The Future of Middle Management

Are Middle Managers Becoming Redundant or Obsolete?

8-Jul 2021
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Kirsten McNeice MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

The pandemic required many workers across the world to transition to working remotely almost overnight — an abrupt departure from the traditional nine-to-five work environment with centralized offices overseen by a manager. The transition to essentially unsupervised remote work has led many people to wonder: are middle managers becoming redundant or obsolete?

As the transition to remote work has upset the traditional management methods of ensuring employee productivity in person in an office, digital tools have become the standard practice. The solution to this problem is collaborative project management software.

 

Why is Traditional Middle Management Becoming Redundant?

Data indicates that the traditional middle management roles of monitoring productivity and optimizing individual employee performance are becoming redundant

Employees’ perceived sense of belonging, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and productivity consistently rate higher than in pre-pandemic office-oriented work structures. This shift has necessitated that middle managers adapt their roles. Managers are now free to focus their energy on other aspects of the business rather than spending their time looking over their employees’ shoulders. This ultimately will lead to stronger businesses and boosting bottom lines.

The three key ways that middle management’s traditional roles are becoming redundant:

‌1. Conventional Nine-to-Five Work Models are Becoming Obsolete

The pandemic necessitated an abrupt transition to working from home for many workers worldwide, which demonstrated that the old model of in-person management is no longer needed to ensure productivity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that flexible, asynchronous work schedules contribute to a better work-life balance, lower stress levels, and overall increased productivity. The increase in productivity across many industries has come as a surprise to many people formerly of the viewpoint that without traditional office structure, productivity and ROI would suffer.

Managers, who must still nurture talent and forge strong team connections, have been forced to navigate new operating norms, implementing digital workflows that don’t depend on in-person synchronous communication.

‌2. The Physical Office Space is Being Replaced by Digital Infrastructure

As communication and collaboration between team members have moved to the digital space, the traditional role of a middle manager communicating information between teams has become unnecessary, replaced by automated digital platforms that seamlessly document data and share information.

This transition to digitally sharing key information and decisions within businesses has increased transparency and productivity. 

3‌. Measuring Output Is now Easier While Building Shared Team Purpose Is More Difficult

With many teams now working remotely, forging strong connections between team members has become increasingly difficult for middle managers. When their employees were all centralized in an office setting, maintaining the drive for a shared goal was more straightforward.

Remote work has highlighted the need for clear communication among team members. Digital tools have made the process of keeping teams aligned on a singular goal much easier, making a manager’s role of directly leading the charge unnecessary, even counterproductive.

How Are Middle Managers Changing and Adapting to the Times?

The rapid switch to remote work across many industries forced business leaders to make decisions incredibly quickly. This led a lot of business leaders to think about streamlining procedures. Understandably, this led to many previously essential managers becoming concerned about their continued job security and wondering if they might be becoming obsolete.

Middle managers need to evolve their roles, identifying the digital tools that will automate and complement the work of actual human employees. With integrated management platforms, managers don't need to spend their time monitoring employee workloads. This frees up time for them to focus their efforts on building their teams and developing the talents of team members.

 

How Middle Managers Can Empower Their Teams with Accelo

Accelo is designed to assist middle managers and their teams with the transition to remote working models. The platform makes it easy to adapt to a more digitized workforce without in-person management strategies. 

Streamlining the team’s day-to-day will not only increase engagement and productivity but it will also allow for middle managers to focus on big picture strategy, planning for what’s ahead, and other core initiatives. 

Having a system like Accelo that empowers teams to track their own progress and streamline sales, quotes, projects, billing and more will save middle management hours so they can get back to doing the work they love. 

Sign up for a free trial today to find out how Accelo can help you digitize your business and manage your client relationships no matter where you are.  

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