O P I N I O N
Leading from a distance
Managing through a virtual work environment certainly has its challenges, but it’s more important than ever to persevere and lead.
O ver the past year, we have all been forced to adjust and alter the way we manage our teams. Managing through a virtual work environment certainly has its challenges and can sometimes make for additional work. Activities such as project staffing, employee reviews, and progress checks all have been reimagined. Employee dedication, productivity, and efficiency have all come into question. Overall, the AEC industry has adapted to virtual management nuances, and we have seen our project teams continue to be effective and deliver great work.
While this may be true for management, how exactly does virtual leadership look? So much of leadership is tacit knowledge and conveyed through working together in a collaborative physical environment. How exactly does this translate into a virtual environment and influence overall company culture while also driving teams to success? ❚ ❚ Leading by example. It isn’t easy to lead by example when you are not co-located with your staff. They cannot visualize your work ethic, dedication, commitment, or servant leadership. Looking back, I was always encouraged to see my leaders’ dedication
– coming in early, staying late, sacrificing lunch to help a client with an urgent need. How are these things communicated virtually? Leading by example is about being visible to your team, accessible during work hours, and helping the team remove barriers. Perhaps it is sharing an email with your team first thing in the morning, so they know you have begun your workday and are available to help. It may be as simple as having your camera on during a Zoom call, so they know you are not in a recliner wearing sweats but rather at your desk paying attention. This may even be in the form of virtual office hours
See CHASE MILLER, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER MARCH 15, 2021, ISSUE 1383
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