The increase of tele-workers and a growing mobile workforce means managers need to be able to lead 'virtual teams', new research exclusively released to Personnel Today shows.
The research, by Roffey Park, finds that managers are needing to develop a new core competency, vitual management.
Almost half of the 371 managers surveyed manage staff across separate locations using telephone, e-mail or video-conferencing.
Eighty per cent say that virtual management arrangements have increased in their organisation over the past five years. This is mainly due to cost and time savings.
However, the research shows that virtual management is difficult to do.
Report author Andy Smith said: "Reduced face-to-face contact and separation from co-workers are the principal differences between virtual and traditional management.
"This can make it more difficult to establish and maintain trust between the members of a virtual team."
The report argues this lack of contact doesn't suit everyone.