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Your Remote Learning & Development Resources Blog

Start. Stop. Continue. Our First Virtual Team Meeting without Zoom

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

 

As a remote team who doesn’t see each other in an office everyday, it’s important for us at Workplaceless to stay connected with one another, beyond just the work. While we integrate this throughout our daily routines through apps like Donut and remote team building exercises, we also aim to meet once a month in a live all-hands team meeting. It’s a meeting we all look forward to every month. However, with much needed vacations, staycations, and team relocations, a synchronous meeting wasn’t going to work for July, so we decided to run our first Asynchronous All-Hands Meeting. 

 

Here’s what we did and an evaluation of what we would or wouldn’t do again from both the perspective of the meeting organizer, Megan Eddinger, and two team attendees, Katie Scheuer, and Jacqueline Zeller.


For the most part we lead with remote-first asynchronous collaboration, and limit meetings as part of our daily...

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6 Expert Steps To Improving Your Remote Team’s Communication

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 30 seconds

 

How do teams choose how to communicate? 

In a co-located work environment, the answer is pretty clear: walk down the hall or pop into someone’s office for a quick check-in; send an email if they’re not there. 

As researchers remind us, face-to-face may be the richest medium for communication, but when teams want to be more productive, cost-effective, and have access to talent, companies turn to remote and hybrid work. But as remote teams know, there are hundreds of choices for meetings, chatting, collaborating—synchronous and asynchronous communication tools . . . where does one start? 

The selection of communication tools begins with understanding the unique challenges of remote team communication and defining processes that work for professionals who are not physically located in the same office space.

During our July Networkplaceless event, we welcomed three experts who led us in a...

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Why Do Remote Leaders Need Training?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

 

Companies across the world are currently faced with questions about how to reconfigure the way to work going forward after the suddenly shifting to remote work in response to COVID-19. Each week a fresh slate of executives are announcing adjusted remote work policies. For example, Chief Operating Officer, Sabine Keller-Busse, of UBS Group AG recently announced that as many as a third of its employees could work remotely on a permanent basis. In numerous sectors, including insurance, banking, media, and tech, the trend toward adopting hybrid-remote work models is spiking and becoming a defining feature of the future of work.

 

Often these announcements include detailed plans for what reopening co-located offices might look like, but what does that look like for employees who remain virtual? We fail to see the same level of care put into outlining a plan for the sustainability and productivity of remote workers. We created...

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Top Skills You Need to Successfully Lead Remote Teams

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

 

Is it true that “people who come into the office just get more done”? That was the position posed when Yahoo walked away from remote work policies back in 2013. Remote teams who have committed to learning and instituting remote best practices have known that this idea doesn’t hold true in typical remote work circumstances (and it also has been disproven by research). Of course, remote working during a pandemic certainly pushes the limits on remote work productivity. Our challenge back would be to ask if productivity is the only or best measure of remote team success, especially during times of crisis?

 

Not all remote teams are created equal and so much of the effectiveness, strength, health, and productivity of remote teams rests within the hands of leadership. When remote leaders have mastered the skills needed to effectively motivate and manage their teams, it has a tremendous trickle down effect on the health,...

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Remote Work Communication Challenges - Are You Prepared?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 20 seconds

 

You’ve seen the announcements by now—Twitter is allowing employees to work from home forever, Zillow through the remainder of 2020, Nationwide will be permanently hybrid—it’s safe to say that the shifts to remote work have accelerated rapidly. But with all of these sudden expanded remote work adoption policies, are organizations ready to tackle some of the biggest challenges of remote teams at scale? Always rising to the top of the list is challenges in remote communication.   

 When teams are distributed, what are the more effective ways to share information, transfer meaning or understand one another? We gathered as a remote community during our May Networkplaceless event to brainstorm in detail the types of challenges in remote team communication. 

We first asked attendees to consider the four components of communication:

  • written
  • verbal
  • nonverbal
  • visual

Fifty-nine percent...

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Learning During a Crisis: Possibilities for Growth

 

Learning can help us cope

Learning can help all of us—leaders, distributed teams, and new-to-remote employees—cope with the uncertainty and anxiety brought about during times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Developing new knowledge and skills helps us feel competent and in control. Learning a new skill can offer a chance to break away from the repetition of news, chores, and work tasks. Furthermore, the structured nature of learning encourages a feeling of "flow" in a context that offers immediate gratification.

 

Learning is energizing, and there are tons of resources available for developing new skills such as General Assembly’s free training and webinars, or the creative platforms of Masterclass and Skillcrush

 

For individuals who may transition to new roles or want to use this time to explore new opportunities, skillbuilding is a key part of professional development. If, on the other hand, you’re...

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The Who and How of Building Your Remote Network

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 47 seconds

 

No matter where you are located, relationships are an essential component of getting work done and building a career. However, when you’re physically removed from an office it can present new challenges for cultivating the kinds of meaningful interactions that historically grew as a result of frequent and informal connectivity. Some of the most common challenges to building relationships remotely were shared during the previous Networkplaceless

So how do you begin addressing these challenges? We welcomed Laurel Farrer, CEO of Distribute Consulting, to give us her take on building relationships remotely and which individuals you'll need in your network to help you succeed. Think of this as a remote advisory board—a set of cheerleaders, supporters, advocates, and helpers who are rooting for you as you develop professionally.

 

Who You Need in Your Remote Network

 

The people in your virtual...

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What Happens to HR When Everyone is Suddenly Remote?

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 55 seconds

 

The everyday role of human resources professionals includes ensuring that productivity and performance goals are met within an organization. However, the sudden shift to remote work in response to COVID-19 has presented a myriad of incremental people management concerns due to the anxiety and uncertainty employees are experiencing. Furthermore, AON’s recent study shared by Human Resources Director reports that HR responsibilities have been stretched to include crisis management and business continuity. On top of that, only 8% of HR respondents felt they were sufficiently equipped and ready to deal with the challenges posed.

Matters are complicated further, one attendee noted, because there’s often a lack of support for human resources. In other words, who takes care of HR when HR is taking care of managers and teams? HR professionals, in particular, are experiencing heavy loads of emotional labor, a term...

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Kid Approved! Tips to Get Work Done From Home

 

By Jacqueline Zeller, CMO of Workplaceless. Currently working from home alongside two kids at home.

 

As many more of us are shifting our working habits to work from home, parents are increasingly finding themselves at the intersection of both emergency remote work and emergency online learning. Even for those of us who have been working remotely for years and have found solutions to some of the challenges, working from home with kids (#WFHWK) is a whole new ball game.

 

Step One. Forgive yourself. (This underpins everything that follows.)

There will be days that will feel like productivity triumphs and days that feel like the triumph is solely that everyone is still alive and fed. Forgive yourself. And forgive your teammates. This is hard and no one has a perfect solution. 

 

With expected stay-at-home timelines continually being extended, looking back at the original two week guidance seems like a utopia. On top of that, advice is conflicting. Set a...

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Supporting Psychological Safety and Culture in the Midst of Emergency Remote Work

By Candace Giesbrecht, BSW, CPHR, Strategic HR Consultant.

 

We're grateful to Candace for sharing her expertise. Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

It’s noisy out there, isn’t it? Alerts, bulletins, updates, and so much information. At the risk of adding to the clutter, the thing I most want you to hear is—you’ve got this. 

 

As a leader, being thrust into emergency remote work is more than disruptive. The changes in workspaces, tools, and workflows would be difficult enough. We’re additionally concerned about the effects of isolation, triggers related to pre-existing mental health struggles, kids also at home with schools shut down, wondering if our vulnerable family members will have access to the support they need when they need it, and all the varied considerations that each individual employee is encountering. We do not yet know how the...

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