Could Ron Swanson or Miranda Priestly Successfully Manage a Remote Team?

Recently, we’ve had a lot of popular content about remote work. A little over a week ago, we had a great piece come through exploring the reasons behind the rapid increase of remote workers in the United States. According to Mark Feldman’s piece, there are currently 6.1 million people in the country that work remotely, whether they’re self-employed or employed with organizations. Last week, Feldman followed up with “8 Tips for Managing a Remote Team”, which applied this knowledge to actual strategy, to which managers and startup founders can refer when needing to learn how to manage a remote team.

Now, while real-world people can follow the tips laid forth in that article, fictional characters cannot (because, duh, they don’t exist). Formstack, the online form building platform that allows you to easily create online forms without the use of any code, recently toyed around with this idea: do certain fictional characters have the right skillsets and managerial styles to successfully manage a remote team? The startup recognizes the role that remote work can play on a work-life balance, so they took some time to look at some of modern pop culture’s most notorious bosses, and ranked them according to how well they could manage a remote team.


The results are pretty unsurprising (spoiler: Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada could certainly manage a remote team), and Formstack’s conclusions regarding how to manage a remote team align with many of the tips laid forth by Feldman’s article (such as ensuring that clear expectations are made). While I think they could have gone further into looking at each of the characters’ competencies (for example, they could have taken into account Priestly’s inability to connect with employees on a human level), I realize that it’s just a playful take on the topic.

Take a look at how the fictional bosses rank, in the infographic below:



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Written by:
Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.
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