Management Styles During and After COVID-19

Article by
Philip Martin
PMCA
September 2020

Don't be the bad old boss. Adjust to the new reality of work styles.

5 minutes

Businesses have had to change the way work during COVID-19. Managers and owners need to reassess their management style to keep employees loyal and motivated.

With a dispersed workforce, it’s much harder for project teams to work with the same velocity. Video calls help, but project tracking and corridor conversations are much harder.

Embrace a new management dynamic

While four years seems an epoch ago during these recent disorienting days of “Monday, Blursday, Sunday, Blursday, Repeat”, back in 2016 the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 3.5 million people – almost a third of the entire workforce – worked from home.

Seems a lot? Well, it turns out this is the figure for people who worked from home even just one day of the year, with the most common reason being to “catch up on work”. It was only around 20% who worked from home regularly.

It’s ironic, though, that even 4 years ago the best place to catch up on work was NOT at work. But this is one of the key lessons many businesses are learning during the current COVID-19-forced changes to working patterns.

We know many more people – and especially professional and administrative workers – are now working from home. And many businesses are reporting increased productivity.

ISO has its upsides

While some small business owners have always worked from home, lockdowns and social distancing rules now mean that 32% of the population – 4.3 million people – are now working from home (Roy Morgan, June 2020). If you’re a white-collar worker, that figure is much higher, approaching 60% in some industries.

For a huge number of of people, working and going to work are no longer the same thing.

This shift has led to a sudden and dramatic change in the dynamic between co-workers, and between employees and their managers.

Not all organisations are dealing with this well.

Many older and old-school managers and supervisors enjoy the surety of ‘line-of-sight’ management. There they are. At their desk. All is well.

But a more successful approach has been emerging for years and is now being cemented into business practice. It's anti-Dickensian, based on output mixed with a healthy dose of trust.

While maintaining working relationships and instilling organisational culture are certainly more difficult with a dispersed workforce, there’s evidence to say that productivity is actually enhanced with remote teams.

Challenges with remote teams

Of course, having your entire workforce at home is not all sunshine. For more than a decade, many mid- to large businesses have been embracing the ‘Agile’ method of work.

Especially popular in IT and project teams, Agile advocates for team members to be co-located, rather than sitting in function-based groups. So if the project needs an accountant, a lawyer, a business analyst, a project manager, a writer and a designer, they all sit together.

Makes a lot of sense.

The main idea behind Agile is that decisions are made quickly, and if things don’t work out, it’s easy to change quickly: “fail fast” is an Agile mantra.

And while technology and shared project tracking software can help alleviate project problems, there’s a bigger issue that COVID-19 has introduced to businesses with more than just one sole operator: culture.

Most organisations have a workplace culture: a ‘feel’ for how people work together and approach business challenges. Culture is organisation-wide, covering everything from the Christmas party to interactions between staff members, how people answer the phone, and even the tone of internal emails.

Onboarding new staff members during a lockdown means that culture is difficult to impart and working relationships are slower to form.

Be a better COVID boss

If you’re a business owner managing people working from home, set expectations, check in occasionally, and cut your workers some slack.

There’s no single tried and tested way to manage people during a crisis of this magnitude Your workers with school-aged children will face additional challenges.

Be a better manager by removing stress.

Yes, you still need to operate, make decisions, products and profits. But by pushing out deadlines, easing up on KPIs and showing more trust in your workers, you’ll be well set to reap the rewards of improved productivity and staff loyalty in the future.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. We’re happy to help

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained. We are here to help, contact us today:

Philip Martin Chartered Accountant
Phone 1300 744 547 | Web pmca.com.au | Email philip@pmca.com.au
Level 9, 440 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

Understand that when work and life collide in the home, flexibility, generosity and understanding will go a long way to ensuring you have motivated employees.

Ready to get on top of your tax and accounting?

Philip Martin can change the culture of your business to ensure independent financial strength.
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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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