Based on the survey conducted by Upwork (2021), 1500 hiring managers found out that due to the emergence of COVID-19, almost 70% of companies were planning more remote work opportunities now and in the future. The same agency predicts that 22% of Americans or approximately 36.2 million workers will be working remotely full-time by the year 2025 — a whopping 87% increase from its baseline number pre-pandemic.
What is not to like about remote work? Each employee is given an opportunity to earn a living while taking work and life balance to their advantage. They are happy too according to Owl Labs (2020). Workers from home (22%) reported more positive feedback than worksite employees.
Telecommuters reported experiencing less stress, more concentration, and a better more fulfilling work-life balance. These are all despite working beyond 40 hours per week, 43% more compared to those who never worked offsite.
We may not have prepared ourselves and the entire workforce for the forced migration to the digital office upon the emergence of the pandemic but researches accurately tell us how the work setup is working out well. Thanks to technology and innovation, this embrace of the new kind of work style and culture was not as hard contrary to the expectations of many.
However, we cannot disregard the fact that it can still get taxing and monotonous at times and only effective virtual leadership and management style can guide the entire workforce in hitting goals whatever the odds are.
Virtual leaders encounter various challenges from communication breakdowns, demotivated and disconnected team members, task overload, and other work-life balance issues. Luckily, you can gain inspiration from these leadership styles which you can refer to so you can handle your teams with great ease:
4 Leadership Styles For Remote Workers That Will Make Management of Teams Easier
1. Participative Leadership:
These leaders open the table for their employees to participate in discourses that elicit insights and inputs even for the biggest business decisions. They see the importance of various viewpoints and value everyone’s voice and involvement from planning to execution.
Known to have a democratic style, participative leaders enjoy virtual events and hosting group activities that are both playful and work-related. To harvest creative solutions and significant contributions from the remote team members, these leaders create platforms and spaces where everyone can pitch. This way, they can establish morale, set the tone, reduce work competition, and ensure everyone in the team is appreciated for their efforts.
2. Situational Leadership
Situational leadership is the most versatile of all types. Situational leaders react based on the environment they are in and the current situation. They believe each challenge or event requires a different approach and therefore needs adaptability.
These leaders were not threatened by the great shift to remote work. In fact, they were thrilled and looked forward to giving it a shot. Instead of being frantic about it, this type of leader strategizes ways on how to provide everyone with a smooth and time-worthy transition. Their ability to adjust in various situations, flexibility and sociability help them be true to this leadership style.
3. Transformative Leadership
Leaders of this kind are known to be traditional but often the most effective. They are highly ambitious and goal-driven. Focusing on making positive changes, transformative leaders set a vision to motivate and inspire the entire organization.
To ensure everything is going according to plan, they lead by example and assist everyone in taking small measured steps to achieve goals. They believe that collaborations are important to identify areas that need more focus and improvement. These leaders are charismatic, capitalize on trust and innovation, and are always looking at challenges with a positive outlook.
4. Servant Leadership
Servant leadership focuses on the affective domain by letting mutual respect, teamwork, and honesty be the guiding principles of everyone in the team. They believe that in order to stimulate the development, progress, and well-being of his team members, collaboration, listening skills, and commitment must be emphasized.
Servant leaders are nice to have in the remote office because they strive to incorporate efforts that are of value to having good mental health. As we all know, despite being connected with each other via the internet, it is really hard to establish a real human connection over it.
These leaders address issues through appreciative inquiry, empathy, care, and self-awareness. They like town hall meetings, product formulation meetings, and brainstorming sessions as much as they like team-building activities because of their collective and collaborative nature.
Despite all these and in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, know that the best remote leadership style is the one that is realistic and responds to the evolving needs of his employees.
Currently, the remote workspace has also been found to trigger feelings of isolation and other mental health issues which only meant that more and more should leaders empathize with their workers and be willing to work around their different circumstances. By showing them that you care, you can make a difference not only in their lives but also in their productivity, especially in these trying times.
Author: Bash Sarmiento
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and travelling are translated into his works