Learning and development doesn't just happen in a formal class setting—it can happen anywhere. And one of the beautiful things about the internet is that there is plenty of inspiration to be found for all sorts of topics—including how we work. There is no better example of a source of new ideas than TED. Here are 10 TED talks that will inspire you to work differently, or at least consider the possibilities.
Back in the fall we posted a list of remote work conferences... as is everything else in this space, things are always changing and there are more and more opportunities for connecting with other remote professionals! Here are three events that are coming up this summer.
Dates: May 31-June 4, 2018
Location: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Audience: Remote leaders
Remote Work Summit is a leadership conference that addresses the specific needs of business leaders who oversee distributed teams. Hear insights from and connect with leaders from speakers from Dell, Microsoft, Buffer, Automattic, and many many more.
The programming, sessions, and cultural and nature excursions will give you a well-rounded experience.
Dates: June 23-24, 2018
Let's talk networking events. You know that building a network is important to getting a job and moving up in your career, so you attend them, or at least, you've attended them in the past.
You take your business card and you head over, ready to work the room and meet new connections. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes not. Sometimes, you have to explain what working remotely is all about. And sometimes, it's just a complete wash.
Now tell me this: have you ever wondered why all these events are still done in person? Think about the time it takes to attend traditional networking events: getting ready, traveling to the place, and then the actual event itself, then traveling back. It seems silly to use all that extra commuting time when there are so many tools that are at our disposal now that make simulating face-to-face interactions so much easier.
Well, now there is an event that uses these tools to network virtually.
If you've ever gone through the process of hiring a new team member, you know it can be one of the hardest things you have to do in business. How do you know if someone is the right person? How can you make sure you have the best remote employees on your team?
While there is no one equation to find the perfect fit for an open position (and one might even argue that there is no such thing as a perfect fit) there are some attributes that make an individual a good fit for a remote position. Here are just some adjectives that describe ideal remote employees.
Since remote workers often have to do a lot of digging to get a solid understanding of work structure and expectations, curiosity is a key trait to look for. Does the candidate ask questions? How do they solve problems? Are they invested in their own learning and growth? What are they learning right now, or plan to learn in the near future?
As I write to you from Madrid, Spain, and checking things off my work to-do list, it occurred to me that I haven't spent much time on this blog discussing one of the best perks of working remotely: being able to travel while working. If you take this perk to the extreme, you're in a group of professionals called digital nomads.
People have been traveling for work since... well, forever. Hunting, gathering, sailing, exploring, sales...plenty of work-related activities have long involved leaving the home for a certain amount of time.
So what's so special about being a digital nomad?
If you're a digital nomad:
In remote teams, meetings are essential to building relationships, communication, and collaboration. But virtual meetings can also be one of the biggest time-wasters in remote teams.
Tell me if any of the following situations sound familiar:
We've all been in meetings that were poorly run, boring, or just unnecessary.
Meetings are critical in virtual teams because they provide structured opportunities for team members to interact. Note that the key word here is interact. If your meeting participants are not interacting, then you should rethink the purpose of the...
At some point in our careers, we have all had those moments we can call crossroads, where we need to make a decision about whether to stay in a job or take other opportunities.
This moment could be the result of a job offer, a burning desire to strike off on your own, or it could be the result of your current position not being the best place for you at this moment in your career.
Before you can answer this BIG question, ask yourself the following series of smaller questions.
Describe what you really want to be doing on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. What kind of projects are you working on? What are you learning? What do you want to accomplish? And finally, how do these responses differ from what you experience in your current position?
If you can see real examples of people moving up in the way that you would like to...
TThere are only 480 minutes in a typical 8-hour workday. That's not much time at all.
Especially when you think of the number of minutes that you spend:
If your job description includes nothing but meetings... then, great!
But for the rest of us, this is a real problem. How do you protect your time when you work online?
How much time do you actually get to spend on your work?
The ugly truth is that a lot of our workday is wasted. That's true for traditional workplaces and it's also true for distributed teams. Here are the four biggest time sucks in remote workplaces:
There is a tendency in remote teams to think that because the team is distributed, you need more meetings. This is a big mistake—more meetings simply lead to more wasted time....
Like many career-minded individuals, I had professional development and advancement goals for climbing the corporate ladder long before I had heard of the concept of “telework.” As my career has unfolded, I’ve had several opportunities to work virtually but I never lost sight of the trajectory I envisioned for myself. As it turns out, you can have the best of both worlds—but it does take planning, focus, and a willingness to pedal a little bit faster than everyone else.
I started my career in journalism, working for daily newspapers, television, and magazines. Looking back, I now realize that these jobs were my virtual employee strength training program. I worked when the stories broke, but the deadlines were firm and constant. I experienced a boot camp, of sorts—I had flexibility in my schedule but I had hard deliverables and plenty of people watching to make sure I met them.
With remote work becoming more and more common, it comes as no surprise that there are now several podcasts about the topic. If you're interested in remote work and/or the future of work, and like to hear about all the cool things that people are doing while location independent, have a listen to these great shows.
21st Century Work Life is a podcast is hosted by Pilar Orti and Lisette Sutherland. The format is varied: in some episodes, Orti and Sutherland co-host, in some episodes they interview guests, and sometimes, they have solo shows. The topics are just as diverse and cover important topics like communication and management in remote teams, as well as issues that are faced by subsets of remote employees, like complete newbies. This show is extremely well-produced and researched. Plus, the questions and perspectives on this show will get you thinking about how to improve your own remote work experience.
I especially recommend this podcast for...