Managers lack skills to handle homeworkers and flexible working

Managers will come under increasing pressure to deal with the communication and motivation challenges presented by homeworking, the Chartered Management Institute has warned.

It follows research commissioned by qualifications body City & Guilds and the Institute of Leadership & Management, which found that three-quarters of managers already worked in an organisation where flexible working is common. More than one-third said they now managed teams that worked either entirely or predominantly away from the office.

However, nearly half of the 200 respondents said they were unprepared to supervise remote teams, with only one-quarter having received any training.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said managing remote teams was difficult. “It raises issues about communication and motivation, and organisations need to realise that to benefit from a flexible approach to work, training and development are essential.”

Vanessa Robinson, organisation and resourcing adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, added that people who worked from home could feel isolated. “Managers need to be educated and trained to use new methods of communication to keep in touch with homeworkers.”

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