Author Topic: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?  (Read 1545 times)

Meowkins

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Hi there,

I love where I work and can envision working here for years and years. Unfortunately, about 6 months into this job, husband got a dream job elsewhere and we decided it's what was best for us long term. (We're moving from HCOL to LCOL and are also planning for a family, so housing expenses for more rooms is more affordable.)

I'm considering asking to be a remote manager (I am currently a manager) but, if I am honest, pretty nervous. I know that my predecessor worked remotely for 2 months towards the end of her time here and that another manager at my level worked remotely for two months prior to moving to DC. We also have staff that work remotely 2 days out of the week every week; in other words, this is a very WFH friendly company culture. Still, 100% remote is a BIG ASK. I would also be willing to come into the office 1 week out of the month (as long as the company foots that bill).

So, my questions:

- Are you a remote manager and do you have experiences to share for or against?
- Have you asked for and successfully received a remote position in a manager/director position?
- Do you have anything remotely (hohoho) useful or comforting to share, cuz like, that would be the best, so please do?

Thanks in advance, all.




Cherry Lane

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 05:44:27 PM »
I wish you the best with your BIG ASK.  I can tell you it wouldn't be approved where I work, but it is still worth trying.

We have a telework-friendly culture, with most employees teleworking at least on day per week.  Out of ~100 employees, there are 5 or so who work remotely full time.  One hasn't even been to our offices since we moved to our current building 6 years ago.

But none of our remote workers are managers.  One was a manager when she moved away for hubby's job.  She continued as a remote manager for ~6 months, but it didn't work out very well.  She's now in a non-supervisory role, but kept her remote worker arrangement.  Since then, our org's policy has been to not allow remote workers to be managers.  One is now a team lead, but without direct supervisory authority.

If you make the request (and I do think you should try), you'll need to have a good plan to detail how all of your supervisory responsibilities will still be met.  Try reaching out to Axecleaver for advice if you haven't already - it seems he has experience with managing workers from offsite.

wordnerd

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 06:05:07 PM »
I've worked for a remote manager (though at my org, even full-time remote staff are required to be in the office 2 days/pay period), and it was...not good. She was very disconnected from the work to the point I ended up doing her job for her. She even directly told me I needed to train a new team member because she wasn't there to do it. Some of that was likely just her personality, but I don't think her remote location helped. She is now in a non-supervisory role and is still a below-average performer.

I've seen other people pull off remote work better (and it depends a lot on your job type) but I do think you have to realize that you will have to work a lot harder than others to be present, up-to-date, support your employees (it can be harder for a new employee to call her boss with an issue than stopping by or discussing it over coffee), and maintain relationships. When you make your ask, I'd come prepared to discuss how you will do those things.


Sibley

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 06:18:37 PM »
Not quite the same thing, but my office has people in different states. Some times the manager and reportee are not in the location. It works out pretty well.

ZiziPB

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 04:17:14 AM »
My manager is currently a remote manager due to a move out of state a couple years ago.  I think at first he was concerned about making such a move because he even briefly considered stepping down, but in the end things worked out fine.  Not sure how the approval process was for him but our company is pretty open to all kinds of people working remotely. 

From the perspective of a person reporting to a remote manager, you have to be religious about maintaining frequent contact with your reports (phone, skype, e-mail).  My manager does a good job of it, although I do miss the ability to just pop my head into his office to ask a quick question, offer an observation or to just chat.  Other than that, I don't feel that his working remotely had an effect on our workloads - he does a great job of ensuring equal allocation of the work load among all of us, including himself.

Meowkins

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 11:04:08 AM »
Thanks for the input, guys. Super helpful, I'll keep it in mind when I make the ask.

Owassogirl1

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Re: Career Advice -- Have you ever asked to be a remote manager?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 11:17:53 AM »
I work in one of my company's larger offices. All of my employees are remote to me. Some work in other large offices and some work strictly from home. I work from home on occasion - maybe once a week. My company is global so it would be impossible for the whole team to be in the same office (I do have three folks in the office with me). It can work, I think you need to have regularly scheduled 1-1's with your folks. I try to do it once a week even if it is only for a few minutes. I want them to know I'm around if they need anything. We also communicate quite regularly through Skype IM. We will share screens on a daily basis, me showing them something or vice versa. I also make sure to have a weekly team meeting scheduled. Even if a 1-1 or team meeting gets cancelled on occasion having it on the calendar forces me to stay in contact with everyone. It has just become a way of life at my company. There are only a few managers who have all of their employees in the same office with them, its just the norm at my company. Good luck!