Remote and hybrid work means leaders and managers in many organisations now require a new set of skills, according to Bill Wagner, president and chief executive officer of remote connectivity software company LogMeIn.
“With flexibility comes the need to better monitor and measure productivity versus attendance or time online,” Wagner wrote via the vendor’s blog.
“Conversations around expectations, accountability and feedback need to play out in new ways, and our managers require training and processes to support them in this next phase.”
LogMeIn is aiming to make its managers the most remote-centric they can be, which should help employees satisfy the needs of the company’s customers and other stakeholders, he said.
“We want employees to be able to do the best work of their lives,” Wagner wrote.
“We’ve also rolled out new collaboration budgets so managers can engage with remote employees, and so employees who live near each other but not an office can have opportunities to connect.”
Wagner indicated that LogMeIn, as well as many other organisations, would be looking to find ways to keep employees engaged without needing to come into a central office.
This partly reflects the fact that some people don’t want to come back, as well as being productive at home, according to LogMeIn vice president of global talent acquisition Bob Quinn.
“That sentiment should be a loud and clear call to action for companies concerned about how to recruit top talent in an increasingly competitive talent market,” said Quinn.
In fact, according to a Forrester/LogMeIn study, 60% of employees are willing to accept less pay in exchange for more flexibility, such as the ability to work from home, and 83% say they would be willing to stay with their current employer if they can have that flexibility.
Wagner said however that some staff have been coming back into LogMeIn offices through the second quarter.
“Reopening will happen in phases, first with a Covid opening for regions with prolonged decreasing Covid cases, ample access to vaccines, and where permissible in accordance with federal or regional guidelines,” said Wagner.
Possible inequities in the workplace — for example, due to unequal access to training for some staff — could be addressed in a hybrid environment, he suggested, with the onus on management and other leaders within the organisation to ensure inclusivity.
“When largely office-based, those who were remote often missed information after a meeting ended and those ‘water cooler’ moments. And research showed they were less likely to be tapped for promotions.”
However, if employees can choose whether to come into the office or work remotely, this could ensure organisations continued to have access to the best and most diverse talent, Wagner said.
“Given the nature of our work, utilising our own tools like GoToConnect to communicate and meet, the majority of LogMeIn travel will only be for customer interactions or professional development, so we will not mandate vaccines or require that most roles be in the office,” Wagner explained.
LogMeIn’s tools and solutions for remote and hybrid environments include the GoTo range as well as Rescue customisable remote support for the enterprise and Rescue Lens live interactive video support with remote camera sharing.