The internet has become the greatest collaborative tool ever known. What was once a way for academics to share resources without mailing vast quantities of paper research has changed the way every business functions. Processes that previously took weeks are almost instantaneous and the days of ‘fill out in triplicate’ are all but gone.
For many businesses, this created as many challenges as it solved. When even laborious processes like insurance quotes can be done in minutes, it dramatically changes how a business operates. At one time, insurance offices had countless telephones, staffed by teams of salespeople taking down information line-by-line and reporting in to a series of managers. Automating these processes not only made businesses far more efficient, it reduced the need for so much oversight and radically altered the office dynamic.
Remote work, responsive leadership
The reduced need for ‘hands-on’ management means each manager can be responsible for more people. Some may rarely even need to set foot in the office, as their entire role can be completed remotely. This could explain why some businesses are concerned about how the digital revolution has impacted their management styles.
An old-fashioned office may well have had 100 desks, divided into ten teams, each with their own Team Manager. Each Team Manager would report to an Office Manager, who would report to a Senior Manager and so on. Many companies favoured this kind of structure as it was felt that there was a high level of support and oversight. To these companies, the idea that employees could work completely from home without a superior to guide or watch over them would be very unnerving.
Solid foundations can be used anywhere
Should companies really be concerned about leaders being responsible for larger numbers or remote workers? While the business environment has changed dramatically over the last few years, the qualities of a good leader remain the same as ever they were.
One of the core capabilities of good leadership is the ability to communicate effectively, and the internet has made sharing information easy and almost instantaneous. While at one time that managers would have to speak directly to the ten members of their team, a good communicator will now use digital tools to make sure that information is sent, received and understood on a much larger scale.
Another highly desirable leadership skill is the ability to objectively assess, address and resolve problems that arise, whether they come from a team member who is physically present in the office or a remote worker several hundred miles away. The internet is the most advanced collaborative tool we have, but it doesn’t provide a fool-proof method of automation; good leadership skills that can identify and resolve issues are still critical to team success.
Transferable skills and knowledge
Becoming a great leader is about developing your abilities so that they can be used in almost any situation. The University of York’s online Leadership and Management Masters degree programmes are an excellent way to develop flexible thinking and leadership skills.
You’ll learn what it takes to exercise the right qualities in any number of situations, all delivered through a 100% online MSc designed by the world-class academics at the University of York. As all learning materials are delivered online, you’re free to study whenever it suits you, meaning that you can complete your course in your spare time and not have to take an extended study break from work. The ability to keep your existing job and earn as you learn is not only very appealing financially, but it also allows you to apply your new skills straight away.
There are no worries about large, up-front costs, with the option to pay for individual modules as you progress. With six start dates throughout the year, this creates an incredibly flexible way to gain a prestigious Russell Group university MSc.
The valuable career skills you will learn mean that whether you work in a traditional setting or a futuristic virtual office, you’ll have solid leadership foundations that will allow you to effectively manage and lead a team, no matter what form it takes.