While the mobile working phenomenon is not new by any means, there are still a lot of managers out there at the middle level who are unable to embrace it fully. Many of them feel that there are a number of issues they have to get past before they can truly feel that they have accepted mobile working. To them, mobile working has a certain amount of problems attached via the trust aspect. In other words, these managers do not feel they can trust employees who work remotely. It manifests in a number of ways, but the key issues are outlined in this article. If you are a manager who has to manage mobile workers and you’re having issues with trusting them, maybe it’s time to re-assess.
Around half of managers still feel that the fact they cannot always talk face-to-face with their employees leaves them feeling a little uneasy. That contact level is not there for mobile worker and their managers, but while this is not a problem for some, for others it is a real issue.
This can be addressed through excellent quality video-conferencing software. Even something as basic as Skype allows people to see each other and have a real-time conversation with their colleagues. It cannot be exaggerated as a medium, Skype and video-conferencing in general can be done via phones and tablets these days, so there is no excuse to ignore the technology. This goes a long way towards making it easier to see someone when you are talking to them.
A lack of accountability?
Some managers have complained that they dislike the lack of accountability that mobile workers seem to have. The problem is that many mobile workers are accountable, and they feel accountable too. The only reason why a manager may feel this accountability is missing is because they do not have systems in place to make that accountability real and effective.
If managers were to create a situation where their employees contacted them on a regular basis to outline the work achieved and targets met, and so on, that would allow for a stronger feeling that accountability is present. This is not hard to do, and there is plenty of software out there that creates a situation where a team can work together and develop a culture of accountability, even if hey don’t see each other for weeks.
This leads into the last objection, that mobile workers work less. While this is not true, it is still understandable for a manager to feel this way. Again, systems are important here. If a manager creates a situation where he or she allows for work to be sent to them on a daily basis, sets targets and so on, then there should be a situation where they are able to feel that more work is being done, simply because they are in control.
Managers need to wake up to the fact that mobile working is actually very productive and also very positive. People feel better, get more done, and generally add more value to an organisation.