The vast majority of the leadership literature focuses on leaders embedded in teams that occupy physical premises together – that should come as no surprise. Until recently, almost all firms relied on employees descending on an office every day to work with their colleagues.
The modern digital era, however, is changing that. Firms now have the option to employ people remotely, the other side of the world, if they wish.
This feature of working life is creating new challenges for leaders. When you factor remote working into the leadership equation, many of the insights of the traditional literature go out of the window. Company leaders need to adapt, but they don’t often know-how.
If you are a leader of a remote team, check out the following infographic. It plots the rise of remote working over the last decade and provides some of the statistics associated with it. The chart points out that while remote working offers benefits for both businesses and their employees, there are also costs. While it is great news for disabled colleagues, there’s scant evidence that it increases productivity, leading many executives to worry that it won’t actually do much to improve their bottom line.
Fortunately, there’s a third way: employing “virtual team best practices.” The following infographic charts ten of them for your perusal. A lot of it is common sense, but it does highlight the fact that organizing a remote team is fundamentally different from doing the same job in person. There are different priorities and things you need to address.
Infographic by University of Alabama Birmingham