Disruption has brought about significant change globally to how we work. Along with this change, the way you lead within a business has changed too. Let’s explore some of the common mistakes that virtual leaders make.
1. Micromanagement of online workers
Some leaders delegate…and unfortunately some leaders make the mistake of micromanaging. Micromanaging essentially boils down to the leaders having a lack of trust for their employees to satisfactorily get the job done. They also love being the sole-decision maker, even to the detriment of their team and themselves.
Since the micromanager boss can no longer look over the shoulders of their employees when they are working from home, some have gone to extreme lengths trying to micromanage their team online. While they may feel more comfortable having regained some level of control, the micromanager is doing more harm than good. People (in general) hate being micromanaged, hate having meeting after meeting, and hate when they work hard at something, only for their boss to go in and change it all. Negative experiences like this at work can have a lot of reverberations not only at the workplace, but also in your life.
2. Leaders assuming your team members are available to work 24/7 since they’re just at home
During the pandemic, there have been countless stories of employers increasing work hours from 9-5 to 24/7 because their employees were now working from home. I had a friend that was working so much during the pandemic that her work started paying for everyone to order ubereats every night because the company didn’t want them to stop working for long enough to cook dinner. They would also assign her work to do a after 5pm to have ready for their 8am meeting. Her hours were insane and she got burnt out and rightfully quit.
This is just one example, but the trend is certainly there. Approximately 45% of us are working more than they were before the pandemic started. More alarmingly, 75% said they were now also working on weekends. So why is this happening? Basically, it’s that workplaces are not understanding or respecting boundaries, now there isn’t a physically work boundary at play. To many managers, they don’t want to see their productivity numbers go down, even though realistically they should given all the disruption.
3. Lack of feedback and L&D opportunities from Leaders
When the pandemic, the whole system had to shift so that employees could now work from home…but some things may have been forgotten in the transition. Now that employees can no longer just come up to you when they’re working from home, they are receiving less feedback on their work (good and bad). Not only this, but many companies have limited the amount of L&D they’re doing since things are still not back to normal. This can make it harder for employees who are looking to progress upwards in their career during this time.
Luckily due to the pandemic, things like online learning, as well as better online collaboration tools, have come into play. The mistake is not to use them while you have access to them.