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Companies struggle to manage virtual workforces

Posted on February 27th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Between 1995 and 2010, the virtual workforce grew from a population of 9.5 million to 13.4 million, and about 20 million to 30 million people currently work remotely at least once per week, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as quoted by research firm Predictive Index.

The internet has enabled companies to work past geographical boundaries when recruiting and hiring new employees. As more organizations embrace a virtual workplace and expect supervisors to build relationships with employees mostly over the internet, many businesses have expressed low confidence levels in their ability of managers to motivate, coach and develop employees online, according to Predictive Index.

 While technology has made it easier for people to connect, top executives and managers are struggling to navigate the virtual workplace.

A separate study by Forrester determined 57 percent of managers of virtual teams said earning employee trust was difficult and another 49 percent listed effectively communicating with remote employees as a top challenge.

Managers at global companies are expected to oversee collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness across different regions and cultures, Predictive Index explains. It can be very difficult for these leaders to build a strong sense of camaraderie without much face-to-face interaction.

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