By Daniel Hunter
One in three UK workers is being managed remotely at least once a week, with many not connecting with their manager for a month or more. The study, from recruitment firm REED, reveals the changing face of the modern workplace, with remote management being welcomed by employees.
The study, which questioned more than 2,000 UK workers, found that many managers are choosing a distance approach, with eight out of ten remotely managed workers not connecting with their superiors on a daily basis.
In fact, one in five goes more than a month without connecting with their manager. Of those being managed remotely, 40 per cent say their levels of face-to-face contact have gone down in the last 12 months, with other forms of contact such as texting and video calls on the rise.
The study also shows that remote management is welcome, with 84 per cent of those being managed remotely saying they are happy with the level of contact they receive. This highlights the growing independence and empowerment among UK workers, with nearly two thirds (62 per cent) preferring managers who give them the freedom to get on with their work uninterrupted.
The research also demonstrates the many challenges today’s managers face, with them not only requiring the skills required to obtain results, but also the need to make their employees feel more content in the workplace. For example, two thirds (66 per cent) of UK workers value managers that acknowledge their work, and 78 per cent prefer managers who make them feel comfortable - an increase of 8 per cent since 2012. Furthermore, 71 per cent like managers that are happy to admit when they make mistakes, demonstrating the workforce’s preference for managers with good emotional skills that can relate to their teams.
According to the REED research, some of the top skills workers want in a good manager include being able to give clear instructions and defined targets, remaining calm under pressure, and giving teams the freedom to get on with work uninterrupted.
“Remote management offers many employers more flexibility and workers are welcoming the opportunity to approach their own role in a more independent way," Tom Lovell, Group Managing Director of REED said.
“However, managers have had to adapt to remote working. Our survey shows 89 per cent use email, 84 per cent use telephone, and 48 per cent use text messaging to manage their teams. When it comes to management style, some of the key attributes remain the same, with workers wanting clear targets and acknowledgement of good work, showing that it takes more than face-to-face contact to be a good manager."
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