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Executive Business Travel: Tips To Manage Your Office From Afar
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Executive Business Travel: Tips To Manage Your Office From Afar - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Business Travel: Tips To Manage Your Office From Afar

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Business Travel: Tips To Manage Your Office From Afar

Business travel. Vacation. Meetings. Regardless of why you leave the office, it’s a fact of business life that at some point you will be away from your desk and far from your staff’s view. While you may be traveling out of state, or even out of the country, it is still up to you to determine what impact your absence will have on your staff and whether you leave them struggling—or secure. Here are three universal tips to help you successfully maintain executive leadership of your office, whether from a board room in New York or on a beach in Hawaii:

  • 1. Establish Reliable Methods to Reach You: never go “off the grid,” especially if you are running a small office and major decisions require your sign-off. If you are going to be completely unreachable—let’s face it: sometimes international travel demands this, depending on country—then make this clear to your employees prior to your departure. Do not place your staff in the gray area of trying to reach you when it simply can’t be done. If you will be available, establish how you can best be reached, whether by text, email, phone, or fax, and list your preference. Also, if you intend to be away from the office for a long period of time, check-in with your staff to answer any urgent questions or requests that may have come up during your absence.
  • 2. Empower Your Staff by Trusting Them to Use Their Judgment: whether you have a senior executive staff, a second in command, or just an employee you trust, let them use their judgment on what items to bring to your attention while you are away. If you only want to hear about urgent items, emergencies, or (if you are more of a hands-on leader) the most notable day-to-day items, clarify this. However, like in Tip #1, keep in mind that if you establish that you will be available, want to be told about urgent items, and will provide your staff with direction accordingly, then it is your responsibility to respond to urgent communications from your staff. Nothing engenders distrust and apprehension more than when an employee carries out her boss’s orders to the letter and the boss doesn’t uphold his or her side of the bargain. To avoid placing your employees in the position of not knowing what to do in an emergency situation—or, even worse, being forced to make a decision on your behalf—follow-up.
  • 3. Inform Your Staff of Promises You Made: whether you have a group of Executives upon which to rely, or simply a second in command or employee you trust, keep them abreast of promises you made that require follow-up during your absence. Regardless of if you choose to fill in your employees or not, know that the people to whom you have made promises will follow-up with your office if they do not hear back from you, and it will be your staff who receives the constant inquiries and bears the brunt of callers’ frustrations in your stead. Respect your employees by keeping them in the loop and instructing them on what must be done prior to your departure.

While there are many more requirements to keeping an office thriving while the Executive Leader is away, follow these three tips and you will be on your way to successfully managing your office from afar.

 

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