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The 6 Leadership Styles That All Successful Leaders Use

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The 6 Leadership Styles That All Successful Leaders Use

Great leaders inspire us to do great things, to believe that we can do anything, and to become the greatest versions of who we can be. This is why, as a leader of your business or company, you will know instinctively if you’re leading your team into a brave new tomorrow, or if they’re lagging behind, dragging their feet.

How they feel about your leadership style could make or break your company. Being knowledgeable about your weaknesses, and more importantly, your natural strengths can be a total game-changer. Here are six ways to manage a team and when to use them.

The Hare

This style is all about moving as fast as you can to get things done on time, which is of course ideal for times where you’re working towards a tight deadline.

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If used all the time, the stress of only caring about deadlines can mean employees lose interest in the tasks altogether. If this is the case, try switching up your style to focusing on the people doing the tasks. Find out more about what might work better for them in the long-run, and how they work best.

The Dreamer

If you are a dreamer, you can see exactly where you’d like your company to go and you love to share this vision with your team. This approach can help join you together as a team and improve morale.

If you are going to use this style, make sure that your vision is clear and that everyone believes in it. Working towards some unattainable goal is a surefire way to lose the crowd and end up talking to yourself.

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The Director

You are a director if you tell it like it is and if you ask for tasks to be done directly, without hesitation or consideration for your employees. This no-nonsense approach can work extremely well in a crisis. By keeping a cool head and knowing what needs to be done in the moment, you can create success out of a messy situation.

Where it doesn’t work is if you find yourself constantly barking orders at your employees without ever using another management style. It’s a delicate balance, but use this only sparingly and when the situation really calls for immediate and direct action. If overused, you can end up with employees who are low in moral and self-esteem, and others who are heading for the door.

The Greek

The Greeks invented democracy and this is what this leadership style is all about. You want to know everyone’s opinion and how things can be improved for the best overall outcome. Having your say can be very empowering for most people, especially if it’s something you are working on everyday.

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If this is your main way of managing, be careful that you are not asking the wrong advice from the wrong people. This can be a big waste of everyone’s time, so make sure you have a well-developed team of experts that you know you can depend on as your business grows.

The Lover

The person who is the lover cares about relationships and how these bonds create enough synergy for a fruitful working environment. This style can be a huge booster for morale as everyone learns to understand and work with each other. When your team has experienced a setback or are changing group dynamics, this style can help to gel everyone together and keep things moving smoothly.

On the other hand, using this style all the time can lead to low performance and drive. This is because relationships are the main focus, and the goals can get left behind. In this case, try using some of the other management styles, especially the hare or the dreamer management styles.

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The Coach

Working as a coach means that you’ll not only understand what is going on with people, but that you will also try to find new ways of growing their (and your) skills and abilities. This is a great idea, especially for a new start-up where it’s essential that your business keeps growing and evolving. So, being open to growing together, as individuals and as a company, will be highly beneficial.

This approach could backfire if an employee is not in the mood for any kind of growth. Instead of coaching, you’d need to try out a different management style, like the director – at least until they feel more like meeting you on the same level.

So, there we have it, six ways of managing your team. Whichever style you choose, the most important thing is that the team you are leading feels happy and inspired to do the work for you. Because without the support and expertise of an effective team, your company would not be able to get off the ground. As billionaire Jack Ma says, “When your team is happy, the customer is happy.”

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Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

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Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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