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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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The Ultimate Remote Team Holiday Gift Guide

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, Mashable, A Year of Boxes, Frères Branchiaux, NY Times

Because so many of us have been physically disconnected from friends, family, and co-workers this year, it can be especially meaningful for employees  to receive a physical token of appreciation. Note: many of...

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7 Warning Signs Your Remote Team Needs Training

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 30 seconds 

 

We speak regularly with experienced and newly remote leaders and clients who feel that for the most part, their teams are operating smoothly—they’re just experiencing a few “hiccups.” But really, who isn’t experiencing hiccups, especially in 2020?

As we dig deeper into some of these hiccups, we often uncover true gaps in skills, processes, and overall alignment that are hurting business performance. It's vital that leaders can determine whether a hiccup is temporary and easily remedied, or rather a warning sign indicative of a deeper issue with harmful future effects.

To that end, here are seven of the most common symptoms that indicate your team is working suboptimally, and where we know remote work training is the most effective intervention to ensure the long-term vitality of your remote team or organization.



1. Team Members Experience Miscommunications

Charles: “But during...

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Remote Worker Burnout: Is It You or the Company Culture?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 

Even though the sun is setting earlier in the Northern Hemisphere, the remote work days are getting longer—48 minutes longer according to research that explores teams impacted by COVID. We’re all feeling the impact—69% of employees are specifically reporting symptoms of burnout. As winter approaches, remote leaders need to prepare for increases in feelings of isolation and fatigue among team members. It’s time to be more conscious than ever about putting safeguards in place to protect employees from overwork and burnout.

With such a weighty topic, we called on Cait Donovan, a burnout expert and acupuncturist, to lead our October Networkplaceless event and share strategies for preventing and managing burnout. She maintained a positive atmosphere and created an open space for conversation, guiding the group through the key reasons why remote workers experience burnout. 

 

Symptoms of burnout

From her years...

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How Trust and Training Boost Remote Productivity

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 20 seconds

 

The debate continues: are remote teams more productive? If you’re in the Netflix CEO’s camp, there are no benefits to remote (our quick thoughts on that here) and you would feel bolstered by this study shared by Tech Republic. On the opposing view, some research has revealed stabilization or gains in productivity, such as from BCG

 

The reality is that not all remote professionals are productive because not all remote professionals are given the tools and support they need to thrive. This is especially important in the context of COVID-19, when the shift to remote work for so many people has been unstrategic and unexpected. The two key factors that determine whether or not remote professionals, and subsequently remote teams, are productive are trust and training.



How Does Trust Impact Productivity?

 

Effective remote work is based on the premise that professionals are more productive when they...

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7 Actions You Can Take to Elevate BIPOC in Remote Work

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is a common sentiment that “everyone” is working from home. However, research shows that accessibility to remote work varies by race. While there is tremendous opportunity for remote work to create opportunity, remote does not automatically equal diverse nor equitable nor inclusive. We’ve yet to see comprehensive data on the true diversity of remote professionals; however, anecdotally within the US, the remote community agrees that reality does not yet reach the potential. For remote work to be truly accessible to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), we have more work to do.

 

At Workplaceless, we have been having the conversations internally and with our community to understand what role each of us can play to both break down barriers for and elevate the voices of BIPOC professionals in remote work. We embarked on discussions in late 2019 with regards to diversity,...

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