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#WFH: Is Your Boss a Digital Spy?

Leadership in the virtual world is not about digital spying. It is not about monitoring every move, although this is totally possible because everything is digital and can be tracked. Some companies require employees to use continuously running video surveillance cameras. Have you heard of the microchips they put in puppies – maybe we are next? The surveillance gurus can already track us by GPS if they want to, so long as we have the device with us. In the last 10 years, cameras have been installed everywhere: at red lights, in hotel lobbies, at the bank, in the grocery store and at the gas station. We are constantly being recorded and monitored and all this “big data” is being used.
Fear has never been a good way to lead.

Effective skills for nourishing relationships and supporting interactions need to be supported by senior managers who understand and appreciate the nuances and skills needed to lead at a distance. Support from the top is everything and must be given in a non-threatening, straightforward way. Organizational systems need to be upgraded and adapted to accommodate the stresses and strains of working virtually. There is a fine balance between the invisible digital boss and the intrusive one. The boss who is always intervening doesn’t allow for autonomy, doesn’t have the respect of the team and is not cultivating collaboration. Resentment and dependence are more likely to result. This then becomes a downward spiral of lack of trust and no one benefits. Uncertainty in the digital world can make everyone on edge. This is almost always a sign of poor leadership.

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