How To Successfully Manage A Remote Manager by Anya C. Gonzales

Just as remote work isn’t for everyone, having a remote manager isn’t for everyone either. I’ve been reporting to one for the past 9 months, and even though it’s hard at times, I can definitely see the benefits. Why? It’s teaching me to be a better team player and helps me develop faster.

With a remote manager, I have to over-communicate: about my schedule, my plans, my development goals. I have to be an expert planner: For any given project, I have to think about what I’ll need from my manager and ask for it in advance. I have to get really good at managing my time: I can’t just turn to her desk and ask her a question, even with instant communication like Slack — I need to make sure that I bring up the questions I need to ask when we meet.
Before I started reporting to my current manager, who’s based about 640 miles away, I had never so much as taken an online course before. Working with a far-off supervisor can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to it. I can’t just ask her a quick question while we’re both in the kitchen. Sure, I can ping her on Slack, but she might be trying to focus on something — if she were puttering in the kitchen, I’d know she’s not. The flip side is that I rarely feel micromanaged. And in these past 9 months, I’ve learned a lot about what direct reports and their managers can do to have a successful, thriving, productive relationship.

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Photo by Bruno Wolff on Unsplash

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