Leading a Remote Workforce

In 2003, I conducted groundbreaking research on leadership and workplace flexibility. Essentially, I asked the question, “What type of leadership skills are needed to effectively manage a remote workforce?” Due to COVID, working remotely is now the new norm. But how does a leader, lead in this new environment? What is the most effective leadership strategy?

My 2003 research revealed that leaders with a flexible, responsive style were most effective and significantly:

  • increased employee job satisfaction,
  • increased organizational commitment,
  • reduced turnover intentions,
  • improved the overall wellbeing of the workplace; thereby, improving bottom-line results.

In 2008, I was selected to present my research findings and a new model of leadership to hundreds of companies at the Conference Board’s WorkLife Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of the Conference Board is to provide the world’s leading organizations with trusted business insights to improve performance. At the time, few companies allowed their employees to work remotely. However, many Fortune 100 companies realized that working remotely was the future of work and the most effective way to attract and retain top talent. Companies around the world also recognized that working remotely was the future of work even though few allowed their employees to do so.

In 2007, I was invited by IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain to present portions of my research at their International WorkLife Conference. You might say that European companies were slightly ahead of US companies at the time even though remote work was a fun idea rather than a practical reality.

Now over 58.6% of the total U.S. workforce work remotely due to the pandemic.

Companies began to approach me for the first time in over a decade to share my leadership model with them. Back in 2008, few companies were willing to pay for leadership development that exclusively focused on developing leaders who could manage a remote workforce.

My 2003 research identified 13 critical leadership skills needed to manage a remote workforce. I then developed an assessment tool called the Leadership Flexibility Scale (LFS) to measure the leader’s effectiveness.

Leadership Flexibility Scale

The Leadership Flexibility Scale (LFS) evaluates the flexibility and responsiveness of leaders. Survey results should only be used for development purposes.

To take the LFS (Abbreviated Version), please use the scale below to rate each item. Then calculate your Leadership Flexibility Score by adding up all your responses.

**Please click on the image below to enlarge it and then print or download.

Contact Me

If are struggling to effectively lead your remote workforce and would like executive coaching or support, please contact me through my website.

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