I read an article in Dagens Nyheter the other day with just that headline, but without the parentheses why, and wonder why it is so difficult for managers to be good leaders remotely?
Before I chose to join the team at Rolf, I have previously worked as Marketing Manager in a larger IT group in Sweden and later as Country Manager for an international web development company from Vietnam.
In these two organizations, we were all, both managers and employees, very scattered. We worked in many different geographical locations and in several different time zones.
Here are some reflections related to that time, on the topic of teleworking.
Today, there is almost only talk that the technology of communication and teleworking must work, we must find new ways of doing business, not losing turnover. I absolutely agree that it must. Having video meetings and collaborating on platforms like Sharepoint, Teams, Slack, or Zoom must work. The bandwidth must be good enough. We need to practice how to be and act digitally in meetings. Etc etc.
That's good, but in my opinion the focus is too much on "just" technology and too little on how we actually feel or function as people in these situations.
As I said, I have worked for several years in a way that, in terms of jobs, can be likened to the situation the pandemic has forced us into. For me, having digital meetings around the world hasn't been a big problem (you'll all find it normal in the end). What I have found difficult, however, is to see, hear and feel the signals of my colleagues that you normally "feel in the air" when you are together.
So when I read the article in DN, I think even more that we managers really need to be flexible, responsive and on our toes. The most difficult thing will not be to change the "business" to the current situation, but it will be to manage, take care of and continue to develop our employees. No matter what we do.