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...
There 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....
Any opinions expressed within the blog are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.
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...
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...
One of the biggest issues in all teams—virtual and not—is communication. While this issue is prevalent in all teams, it can seem that the problem is exacerbated in virtual teams.
1. There are few (or no) existing opportunities for informal connections, which can be a good space for people to establish rapport and confirm understanding of situations or expectations.
2. A lot of virtual communication takes place with email or chat—which means messages are often misinterpreted. Not everyone is great at conveying or reading accurate tone when writing.
3. If your work day does not include collaboration, you might be working on your own for most of the day. You might ride the momentum of your work bubble, and not stop to clarify or confirm understanding of expectations.
No matter the reason for your team's challenges, there are some concrete steps that you can take to improve how your team...
Guest post by Natasha Bowman JD, SPHR, aka the Workplace Doctor, founder and CEO of Performance Renew and the author of You Can't Do That at Work: 100 Legal Mistakes Managers Make in the Workplace.
Employing a remote workforce can bring enormous benefits to an organization, like expanding attracting top talent and saving on overhead expenses that usually accompany a location-dependent workforce. But employing remote workers also comes with its own set of legal implications that remote leaders need to consider. Each of these legal issues could be a potential liability for your company.
Make sure that you work through the proper channels to ensure that each issue is properly and adequately addressed in your:
With a remote workforce, all communication takes place in a...
How do you manage remote teams? For the most part, there are many similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, there are some specific considerations that managers of remote employees should consider. Whether your team is entirely remote, or you only have some remote direct reports, there are some big remote management mistakes you can make that can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.
If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. Reading this blog post is a great start — as you read, make note of exactly what you need to work on and make...