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The New Time Management: Reordering Priorities for Virtual Work Models

7 July 2022

With so many businesses moving to permanent virtual work models, obstacles and adjustments are to be expected. It’s essential to recognize how big changes affect everyone in the workplace. Leaders must rework schedules, redesign meetings, and maintain daily operations. Meanwhile, employees are negotiating the challenges and shifting priorities that come with working from home.

What does time management mean in the new world of work?

Leading from a distance

As the shift toward virtual work continues, an increasing number of employees report to work from external locations. In the next few years, over a quarter of positions are expected to be either partially or fully virtual. Many employees and jobseekers feel they can be successful without the traditional oversight common to on-site work, and employer priorities and strategies are evolving to accommodate the changing nature of management.

Recognizing the need to provide employees with more flexibility and autonomy in their work lives, today’s leadership understands how leading from a distance empowers employees to do their best work and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Transformational leaders focus on improving communication to support a virtual work culture. Employee engagement initiatives, always essential to organizational success, are even more vital for keeping the virtual workforce connected to workplace community and support systems. Learning and development (L&D) remains an integral part of company strategy, but the focus has shifted from managing employees closely to developing their adaptivity, autonomy, and creative problem-solving skills.

Flexible work options

Of course, not all virtual work looks the same. Virtual work schedules exist on a spectrum and depend on an employee’s function within your organization. Consider the following options for personalizing schedules to fit company and employee needs:

Adapting to new models

After the disruption of the last two years, companies anticipate the “new normal” schedule as a mix of virtual and in-person work. Employers and employees are still learning what works best for individuals, teams, and the larger organization. Managing the new workplace can be tricky, but efficient leadership sets the standards for success. Consider these tools for virtual work leadership:

In virtual and distributed workplaces, time management is a function of guided autonomy. Clear communication, well-defined expectations, and shared goals keep employees working in alignment with company needs while allowing them to decide when, where, and how they work best.

To learn more about time and change management for flexible work models, visit fitch-consulting.com.

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