In the late 1970s, the Harvard Business Review released the results of a survey aimed at hundreds of senior executives. One of the key findings of this survey was that their professional success would’ve never occurred if there wasn’t a mentor along the way to help them to the top. What applied over 30 years ago to senior executives, applies today to teleworkers. Good leaders mentor or find mentors for their teleworkers to optimize both their happiness and performance.
Teleworking or mobile working is not always easy both personally and professionally. Because college courses tend not to teach teleworking classes or management classes aimed at teleworkers, learning the ropes of effective teleworking can be difficult. It is the mentors, the ones who’ve done it before, that fill in the learning gaps. It’s the mentors who answer the questions, who lend a helping hand, that offer encouragement, and provide comfort. Teleworking is a lot like roaming into the frontier of the working world. The early settlers didn’t pioneer the frontier alone. They often traveled in groups or had a guide. As a leader, either guide or find a guide or mentor for your teleworkers. Don’t force it upon them, but make a mentoring program visible and available for them to take advantage.