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Insights for Working, Leading, and Learning Remotely

Hybrid Teams: The Best or Worst of Both Worlds?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 20 seconds

 

Hybrid work is in demand. A recent study by Slack found that 72% of surveyed employees want a combination of office and remote, with only 12% wanting to return to the office full time. 

But what is the optimal arrangement? Is hybrid a better alternative to fully co-located work? Is a fully distributed team better than hybrid? 

Your answer depends heavily on your individual experience. Company culture, location, individual choices, and personal circumstances naturally influence work environment preferences . The structure you were familiar with prior to the pandemic influenced the quality of your remote work experience, which in turn influences your working model preferences moving forward. 

Evaluating the effectiveness of remote work based on experience during COVID-19—at an individual or company level—is inappropriate because:

  • Companies were forced to adapt quickly, without time to shift their...
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Setting Boundaries for Remote-Friendly Teams

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 40 seconds

 

Boundaries are important. They’re important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and they're important to maintaining healthy relationships. In a professional setting, where you may not have control over some decisions and priorities, it can be challenging to define, set, and enforce your boundaries. For remote and hybrid teams, a culture centered on trust is crucial for getting work done and for supporting one another by expressing and respecting boundaries. Establishing and maintaining this culture is a critical responsibility of remote team leadership. 

In this article, we walk you through how to set daily, goal-oriented boundaries for yourself, but also how leaders can ensure boundaries are used effectively for remote and hybrid teams.

 

Setting Individual Remote Work Boundaries

To start setting effective boundaries for yourself, complete the following steps:

  • Identify Areas of Your Life and Days that...
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More Effective Virtual Meetings in 9 Easy Steps

For remote teams, meetings are essential to building relationships, communication, and collaboration. But virtual meetings can also be one of the biggest time-wasters for remote teams. 

Which of these situations sound familiar?

  • You're at a meeting that you probably don't need to attend, but attendance is mandatory.
  • All anyone is doing at the meeting is presenting updates.
  • There is no interaction between meeting participants.
  • One person, or a couple of people, dominates the discussion.
  • The meeting runs long.
  • There is no clear agenda.
  • By the end of the meeting, people are confused about next steps.

Virtual meetings don’t have to be this way. 

Our recent Networkplaceless conversation focused on building and facilitating more effective virtual meetings. Mark Tippin of MURAL, Waikit Lau of RemoteHQ, Megan Eddinger of Workplaceless, and all of our attendees shared experienced advice. Here are some critical steps you can implement today to make your virtual meetings...

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Virtual Volunteer Opportunities Round-Up

Pre-pandemic many remote professionals expressed having more time to connect with their communities, especially via volunteering. Unfortunately, as the pandemic wears on, there are two powerful impacts: remote workers are feeling increasingly disconnected and isolated, and non-profits are experiencing a shortage of volunteers.

We're sharing some volunteer opportunities that allow you to give back to communities in need while you continue to stay safely at home.

Please share more ideas with us and we will add them to this round up!

 

Schoolhouse.world

"Schoolhouse.world is a free, peer-to-peer tutoring platform on which anyone, anywhere can receive live help, earn shareable certifications in the topics they learn about, and have the option to become a tutor in the topics they master. The current focus is on high school math and SAT prep."

 

Goodera's KarmaHub

The KarmaHub is a repository of handpicked virtual volunteer opportunities. With opportunities in 90+...

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Top 3 Benefits of Providing a Workspace for Your Remote Workers

By Mark Gregory, Content Marketing Manager for GroWrk. GroWrk delivers, upgrades and services home offices for your teams anytime, anywhere.

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

 

The world’s work setting has changed. Eighty-eight percent of companies mandated or encouraged their employees to work from home when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. With more than 52% of people reporting working from home now at least one day a week, there are officially more people working remotely (at least some of the time) than those who don’t at all. 

As companies transform their processes to accommodate remote work, they must also adapt the benefits they offer to their remote employees. Perks like healthcare, wellness packages, and retirement plans are subject to change as companies hire more people from different geographic...

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6 Questions to Ask when Choosing Free or Paid Remote Work Training

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 20 seconds

 

At Workplaceless, we are passionate about learning, and grateful to learn from those whose experiences are different from our own. As the number of companies shifting to remote work arrangements exploded in 2020, we saw a significant influx of resources offering to guide employees and companies through the transition. This influx was essential for many experiencing remote work for the first time. 

Now, as companies are shifting or settling into their long-term vision for remote or hybrid teams, we thought it would be helpful to provide a way to cut through the clutter and learn when to take advantage of free resources and when to invest in external remote work training.  

Here are the top six questions to consider as you weigh the usefulness of paid training versus free resources for yourself and your teams.

 

1. Is the Training Source New to, or Experienced in, Remote Work?

We’ve said this since...

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Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals in Remote Work

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes 

 

New Year’s Resolutions: Yea or Nay? During our January Networkplaceless event, attendees agreed that resolutions can be fun and inspirational, like Teresa Douglas's resolution to “eat better cheese." However, are resolutions useful when the goal is to make real progress? How many resolutions have we all let slide as the year progresses? How do we align our day-to-day energy with our bigger picture goals and aspirations?

With another uncertain year ahead, goal setting can undoubtedly help you and your teams feel in control. As remote workers and virtual team leaders, having a vision, setting goals, and meeting goals are especially crucial for remote career development and for virtual employees to document their value. Goal setting in a virtual environment can also look different than in-office—from the types of goals and the resources available to how you share and achieve your goals.

The four key steps to remote...

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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
    • Unexpected Remote...
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Understanding Emotional Intelligence and How It Impacts Virtual Teams

By Melody Rawlings, Ed.D., MST, Director, Center for Advancement of Virtual Organizations (CAVO)

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

 

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is an important element when acquiring talent, and developing and managing successful teams. However, EI is not a term or concept recognized or fully embraced as a leadership imperative by everyone in business or on virtual teams. What impact does having EI or lacking EI have on virtual team health and performance?

 

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman (2011) identifies four generic domains of EI: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. These include common sense elements such as internal motivation, empathy, and social skills. In contrast, autocratic rulemaking, narcissism, stagnant mindsets, and maintaining an unempathetic...

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Creating Virtual Celebrations with Purpose

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 40 seconds 

 

As we approach the 2020 holiday season, many of us will not be celebrating in our traditional ways or locations. The realities of our current distributed working situations are forcing us to rethink our previous ways of gathering, like coming together in one physical location for holiday parties, and adjusting our plans to a virtual environment.

Our Networkplaceless community came together in November to share ideas about celebrating virtually. Thanks to everyone who attended, we walked away bursting with new ideas for connecting with our colleagues. The framework for this conversation came from Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (you can also watch her excellent Ted Talk here.)  

In the process of considering what makes a gathering meaningful and impactful, attendees shared ideas related to three topics highlighted in Parker's work: purpose, environment, and...

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