What makes an excellent virtual manager?

October 2003
Management Services;Oct2003, Vol. 47 Issue 10, p18
Academic Journal
In today's organisation, managing from a distance, telecommuting and the virtual office are increasing phenomena. The Roffey Park Institute know from their work with clients that virtual management is a key business issue and a core competence for the future. The institute's research focused on the cultural and interpersonal issues of managing virtually rather than technological ones. All data sources confirm that virtual management arrangements are an increasing feature of organisational life. The increase in virtual working has been driven by a combination of factors including cost reduction, the need to access valued knowledge workers and skills, and opportunities to get closer to the customer. The challenges faced by virtual managers are different from their non-virtual counterparts. Deprived of face-to-face and social contact, trust, a factor critical to effective virtual working, becomes harder to build. Organisational culture can both shape and be shaped by virtual working. Communication and trust building are the most critical factors. Excellent virtual managers invest in selection and induction. They meet the need for regular and frequent communication without swamping people with data.


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