In the past, companies have had to deal with inflexible corporate cultures and inflexible line management when they were operating in more traditional business. Today, those two concerns, while still present, are being addressed by a variety of complex technologies, each of which presenting unique challenges to those managing it. This shift, though, also presents many new opportunities, all of which must be examined carefully in order to fully understand the changing landscape.
One such technology is that of remote working. The pandemic represents a rupture in the current paradigm, where previously in-person contact and information sharing were the mainstays of communication.
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With the advent of social networking and more widespread broadband connections, both in the home and at the workplace, the ability of remote workers to maintain contact has become much more widespread. It also seems that it is here to stay. By establishing a near-simultaneous exchange of personal digital media – email, instant messaging, chat programs, etc – remote frontline leaders are able to not only monitor and direct the flow of information during the pandemic, but also to disseminate it rapidly. Although the first days of the pandemic represented a test of the efficacy of this type of communication, it now appears that there is no reason why such close communication cannot be maintained throughout the future of work.