As anyone who's worked in domestic service over the past few years knows, operations have become increasingly virtual, mirroring what corporations have known for quite some time: bringing together the best talent, processes, and service delivery requires people and things rarely found working together in the same room at the same time. Partly because of an increase in technology which accommodates these new environments, operations have moved into virtual reality less because of necessity and more out of sheer choice.
As estate owners realize their best services are no longer limited to their immediate surroundings, staff will need to become adept at leading within these new, increasingly complex expectations. As noted by Kimball and Mareen Duncan Fisher in The Distance Manager:
Today's technologies and business requirements both allow and demand managers to lead people who work off-site or in the field. If you are a leader, you can no longer avoid distance management - you can only choose to do it well - or do it poorly.
...The distance leaders we interviewed firmly suggested that their role is not to control, but rather to teach people in remote offices how to control themselves.
Whether managing one house or a dozen, every Estate Manager will find themselves building the trust of others through virtual environments - and replacing control with the inspiration for each team member to control themselves. Could the new art of virtual team management be teaching us something about our relationships in any workplace environment, virtual or otherwise?