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As the world collectively practices different social distancing protocols and safety measures, businesses were left with no choice but to introduce more flexible work arrangements for most, if not all, of their employees. As a result, remote working has been steadily on the rise. In fact, lauded research group organization The Conference Board believes that remote working will likely be the most influential legacy the pandemic will leave behind. What led them to this conclusion is their recent study entitled “From Immediate Responses to Planning for the Reimagined Workplace.” The study noted that 77% of the 150 surveyed US executives expect the number of employees working primarily from home to remarkably increase post-pandemic. With remote working slowly but surely becoming the norm, the most important task for business leaders nowadays is to find the right methods and software that can help them manage and lead their teams effectively. Leading a team remotely can be quite challenging, especially for leaders whose teams normally share an office. Fortunately, there are lots of productivity software out there that is specifically made for such teams like Microsoft’s Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based customer relationship management platform that helps teams stay productive and connected in more ways than one. For instance, this software is not tied to any specific workstation and can be implemented, configured and accessed to any device remotely. In addition to this, it also helps keep operations mobile and accessible by storing and connecting all of the users’ contacts, clients and accounts. As a product of Microsoft, integration to other applications like Office 365 is also seamless. This feature effectively helps enhance collaboration, communication and productivity among employees. With a one-stop-shop platform like this, it will also be easier for business leaders (as well as employees) to streamline and standardize work processes. Of course, much like how things are in a traditional office setting, the successful management of teams is not only reliant on the technologies and applications provided to them. It is also heavily influenced by the qualities the team leaders possess. A recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that out of 15,000 managers worldwide, the majority agreed that the most important skill for leaders is the ability to build relationships with others. In addition, a 2017 study on the role of interpersonal skills describes how MBA programs are placing a greater emphasis on the importance of interpersonal skills at an educational level to help train better business leaders. This is why master's programs in management and leadership have shifted towards teaching future leaders about the expanded digital presence in the workforce, which is a much more interpersonal way of working. And with many graduates now emerging in a world where remote work is the norm these new forms of communication skills are more critical than ever. Many will have also been trained to use and recognize the latest tech tools to achieve a good dynamic. When leaders are skilled in maintaining and fostering relationships with people, boundaries and expectations will be easier to set, engagement will be high and teams will be closely integrated even in a remote working environment. Remote working is here to stay, and it’s easy to see why. The months of lockdown not only proved how viable remote working is but also showcased how beneficial it can be for both businesses and employees. As a business leader, the best way to make the most out of this significant change is to incorporate the right technological tools, such as Dynamics 365, with the right leadership practices. Once mastered, this combo can help ensure that your team is always productive, collaborative, and motivated, remote working or not.
Article contributed by: Sarah Grenier
Solely for solsyst.com