BUSINESS LEADERS MUST CONTINUE TO STEP UP

December 17, 2021

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These days, a lot of professionals are working from home. The pandemic may have forced this change, but I don’t see ways of working going back to exactly how they used to be.

New technology has made decentralized, remote work easier. Many professionals are relocating to lower cost locations. In addition, many are no longer going into the office 5 days per week.

At Alliance, we’re embracing both sides of this wave. As a team, we’ve shifted more towards a hybrid working model that improves employee well-being. On the investment front, we continue to focus on high growth metropolitan areas (such as Texas, Georgia and Florida), which are experiencing a major influx of new residents since the pandemic began.

After a year of experimentation, it’s clear that more flexible work arrangements can be good for everybody. Workers get the chance to better balance professional, family, and personal obligations. Businesses get happier employees who are often more productive than ever.

But making it all work takes more than video chat software and new office norms. When not on site together, teams lose valuable organic interactions. Office encounters help circulate information and lower the risk of important details slipping through the cracks.

Some new connective tissue must replace those lost in-person interactions. The main answer is for managers to step up their game even more. This includes things like: clear communications on any guidance or decision, deliberate thinking on who is included on emails and in meetings, tracking collaboration, and keeping tabs on the team’s learning and development, etc.

Flexible work arrangements can be great for quality of life, but businesses still need the right work to get done at the right time. And businesses cannot just focus on sustaining the status quo. Business leaders need to always keep an eye towards growth and innovation.

In this new working model, everybody needs to be crystal clear on their objectives. With professionals working more independently, it’s much harder to track inputs like time and effort, and more important to laser-focus on needed deliverables- i.e. focus on output not input. This was always important, but now it’s essential.

Managers need to find the balance between a hands-off approach that will leave workers feeling disconnected and a micromanaging approach that interferes with getting things done. What is needed is clarity and specificity on goals, making sure the right people are in the loop, and systems for keeping track of progress.

Between technology and the pandemic, the business world is changing quickly. Leaders who adjust well to the new reality will find it’s all for the best.

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