Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Brunei Town

Old-school management not suited for digital era

During the recent pandemic, we were all forced to work from home. ‘Digitalising’ my management style, as I soon found out, required a bit of imagination and self-reflection.

Admittedly, the first week was unpleasant for both me and my team. Hand gestures work very well in person and harder to translate into text. As it turned out, my team could be as productive at home as they were in the office. So whenever they ask to work from home now, I usually sign off on it.

What I find rather unsettling is how quickly a lot of people in management reverted to in-office arrangements once the health crisis was over. These days, especially among the younger generation, the focus tends to be on work-life balance. So working from home provides just the kind of flexibility that youth crave.

We are no longer living in a time when everything took a bit of time to accomplish.

Back before the mobile phone era, reaching someone required a bit of luck. Now, if I don’t get a response to my text within half an hour, I would be quite inclined to call the police or ambulance for the fear that something had happened to the person.

So managing a team virtually isn’t all that different from having them in the same vicinity anymore. Sadly, a lot of my peers still hold on to the old way of thinking, that if one is not seen working, then one must not be working; even if the work is of the highest quality.

It doesn’t matter that the future of work is about efficiency and productivity. For as long as the old guard continues to occupy the upper echelon of the business world, work will continue to be defined by the time spent in the office instead of efforts in progressing the company.

IT Guy