An essential skill for the emerging workplace.
When asked to report to a boss at a distant location, our first feelings are relief, satisfaction, and joy. Relief, there will be no boss peering over one’s shoulder. Satisfaction, the organization believes you do not need close supervision. Celebration at the possible flexibility.
Within weeks these happy feelings are supplanted by apprehensions.
- What if out of sight become out of mind? How will all my hard work get noticed?
- How often should I ask for help? What would be “not checking back enough”? What would be “checking back too often”?
- How do I build trust and rapport, without face to face interactions? What if there is a misunderstanding and it spirals out of control?
These apprehensions are justified. The relationship with our boss(s) is essential to us. We invest a significant part of our working lives at the office, and a good relationship with the boss can make it so much better. The practice of remote reporting, where the boss & subordinate are separated in geography and time zones, is here to stay. Three structural factors are driving this.
- Technology: Hi-Speed broadband, Internet, Video Conferencing and Instant Messaging
- The War for Talent: Organisations prioritizing “skill fit” over “location fit.”
- Globalization: Businesses & supply chains, that span continent, not just countries.
And, this practice is catching on, across sectors, in manufacturing and services. It has transcended the B2B environment! Therefore you need to learn to work well with a remote boss. This three-part blog post aims to help you do that
– by Ravi Santhanam for Zeus