This is a very good point. A lot will depend on the business and its culture. I'm a little older than my boss. My team, I am at least 10yrs older than my oldest manager, the youngest is a couple of years out of Uni. I operate full mission command and have what I would call a "high trust organisation". All our team meetings start with how is everyone doing, feeling, coping before we get on to work stuff. One of my guys took a little while to adjust and others have various domestic challenges. (I should add the team is spread over the UK).A good letter in the latest Spectator.
All very well for the old dogs who know the ropes, but not so helpful for the young ones who are learning their way – there are only so many emails/phone calls you can make to colleagues to say: what do I do now/how should I approach this; very different from an office environment where you can just sidle up to somebody’s desk, or ask while making coffee.
I quickly became the MS Teams Ninja/Guru.
MS Teams is quite good for "sidling up". Its easier because they don't have to come and find you and its easy to see if you are busy or not.
Quite a few times I'll get a chat message, "have you got 2 mins? Can I have a quick chat? etc" I'll ping "go ahead" or "give me xx mins" and then we have a catch up. Somebody was having childcare issues, someone just wanted a chat because they felt a bit isolated. We have some new starters including one who joined 2nd week of lockdown, poor chap hasn't even met me physically yet. But said last week it felt like he has been here months because of the way everyone is so welcoming. I encourage stupid questions, asking if you don't know, etc. Its handy with Teams because in a meeting if you feel embarrassed asking something in open forum you can ping a message.
Especially if you have been browsing ARRSE and not paying attention
The technology is just a vehicle; its good leadership that makes the difference.
E2A: leading properly is actually harder in this environment. I'm "get out on the vehicle park" type. I prefer to face2face, to phoning and I prefer phoning to email. So you just have to work a little harder and adapt your leadership style accordingly.