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Browsing by Author "Raaska, Nea"

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  • Raaska, Nea (2018)
    Working life has undergone drastic changes faster than ever in the past few decades. Because of these changes organizations and their structures have also changed and been renewed. One of the key areas of change is the increase of remote work that is caused by new flexible ways of work and the breakthrough of technology. The increase of remote work brings new challenges to leadership that need to be studied. The aim of this qualitative study was to describe and analyze remote leaders’ experiences of remote work and remote leadership. By investigating these experiences, I aimed to describe what special characteristics remote work brings to leadership and how should these characteristics be considered in remote leadership. This study highlights key areas of remote work that should be developed in the future regarding the fast-changing working life. The theoretical framework of this study consists of previous research conducted regarding remote work and remote leadership. The data consisted of four semi-structured theme interviews that were analyzed using content analysis. The aim was to find similarities and differences between the data and the theoretical framework. The interviewees were experts in their own field and they all had at least one year of experience as a remote leader. Every interviewee had their own team that consisted of remote and non-remote workers. The interviewees brought up dissimilarities on different areas between remote and non-remote workers. The results of this study were divided in two sections: experiences of remote work and special characteristics of remote leadership. Remote work was seen as a positive and long-awaited change that makes combining work and personal life possible especially to people with families. On the other hand, remote work can dim the boundaries between work and personal life that could cause burnout. Special characteristics of remote leadership were found to be the importance of regular interaction and communication, equal treatment between remote and non-remote workers and the importance of building a trustful relationship between the leader and subordinates. Especially the results indicated that remote leaders had the feeling of inadequacy because of the lack of time that was allocated to leadership. This indicated that remote leaders lacked the support from their supervisor and the organization. None of the interviewees had been trained to remote leadership. In conclusion, this study highlights that managing remote subordinates is a challenging form of leadership and it should be investigated further to provide training and support to remote leaders.