"Effectively targeting those who work remotely requires a results-based management approach. This means defining goals, objectives and tasks, and then monitoring and talking about progress, without imposing excessive reporting."
International Labour Organization (2020)
Before 2020, some companies gave their employees the option to be able to work from home: "Home Office". And yes, some companies (mostly large), had work programs where the presence of employees in certain days/hours, was not essential in the company, and they could work from home fulfilling their responsibilities. This alternative was primarily sought to maintain a balance between work and private life, and was granted as a benefit in the working conditions of the company.
Due to the covid-19's global health emergency, companies of all sizes have had to move work into their employees' homes, making teamwork, as well as leadership have to be modified and sought the greatest tools to remain productive.
Faced with this challenge, companies must establish new procedures in order to coordinate, develop and evaluate their employees, and the expected results of them. Thus, leadership also has to be moved in person towards virtual leadership.
According to Sílvia Forés, HR Director at Baker McKenzie Barcelona: "a key aspect to consider before making changes to work dynamics is to see if physical presence is critical to the development of employee functions and, if not, assess the need to supervise the worker".
That is why the new virtual leadership to continue achieving the objectives and new challenges faced by companies, should consider:
• Use of technology. The technology has allowed communication and interaction with the team to be kept at a distance, but the good leader, will need to ensure that his team has the necessary knowledge and tools, for the use of such technology.
The good leader will have to make sure that there are no technological barriers, and if so, eliminate them.
• Define communication and information management platforms. Let the team know and manage the means through which communication will be given between them, determining the functionality that each tool will solve. An example of this is agreeing that informal questions be through text messages, clearly determining the platform, as well as the platform chosen for virtual conferences.
The good leader should define shared information management platforms, which make it easier to securely share, review, and manage information between the workgroup.
• Establish new work, measurement and evaluation programs. Define together the leader and his team, how workloads should be distributed, and clearly define how expected results will be evaluated. This will give certainty to the team, in what the company expects from them and how they will now be evaluated virtually. Here it is important even to set working schedules – interaction and response.
• Remote motivation. Share positive messages and even suggest healthy lifestyle habits from home such as: healthy eating, exercises, readings, etc.; will make the team feel considerate and have an impact on their good performance.