The pandemic has brought about significant changes in how we work and collaborate. Many companies had to transition employees to teleworking or work from home to address the challenges in health and safety while still keeping business operations running smoothly.
While working remotely is not something new to many organisations, for some business (especially those who mainly operate in physical offices) working remotely may have been a completely new setup that they had to plan for and introduce to their employees. With transitioning to a virtual work environment comes the challenges in communication and managing teams, projects and tasks. Here is where e-leadership plays a big role in ensuring teams are working effectively and efficiently.
WHAT IS E-LEADERSHIP?
In the simplest definition, e-leadership is leadership in the digital world.
Organisations that are set up as virtual organisations need e-leadership to manage remote teams. What sets leaders working in a virtual world apart from in-house leaders, is they work remotely and use digital tools and processes to work and collaborate with their teams.
We always have the notion that leading work teams is more manageable, effective and efficient when you work and collaborate face to face with your staff. Communication can be swift and easy when team leaders and members are working in the same physical space and access to the information they need is within reach. The missing physical factor can become a challenge for those working in a virtual workplace, especially for leaders.
Adaptability to Technology and Changing Methods
Having the skills and know-how to use modern business technology is an advantage when working in a virtual setting. Learning to use project management apps and other tools are valuable and useful in managing and leading teams more efficiently. You don’t have to be a tech-savvy person to be able to perform your leadership role effectively but your ability to adapt to new technology and willingness to embrace change can put you ahead in your leadership career.
The Challenge in Engaging Teams in a Virtual Work Environment
If you think managing and engaging a team is already challenging in a physical work environment, imagine having to build and maintain good working relationships with team members you don’t see face to face. Do you miss the days when you could just have a quick chat during your coffee break and learn more about your team on a daily basis? It feels more natural that way but now with a virtual setup, you may have to check in with your team online or have scheduled meetings to be able to engage in conversation.
Leaders in the physical workplace can still definitely thrive in a virtual work environment. E-leadership can be challenging but with the right skills, mindset and creativity in solving problems, you can overcome the existing obstacles and rise above the challenge.
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