Flexible and remote work has grown rapidly. 73% of managers said it is common in their organizations, 37% already manage fully or predominantly remote teams, though 33% of managers definitely feel it’s not right for everyone.
A sizable number of managers remain skeptical and they lack skills and training to trust the new arrangements. So says a new study by UK-based City & Guilds and The Institute of Leadership and Management. They also note 71% believe they’re competent enough to manage people well, but from other sources we know that at least 42% are dead wrong.
The bad news: 29% of managers still say they need to monitor their employees’ progress closely, suggesting they do not trust them to manage themselves even though 90% claim to believe employees can. Almost half the professionals studied did not feel MANAGERS in general are prepared to handle flex work arrangements properly (though we say we think better of employees). The study also says, "72% of managers claimed to manage by results and 80% claim to reward people for getting the job done, but when asked to rate the statement “Loyal employees work long hours”, a majority agreed, which would seem to undermine a results-measurement approach."
Clearly many managers remain conflicted about this, although equally clearly there’s a growing body of leaders who not only have solved the problem, but are actively experiencing higher productivity among teams they’ve set up this way. In fact the study’s panel of experts insist that in a great many cases flex and remote arrangements are at least as productive and often more so (74% for flex and 45% for remote insisting it adds, with only 2% and 8% respectively believing there are negative effects). Most agree it reduces stress.
Interestingly, though 71% feel competent at managing people, only 24% have any training for these new arrangements. Those who have managed such teams, however, dispel common myths. Most say they’re easy to keep up with, that most people work hard and effective teamwork can be expected. The full, clearly-written, 34-page report is available online at: www.cityandguilds.com/tomorrowsleaders.