Fly by wire management

It is going to be interesting to see how people cope with working from home due to the coronavirus. In particular it will be interesting to see how managers cope with not being able to see their staff in the office.

I know things have shifted a bit over the last few years but for many people, perhaps most, doing office work still means working in offices. You only need to see the numbers of people commuting on the train into London every day to realise that this is still the case.

Some of them, especially those higher up the organisation, still don’t really know how to use remote working tools, let alone use them to best effect. I can imagine that there are going to be a few anxious moments over the next days and weeks.

If you know anyone who is struggling to adjust, and could do with some advice, you know where to find me.

4 thoughts on “Fly by wire management

  1. I think it’s going to be highly interesting as it could provide some highly useful evidence for the effects of remote working on the workforce but also on staff effectiveness. I can see a tsunami of academic papers/HBR articles on this issue

    I do wonder whether if offices have to do it for a lengthy period of time whether organisations will be able to put the ‘genie back in the bottle” especially if their people have a horrible commute (especially in the south East with the rolling rail strikes).

    Everything I need is available via remote tools and a VPN using mostly 0365 applications through G suite would be also pretty effective.

    For a lot of staff they will be able to work from home with little problem but if you need heavy duty computing power will a laptop be able to handle it.

    Coronavirus may well be a tipping point as I can see other issues where people will look to work from home for a variety of family support issues.

    I’m fortunate I work for an organisation that trusts its people if they work from home. I work 2 days in my main office normally, 1 day is visiting and one or 2 days I’m working from home.

    I get more done at home in those days than I do in my office and probably as my wife would attest work slightly longer to repay that trust.


    1. Although it’s been a long time since I had a manager that has certainly been my experience. Greater productivity and a feeling of obligation to pay back the trust.
      As you say, what will be interesting is if this carries on for any length of time. I’m increasingly being asked to help with “digital leadership“initiatives and a lot of this is around how to maintain influence in asynchronous short chunks of text!


  2. You are so right. We were asked today if we had the capacity to work from home if required, so everyone is gearing up for this even in Australia.
    One thing that does annoy me is the assumption that older workers are technologically challenged as it’s not me that has the problem, it’s often the higher ups. That’s a generalisation too, I suppose!


    1. I have often said that resistance to technological change is more often down to mindset than age. I was not a fan of the “millennials” myth, especially not as a “silver surfer“ myself.


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