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Insights for Working, Leading, and Learning Remotely

Adapting Our Mission for the Future of Work

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 

Since our founding in 2017, the world of remote work has dramatically changed. Remote-friendly opportunities have grown exponentially due to the ongoing impact of a global pandemic. While this rapid shift reflects the innovation and resilience of all professionals involved, the processes developed in a moment of crisis will need thoughtful adaptation going forward. Emergency and transient remote work don’t develop the habits needed to make remote work sustainable and equitable in the long term. 

Our commitment to companies and professionals throughout this transformation of remote work has not changed. However, our approach, areas of focus, and the way we talk about the future of work have evolved during 2020, throughout 2021, and into 2022. With that in mind, it was time for Workplaceless to update our mission and vision to better reflect our future focus.


Workplaceless Mission Statement

 

Build the capabilities to...

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6 Reasons Your Team Needs a Communication Charter

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

 

Effective communication is a critical tenet of successful teams. Fully remote and hybrid teams encounter unique challenges that result from the lack of in-person cues available in fully co-located teams. These communication challenges common to remote and hybrid teams include:

  • Misaligned preferences, norms, and needs
  • Information overload
  • Overcommunication 
  • Micromanagement
  • Interruptions to productivity flow
  • Communication gaps
  • Misunderstandings

There’s no shortage of communication tools that aim to solve these communication challenges. Yet an overabundance of tools can lead to new communication problems. At Workplaceless, when we support teams who are struggling with communication, we often suggest establishing a team Communication Charter.

What is a Communication Charter?

A Communication Charter is a team agreement that establishes the norms for when, where, and how teams should communicate based on a variety of work...

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Can Remote Teams Be Creative? How?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

 

Myth: Working remotely inhibits innovation.

Critics of remote work often make the claim that creativity and innovation are more effective when they occur in office settings.  However, this claim lacks evidence. Now that a global workforce has been experimenting with remote work for nearing two years, the research is in: remote work can be an advantage for innovation. 

Scientific American reports “extensive research shows that hybrid and remote teams can gain an innovation advantage and outcompete in-person teams by adopting best practices for innovation, such as virtual brainstorming.” The New York Times goes even further, saying, “people who study the issue say there is no evidence that working in person is essential for creativity and collaboration. It may even hurt innovation, they say, because the demand for doing office work at a prescribed time and place is a big reason the American workplace has been...

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The Ultimate Remote Team Holiday Gift Guide

Updated November 29, 2021

 

While we hope you’ve been showing appreciation to your remote teams throughout the year, we've reached the season where gifts can be a capstone token of appreciation for your employees’ contributions through what has assuredly been a difficult year.

Our team has pulled together a robust list of gift ideas that are specifically for professionals who work from home or as a part of distributed teams. We’ve focused on physical gifts as well as virtual presents for teams. Since we’re a small business ourselves, we aimed to include fellow small businesses throughout our suggestions.   

 

Physical Gifts that Require Shipping

Image source: Leon and George, Canva, Deskboard Buddy, SAMA Tea, Frères Branchiaux, Tsedal Neeley

Because so many professionals continued to be physically disconnected from friends, family, and co-workers this year, it can be especially meaningful for employees  to...

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8 Practices Digital Leaders Must Build Now

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

 

Flexibility is the name of the game. Employees demand it. Companies know they need to embrace it. Yet, the way leaders are currently going about making changes are rushed, not thorough, and unsustainable. It’s no surprise, since much of the rapid shift has occurred during a global pandemic. 

Friendly reminder: Emergency remote working is not sustainable remote working.

However, two other powerful dynamics are roadblocks to a sustainable shift to flexible work. First, misalignment on goals and priorities for future hybrid teams at an organization. This leads to different teams using their time and energy troubleshooting challenges in isolation—and often reverting to old behaviors. Executives hold the responsibility for setting and clarifying their remote work vision

Second, leaders resist changing their own working behaviors. In order to help remote and hybrid team leaders overcome this resistance, we’ve...

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Tips and Training for Async-First Slack

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 

It’s nearing the end of 2021 and professionals are searching for more flexible work, which is empowered by asynchronous communication. Yet employees also continue to feel overwhelmed by information, which can be exacerbated by ineffective async communication. 

Teams often look to new tools to solve their communication problems. In some instances, a shift to or inclusion of a new async-focused tool stack is exactly what the team needs. However, it’s critical to also evaluate how your team uses and is aligned on the use of their existing communication and collaboration tools in async-first ways.

One such tool is the Slack communication platform. Slack has unfortunately become synonymous with the creep into always-on and ASAP culture. Here are some ways that Slack has morphed into a synchronous channel:

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Anatomy of a Perfect Blended Meeting

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

 

Effective remote and hybrid teams prioritize async communication and collaboration. This might look like:

  • Sending direct messages with the expectation that the person will respond later, not immediately
  • Reducing the number of synchronous meetings in a given week
  • Structuring a blend of async and sync collaboration

Autonomous work, powered by async collaboration, means employees can get work done at different times, across time zones, and with flexible schedules. While leaders and individual contributors know they need to work asynchronously, they don’t know how. Effectively using blended meetings is one strategy for shifting your team’s work toward async-first practices.

 

What Is a Blended Meeting?

Blended meetings are a combination of asynchronous collaboration, which takes place not at the same time, and a synchronous meeting, where people connect at the same time. They typically involve async prework and postwork to...

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How to Identify Companies Committed to Remote

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 15 seconds

 

The TLDR of “The Great Resignation” is that employees are demanding greater flexibility when it comes to their work requirements, and greater ability to bring a balance of health and other priorities to their lives. In response, employers have been quick to reconfigure roles to appear accommodating to flexibility, and specifically to remote location. However, not all remote roles are created equal and when we dig into these companies and teams, we uncover inconsistencies about what remote truly means. For example, the job posting might be tagged as remote, but the HR team specifies it requires being in the office three times per week or being within 20 miles of the office.

In order to provide support for those searching for flexible or remote positions, we’ve pulled together the critical elements that a candidate should look for when finding a position that doesn’t include remote as just a buzzword,...

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5 Work Challenges Solved by Empowering Async

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 25 seconds

 

September 2021 marked our 4th birthday at Workplaceless, and we hosted our final Networkplaceless event focused on async vs sync communication. While some news outlets represent remote work as a passing trend with an end in sight, savvy organizations are not only embracing remote and hybrid work, but empowering flexibility by shifting to async-first practices.

Since async-first work habits save time, reduce interruptions, increase autonomy, prevent burnout, reduce micromanagement, and combat inequity, we spent the majority of the session targeting attendee pain points and brainstorming solutions that leverage strategic use of synchronous communication and emphasize async. In fact, 100% of attendees expressed a desire to shift toward async-first communication to help solve some of their challenges. 


Common struggles include:

 

Attending Too Many Video Meetings and Zoom Fatigue

Zoom fatigue first entered our work...

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10 Practices of Productive and Inclusive Hybrid Teams

 

Sixty-nine percent of companies intend to involve some sort of “hybrid” in their workforce location plans for the fall of 2021 and into 2022. Yet, these setups are uncharted territory for many teams. Finding what works for your organization will involve experimentation. But, you can learn from those who have done this before. We reached out to experienced hybrid teams to ask about the practices they’ve established to ensure their teams are inclusive and productive.

We specifically wanted to focus on how teams overcome challenges that can make hybrid work harder, such as:

  • In-office vs remote workforce inequities
  • Remote employees left out of decision-making
  • Unprepared leaders
  • Executives out of touch with workplace realities

Here are some routines from a wide range of teams worth considering as you experiment with your own setups.

 

“At Loom, our very own asynchronous video messaging tool is foundational to how we communicate, collaborate, and...

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