Managers Need to Learn to Embrace Flexible Work

June 3, 2010 by  

In consulting with companies off all different sizes in a variety of industries I’ve found one of the biggest challenges they need to overcome in order to embrace flexible work is management resistance.

Despite the long list of benefits to virtual work or telecommuting many managers are simply uncomfortable with the thought of managing remote employees.  That’s why a recent article by Fast Company really caught my eye. It describes 3 recent scenarios where managers didn’t want to provide workplace flexibility and the unfortunate results:

Managers, sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes and saying “La, la, la, la” when a valuable, competent current or prospective employee presents a plan for flexibility doesn’t make it go away.

via Dont Let “Flexibility Just Doesnt Work for Me”=”I Dont Care If You Leave”…Because It Will | Fast Company.

The article shares some excellent suggestion for what managers can do when approached by employees proposing a flexible work agreement and also what employees can do if a managers shrugs off the request with the “that doesn’t work for me” rebuttal.

Managing virtual teams and offsite employees is not really a choice – it’s a reality in most business (or soon will be).  So the question isn’t will you do it – but will you do it well . . . or will you do it poorly?

I strongly urge managers struggling with this is to get some training on strategies and best practices for managing virtual teams. We’ve seen a sharp increase in the desire for this type of training which is why our workshop The Art of Virtual Leadership is now available on-demand. So no more excuses . . . learn how to lead your remote employees so you can hire and retain the best talent for your organization despite their location!

What are your thoughts?  Share your story or experience in the comments below!