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Learning from 2020 and Guiding Better Remote Work In 2021

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 10 seconds 


This time last year we were focused on supporting businesses who were building sustainable remote teams as part of their growth and people strategies. Then March 2020 happened, and everyone was suddenly thrust into remote. It wasn’t planned, and it certainly wasn’t strategic. Like everyone else, our business needed to adapt. 


It was important for us to remain true to the core of our mission—to positively impact sustainable remote work opportunities—but we had to do this in a situation that was in its essence unsustainable. We jumped into action, leveraging our years of experience, to help. We also recognized early that this sudden shift would significantly alter remote work adoption, and impact how businesses perceive remote work for the future.


Here’s what happened in 2020:

  • Refreshed or newly launched 5 of 6 self-paced remote work elearning courses
  • 3 all-inclusive guides to adapting to new sudden remote work
  • Welcomed 443 new members of our Networkplaceless Remote Professional community
  • Supported 2,000+ new learners
  • 151 new data points about Remote Work Training 
    • Only 30% of workers receive remote-specific onboarding training
    • “Distractions” and “Overworking” were the biggest challenges affecting remote workers in mid-2020, during COVID-19
    • 90% of professionals believe more remote training would help organization improve productivity across distance
  • 556 in-depth interviews and discussions with remote professionals and leaders
  • Grew our team with two new team members
    • Jesse Senger, Digital Marketing Specialist
    • AnnaLissa Theodule, Business Development Associate

While 2020 has undoubtedly been a banner year for remote work, [...] 2021 will be the year that determines the real future of remote.” Tammy Bjelland, CEO


Now, looking ahead, what can we take from what we learned in 2020, to guide us in 2021?


  • When We Learn, You Learn.

In 2021, we plan to continue upgrading our programs to include the most current and relevant information on virtual best practices and even more remote leader and remote professional advice interviews. Importantly, these refreshes will focus on incorporating increasingly diverse perspectives from the remote work community within our curriculum. No longer is remote work for tech companies alone. 


  • Shifting from Remote Readiness to Remote Effectiveness.

We spent a lot of time working with teams to determine if they were truly ready to strategically incorporate remote. Based on shifts in 2020, and our experience with clients, we are shifting to remote effectiveness. It all starts with a company Remote Work Effectiveness Assessment.


  • Better Remote Work = More Sustainable Remote Work.

We intend to continue to develop resources and guides to help companies and workers alike improve their remote work policies and procedures. We’ve seen quite a few hiccups during the 2020 rapid remote work acceleration: our goal is to make it better for you in 2021.


  • Meeting the Needs of Hybrid Teams.

As companies continue to announce their plans for remote work into the future, we know that hybrid teams composed of both in-office and remote employees will continue to grow. Our focus on learning and adapting to this complex environment will grow too. Here’s just a few of the challenges we’ve already identified, and some initial advice


  • Learning Doesn’t Stop.

Improving remote work practices doesn’t only happen in a single workshop or online course. It requires a dedication to learning. Part of that involves a mindset shift, another part is acquiring skills and implementing best practices, and still another part is changing behaviors and creating new habits. Follow along with us to see what we’ve got coming to help support your learning in 2021. 

As always, our goal is to help remote professionals and teams thrive for the long-term. Sign-up to learn as we share our journey with you. Or let’s schedule a chat about how we can help your team. 



Tammy Bjelland, CEO at Workplaceless

Having worked remotely since 2011, Bjelland founded Workplaceless in 2017 after recognizing the need for remote-specific professional development opportunities. With her background in higher education, publishing, edtech, eLearning, and corporate training, she is committed to driving and supporting the future of work by developing people.

Follow her on LinkedIn

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