Successful businessMore and more employees are beginning to expect different characteristic from their bosses. Members of a team will react to their leaders in a more positive and urgent way when they have respect for them. 2014 is a new year, full of developing and changing workplaces. Freelancing is becoming more common. Remote work has become the norm, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) meetings are part of the everyday crunch. How will you be expected to keep up with this changing atmosphere as a leader in this fast-paced and distant environment? Here are four major things that team members will expect from their leaders, both present and remote, in 2014.

1.       Strong Presence

Have a strong presence or an identity. And no, email doesn’t count. Make contact with your team members on a daily basis. Talk to them on the phone or through Skype if you are a remote influence. If they’re a part of your office, then you have it easy. Walk over and say hello, ask sincerely how everything is going, and show interest in their work. This will not only make you more personal, but will create a sense of urgency in the workplace. When employees think the boss might pop in at any time, they’re much more likely to be continuously productive.

2.       Collaboration

You are a leader because you have fantastic ideas, great organization skills and a passion for management. However, it’s important to remember that team members also have valuable input. They’re putting in the hours on the details of whatever task has been placed into their hands. If they have any serious complaints, or better yet, suggestions on how to make things better, entertain them. Collaborating with your team will not only help you develop a well-oiled machine, but it will boost morale, making those who work for you feel appreciated.

3.       Thought Leadership

A thought leader is a leader who is forever “thinking” about the different trends, research and new developments in the field in which they work. They are up to date on the latest developments in the industry and the world, and apply them to their own personal projects when they are necessary. What puts a person over the threshold from being a consumer of information to a thought leader is the ability to apply what they have learned to the every day. Be able to think for yourself. Technology today has made it extraordinarily easy to not have to think for ourselves, and doing so will set a good example and prompt members of your team to do so as well.

4.       Opportunities

If you’re a leader of a team that isn’t in an office with you every day then you may already do this. Provide opportunities for your team to take the reins on a major part of your project. Give chances for them to have some responsibility. This room for growth and these opportunities will fuel a better work output, and help you to weed out the good eggs who may be ready to move up, from the bad ones. On another good note, this will place employees in a position where they can focus on the long term. Today’s workplace is filled with part-time jobs and freelance work where people jump around from place to place. A feeling or further long-term opportunities will help to increase employees loyalty, and help them to focus more on the organization’s goals.

Being a leader in today’s world is nothing short of a major feat. Taking some time to provide employees with a work environment in which you are accessible, engage in constructive collaboration, do some independent thinking and provide opportunities will make you a better leader in 2014.