Last updated: 27.09.13

Employees 'value' remote management

One-third of employees in the UK are managed remotely at least once every week, but this practice is welcome in most organisations.

This is the suggestion of new research from recruitment company Reed, which revealed that as modern workplaces change and grow, an increasing number of people are happy to connect with their bosses from afar.

Indeed, the vast majority (84 per cent) of staff questioned said they are content with the level of contact they receive, while almost two-thirds (62 per cent) claimed they prefer managers who give them freedom to get on with their job uninterrupted.

According to Tom Lovell, group managing director of Reed, remote management offers many employees a greater degree of flexibility and as a result, they are welcoming the opportunity to approach their role with more independence.

He pointed to the survey results, which found that 89 per cent of leaders use email to manage their teams, while 84 per cent rely on telephones and 48 per cent use text messaging.

"When it comes to management style, some of the key attributes remain the same, with workers wanting clear targets and acknowledgement of good work, showing that it takes more than face-to-face contact to be a good manager," Mr Lovell remarked.

The study proves how crucial a role technology is beginning to play in companies, with managers now able to use online platforms to track employee's progress, organise training resources through a learning management system and set up video conferences, with just an internet connection.

Reed found that one in five workers can go more than a month without contacting their boss, and of those being managed remotely, 40 per cent said their levels of face-to-face interaction has dropped over the last year, while texting and video-calling have become more common.

It also revealed the top five qualities employees value in a manager include someone who can make people feel comfortable, gives staff the freedom to get on with their work independently and provides clear instructions alongside defined targets.