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Easy Ways to Improve Communication in Remote Teams

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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. 

Why is communication in remote teams especially challenging? 

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...

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Remote Work and the Law: Legal Issues that Remote Leaders Must Know

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:

  • HR policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Hiring process
  • Onboarding process
  • Organizational structure
  • Procedures
  • Additional organizational policies

Legal Issues with Remote Teams

Privacy and Security

With a remote workforce, all communication takes place in a...

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Remote Management Mistakes: Top Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Remote Teams

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.

 

Top Remote Management Mistakes

Ignoring management needs

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...

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5 In-Demand Skills You Can Leverage to Work from Home

Want to work from home but you’re not sure what you can do? You can leverage any of the five skills listed below to find a remote job that you love. Many job seekers spend their time searching by job title — but job titles can vary greatly from company to company and can be hard to understand. Instead, focus on the responsibilities listed in the job description. Look for job descriptions that list skills that you already have.

For each skill I list example jobs and companies, plus keywords to use when using job search sites.

5 Skills to Leverage to Find Remote Jobs

 

LANGUAGES

Do you speak more than one language? You can get a remote job as a translator, interpreter, transcriber, or customer service representative. Additionally, you can set yourself apart from other candidates for other types of jobs if you highlight your language skills.

If a job description does not directly say that they need someone with language skills, research the position to see if any...

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11 Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

You've applied to remote jobs but you still haven't gotten any remote job offers. What gives?

Chances are it's because of one of these reasons. Some of these reasons indicate areas you can improve. Others you can't do anything about. Focus on the areas that you can actually work on to improve your chances for the next position.

 

Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

1. Your experience didn't indicate that you could work well remotely.

If you've never had any experience working remotely, this can work against you. Working remotely requires you to be self-motivated and have excellent time management skills. Employers want to know that you will do the work how and when you need to.

Tip: If you've never worked remotely before, then make sure to highlight past experiences that demonstrate the above skills.

2. The qualifications listed in your resume or highlighted in your interview did not match the needs of the employer.

The hiring committee just didn't see you as...

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Friday Reflection: What Have You Done This Week?

Happy Friday!

Before you dance away from your work for the weekend, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished.

Reflecting on the week allows you to acknowledge your victories and the things you have learned. It will also prepare you to start next week off on the right foot.

Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

Friday Reflection Prompts

What major goals or deliverables did you complete?

Take a look back at the concrete deliverables or tasks you finished this week. Sometimes looking back on the things you've done is much more inspiring than looking at the things you still have to accomplish.

What conversations did you have?

Did you have any meaningful or important conversations with coworkers or clients? What did you learn from those conversations? How can that information help you in the future?

Did you find out anything new about yourself or others?

Note anything you've learned about other people and yourself —  about the way you and others work,...

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4 Startups Hiring Remote Workers

When you’re looking for a remote career, there are several options: work for yourself, a large business, or a startup. Large companies like AmazonDell, or Humana will have multiple job openings at any given time, which can expand your opportunities. But there are plenty of startups hiring remote workers, as well. Working at a startup can be fun and exciting and can be a pivotal point in developing your career. Below are four startups that are currently hiring in multiple remote positions.

4 Startups Hiring Remote Workers

Toptal

Toptal is a talent network focused on the software engineering, design, and finance industries. They have under 1000 employees and there are many remote positions available across many disciplines and levels.

Head over to their profile on Glassdoor and make sure to check out the reviews — here’s a highlight:

Having been in the workplace for over 20 years this is a...

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Fast Facts about Freelancing

Freelancing is a great way to try out working from home if you have never had a full-time remote job before.If you are currently working on location at an organization and would like to explore your work at home options, freelancing can be an excellent way to test the waters. You can start with just one small job and work your way up.

You've likely heard of this option before but may not know many details about this remote career path.Below are some fast facts about freelancing — each fact could be considered a pro or a con, depending on what you value.

Fast Facts about Freelancing

You are not an employee

As a freelancer you work as an independent contractor, not an employee.

You don't have to work for just one organization

Since you're not an employee at one organization, you can complete work for multiple clients.

You set your own schedule

One of the criteria that the IRS uses to determine if you are an independent contractor is if you are required to work according to...

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Remote Work Culture: How Remote Teams Can Connect

When you work in an office, opportunities to connect with coworkers happen naturally. They can happen on your way into the office, when you're using the office kitchen, or when you stop by a coworker's space to ask a question. When you work on a remote team, it can seem that you don't have those same types of opportunities. However, you can build a remote work culture — it just takes more intentional planning than you would need if the whole team worked in the same physical space.

The key to creating a culture in which your team feels connected is to establish company-wide expectations and processes that support those connections. When your team understands the importance of connecting, both personally and professionally, they are more likely to initiate those connections on their own.

How to Build a Remote Work Culture

Communication

Communication, as always, is king. Have clear expectations of the channels, content, frequency of company communication. Trust only happens when...

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Networking Tips for Remote Professionals

Networking is important, even if you work remotely. Not only does it expose you to professional opportunities, it also helps you establish and cultivate important relationships that can help you navigate your career. But networking can be tough — even more so if you work from home because you're not in the habit of constant interaction. Here are some networking tips on how you can cultivate an active and supportive professional network if you work from home.

Basically, there are three networking channels you have when working remotely:

  1. Live interactions. These include networking events, conferences, face-to-face team meetings or retreats.
  2. Internet-based networking. This includes connections you make on social media and connections you make in other internet communities like blogs and membership sites. [Register for Networkplaceless]
  3. Work-based networking. This includes the relationships you make in the process of completing your work. Obviously, your coworkers and...
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