Why Virtual Works & the Role Leaders Must Play

Published Wed May 27, 2020


In this age of COVID19, many workplaces have transformed their operations in a way that has enhanced efficiency and driven innovation. How this could happen, especially with the speed at which we went from an in office workplace to a virtual workplace so quickly? While technology has been a key factor enabling this new workplace, it has been leaders collaborating and engaging their workforce who have succeeded in making this happen. Leadership is a critical aspect of high-performing organizations, so it must also be the driver in making virtual work succeed and thrive during this pandemic.

What are the most important aspects of leadership that have enabled this to happen?

It starts with trust and effective communication. Trust is one of the paramount factors in making your workplace high-performing. Communication is also a key driver to success in any organization, and leadership must own both trust and communication to ensure the workforce has ownership of their work, as well as clear expectations for what they need to do to support the organization. Of course, these factors are important whether you are in a traditional workplace or in a virtual environment, but the virtual workplace has exemplified the importance of regular communication as a way to ensure the workforce has a clear understanding and the knowledge to make sure the work we do every day is critical to our business success.

Recently, I read an article in the Pensacola News Journal on May 3, 2020 by Quint Studer, a business expert, regarding why it is essential to make sure all employees define “what actions [they took] today to move the needle.” I would suggest this is something each of us should be asking ourselves everyday with all of our employees, including all leaders across all organizations.

In talking to many organizations over the past two months, one thing is clear:

This pandemic has forever changed our appreciation for the role virtual work can play as an integral part of our future workplace.

Some have shared it is having a positive financial impact on the type and amount of workspace we will need in the future. Many leaders have shared it has deepened their appreciation for the importance of communication as a way to ensure everyone is on the same page, understands the direction, and appreciates the vision for the work we are doing.

While COVID19 has turned our world upside down, it has bred innovation and efficiency by enabling our workforce to go virtual, and we as leaders must focus on asking ourselves, as well as instill in our workforce, the significance of making sure the work we all do is “driving the needle”—no matter if we are in the office or on our couch.


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