employees sit in front of their computer every second of the day, it will not make them hyper-productive. Equally, remote staff members who squeeze in more effective work into fewer hours and take longer breaks might be your top performers.
Research has shown that remote workers are more productive than their office-based colleagues. They can simply get on with their work conveniently at home, avoiding the exhausting commute and chatter across the office floors.
Wanting to stay in the loop with your employees and build a human connection is entirely understandable. If staff management is top of mind for you, why don’t you invest in digital office solutions such as My Digital Office?
Why so? Because it’s like a real office with all the usual attributes, plus virtual communication and collaboration tools. You don’t have to check in to see if a particular employee is online. You can simply see where they’re, what they’re working on, and if they need your assistance.
Stereotype #2: The Cheerleader Manager
We’ve all come across managers with a relatively hands-off approach to managing teams. Statistically, 29% of managers belong to this group. If the main focus of your management style is to be friends with your staff, you might be one of these, too.
Constantly delivering positive feedback and putting employees in charge of their own workload and development might sound like a “cool manager” approach. However, your team can quickly get confused: are they hanging out with their mates, or are they working?
This type of boss is increasingly common in a remote work environment when “out of sight, out of mind” is much easier to apply. Although you can say that your laid-back attitude is because you trust your employees, your team will quickly view you as incompetent or clueless if you are not careful.
Cheerleaders will do absolutely anything to avoid confrontation and conflict. After all, nobody wants to be the bad guy… but it is part of the job description sometimes!
Stereotype #3: The Around-the-Clock Manager
When you have easy access to direct communication with your remote team, it means you can message them at 11 PM on a Saturday… Right?
If you have worked a day in a remote work environment, you will be all too accustomed to random messages or calls popping up at all times of the day.
For managers, it’s easy to get into this new rhythm of things. If your team works from home, they are available 24/7 for a quick chat. Aren’t they?
While your work ethic is admirable (mostly), your hypervigilant attitude is probably doing more harm than good.
The continuous stream of feedback and input will overwhelm even the most zen employee after a while. Establishing healthy boundaries with your team is probably a good idea for all parties involved.
Stereotype #4: The Manager Who Cannot Be Reached
If your team has questioned more than once if your messaging system works properly due to the lack of your availability, you might be guilty of this!
With the lack of in-person interactions, multiple time zones, and numerous communication channels, keeping employees up to date and staying connected can be challenging. With 48% of remote workers experiencing difficulty with communication, perhaps it’s time to look for some solutions.
With many tools available, from instant messages to emails and digital offices, finding the right application to allow effortless communication between managers and their teams is increasingly more accessible.
It might even be more straightforward than in an office environment. You don’t need to track them down across multiple workstations or go into the hassle of finding an empty meeting room – just jump online and talk with whoever you need to talk to.
Stereotype #5: The Manager Without The Corner Office
Are you secretly sobbing into your pillow because you didn’t get to experience the ‘perks’ of a traditional manager, like a nice and tidy office? We see you!
Let us reassure you that there’s more to life than four walls around your desk. Although most senior team members have their workspaces separated in traditional office settings, a remote working environment brings many other opportunities and perks.
Besides, as previously discussed, hybrid work arrangements will significantly decrease office space demand worldwide. So you won’t be the only one without a fixed work address on your business card!
My Digital Office can offer an alternative solution with an entire virtual workspace with offices, conference rooms, and virtual collaboration tools that can ease all the stress of virtual working and give you the illusion that you are sitting in that corner office!
Here you have it – the six most common remote manager stereotypes. Have you identified with any of them? We know remote working can be challenging, but using My Digital Office can help you lead and manage remote teams more effectively!